Vista's replacement for My Documents

Discussion in 'Windows 64bit' started by DP, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. And yes, you may post here. We still love you DP.
     
    Charlie Russel - MVP, Mar 8, 2007
    #21
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  2. DP

    DP Guest

    Back at ya, dawg.


     
    DP, Mar 8, 2007
    #22
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  3. DP

    mikeyhsd Guest

    you should never STORE valuable data is system level folders. just like Inbox in WM.

    best to use a second hard drive or other backup media and store it away from windows control.


    @sport.rr.com


    Thanks for the thoughtful post. Let me say what I meant by the line from my
    original post that you repeated. What I meant to say is that if you save
    your stuff to My Documents, you know that you're saving it in a place where
    it will be preserved by System Restore.

    I agree with you that it's nice to put things where you want them. And I
    still do that to a large extent. I guess what I meant was that when I know
    something positively absolutely has to be there if I'm ever called upon to
    do a system restore, the My Documents is the magic folder where I should be
    saving things.

    Yes, it's counterintuitive to save EVERYTHING to My Documents. It seems to
    defeat the purpose of the folder system. Sort of like Using Quicken or MS
    Money and then categorizing all of your expenditures as "miscellaneous."

    One thing I've taken to doing (tho I don't do this exclusively) is to store
    a lot of stuff in My Documents (or that's what I did with XP X64) in their
    own folders and then to use desktop shortcuts to them. So in a way, I'm
    categorizing things in folders, but using the safety of My Documents for
    them.

    One mild criticism of your post, though: It seems kind of silly to criticize
    MS and other software manufacturers because you created a system in which My
    Documents has a maximum size and then exceed the maximum. MS didn't create
    it that way, so it's really a problem of your own making.

    Thanks again. You raise good points.
     
    mikeyhsd, Mar 8, 2007
    #23
  4. One mild criticism of your post, though: It seems kind of silly to
    I can't stress enough the fact that *my* files, that I put under My
    Documents, total less than 2GB. The fact that I ran out of room on this
    4.35GB partition is due to the presence of data *I* did not put there, and
    *do not* want there, but still can't move elsewhere because some silly apps
    decided that this is where they were gonna store them files without ever
    asking me.

    I do honestly think that such scenarios represent poor decisions made by
    software developers (or, rather, whoever designed the software). I'm saying
    this as a developer myself.
     
    Homer J. Simpson, Mar 8, 2007
    #24
  5. Most applications can be directed where they store files that you create
    within the respective programs.

    I don't know why you are upset because some programs follow the Windows
    protocol? Programs are "supposed" to store files that you create from within
    in the My Documents , or now - the Documents, folder. That way you know
    where they are and are easy to backup.

    The programs themselves must never install themselves to that folder
    however. If it does, it is either poorly written or someone directed the
    installer to put the program there.

    Another protocol is that all programs are to be installed to Program Files
    in the Windows partition. If you don't like that, you can change it also.

    --


    Regards,

    Richard Urban MVP
    Microsoft Windows Shell/User
     
    Richard Urban, Mar 8, 2007
    #25
  6. DP

    DP Guest

    True. In addition to what I described below, I also back them up onto CDs and external drives.
    you should never STORE valuable data is system level folders. just like Inbox in WM.

    best to use a second hard drive or other backup media and store it away from windows control.


    @sport.rr.com


    Thanks for the thoughtful post. Let me say what I meant by the line from my
    original post that you repeated. What I meant to say is that if you save
    your stuff to My Documents, you know that you're saving it in a place where
    it will be preserved by System Restore.

    I agree with you that it's nice to put things where you want them. And I
    still do that to a large extent. I guess what I meant was that when I know
    something positively absolutely has to be there if I'm ever called upon to
    do a system restore, the My Documents is the magic folder where I should be
    saving things.

    Yes, it's counterintuitive to save EVERYTHING to My Documents. It seems to
    defeat the purpose of the folder system. Sort of like Using Quicken or MS
    Money and then categorizing all of your expenditures as "miscellaneous."

    One thing I've taken to doing (tho I don't do this exclusively) is to store
    a lot of stuff in My Documents (or that's what I did with XP X64) in their
    own folders and then to use desktop shortcuts to them. So in a way, I'm
    categorizing things in folders, but using the safety of My Documents for
    them.

    One mild criticism of your post, though: It seems kind of silly to criticize
    MS and other software manufacturers because you created a system in which My
    Documents has a maximum size and then exceed the maximum. MS didn't create
    it that way, so it's really a problem of your own making.

    Thanks again. You raise good points.
     
    DP, Mar 9, 2007
    #26
  7. DP

    Dshai Guest

    I think perhaps if you don't like the question that starts, or maybe continues the string then you should close it and go to the next string, maybe there you'll find Q&A that more suits your idea of what this NG is all about.

    --

    Dshai

    Life is only limited by those living it...

    the question did not mention 64.

    @sport.rr.com

    This group is for all things 64-bit. Not for XP x64 only. This is an
    appropriate newsgroup for Vista x64 questions that are truly 64-bit
    specific. That's what we're here for.

    --
    Charlie.
    http://msmvps.com/xperts64


    why do you insist on cross posting between xp and vista for vista questions.

    there are plenty of people to provide help and answers in the vista news
    groups. and not many in the xp groups that can help with vista.


    @sport.rr.com

    Smart users of XP knew that My Documents was the best place to save stuff.
    I've forgotten the exact reason for that (maybe someone can jump in and
    explain). I believe it had to do with what gets swept up when setting
    System
    Restore points.

    In Vista, there is a Documents folder, but not My Documents. Is the
    Documents folder the safe place to save stuff now in terms of what System
    Restore will save when a new restore point is set?
     
    Dshai, Mar 10, 2007
    #27
  8. I don't know why you are upset because some programs follow the Windows
    ["**" emphasis mine]

    I have an "EA Games" folder in My Documents. *I* didn't create it, some
    game did, and it never asked me whether it was okay, and it doesn't provide
    any means to move it elsewhere. I don't want it there, and I don't want it
    to be part of my regular backup set.

    I have a "My Music" folder in My Documents. *I* didn't create it, yet I
    can't get rid of it; I already have a separate partition on which I dump all
    my music files. I don't want it under My Documents; there's no point in
    backing up MP3s when they've actually been copied *from* my CDs originally
    onto my hard drive. They don't belong on my regular backup set.

    I have a "My Pictures" folder in My Documents. *I* didn't create it, yet I
    can't get rid of it; I don't keep a collection of pictures on my hard drive.

    I have a "My Received Files" folder in My Documents. *I* didn't create it;
    if someone sends me some file through Messenger, it'll get put elsewhere;
    where, exactly, depends on the nature of the file. I always use 'Save
    As...' when someone sends me a file. It would be silly to let all the files
    that everybody sends me pile up in one folder.

    I have a "My Videos" folder in My Documents. *I* didn't create it, yet I
    can't get rid of it; if I have important videos, they're already on CDs/DVDs
    and they don't need to be part of my regular backup set.

    I had an "Updater5" folder in My Documents (exact name might not be
    accurate; this is going from memory). After much mucking around, I figured
    out Adobe Acrobat Reader creates it (without asking me), and the option to
    disable that is buried in its options. Whatever crap normally ends up there
    is not any file I created myself, and doesn't need to be part of my regular
    backup set.

    Do you see a pattern here? *That's* why I'm upset to find stuff I didn't
    create under My Documents.

    If a file is created without prompting me for a path/name, *it does not
    belong under My Documents*--ever. No ifs or buts about it.

    Any binary file that contain data I don't recognize, need or use has no
    business going under "My Documents".

    The only thing(s) that should be allowed under My Documents is anything I've
    saved there myself after going through a 'Save As...' dialog box, or dragged
    with Explorer.

    If only that was the case, backup routines could consist of a single click,
    without having to build exclusion lists.
     
    Homer J. Simpson, Mar 18, 2007
    #28
  9. If you do not want the default Windows folders in My Documents, design
    another operating system and do as you wish with it. An O/S has to start
    somewhere and that is where Microsoft has chosen to have these things. They
    also "strongly" encourage the software manufacturers to go along with this
    scheme. The majority have.

    You can not delete system folders. They will be recreated automatically.

    --


    Regards,

    Richard Urban MVP
    Microsoft Windows Shell/User


     
    Richard Urban, Mar 19, 2007
    #29
  10. No, these are bad programs. Only things *directly* created by the
    user belong in the Documents folder. Everything else belongs in
    either User\AppData\Local\, User\AppData\Roaming, or c:\programdata.

    Austin
     
    Austin Ehlers, Mar 19, 2007
    #30
  11. Really? Why would you say that? I got over 1 TB worth of data files
    and NONE of them are on my root drive in any default 'Documents
    folder' for one very simple reason. There's not enough room. So I have
    all my appliations put my data elsewhere on my drives E, F, G, H, and
    X, Y, Z.
     
    Adam Albright, Mar 19, 2007
    #31
  12. If you do not want the default Windows folders in My Documents, design
    Y'know, I always make a concerted effort not to further the common belief
    that all MVPs have a bit of an attitude, but you guys are doing such a fine
    job doing it yourselves. Best we ignore that and move on to the matter at
    hand.

    It all boils down to this:

    My problem: Unwanted application files in the user's personal folders.
    My solution: Don't design an OS so it invites third-party applications to
    mess with the user's personal folders to begin with.

    With statements like "the OS has to start somewhere", it sounds to me like
    you're under the impression that it's always been that way. I can't help
    but believe that you haven't been involved in this industry for very long.
    If you were, you'd remember that none of the pre-9x Windows versions tried
    to force any particular personal file management scheme on the users, and we
    all somehow managed to keep ourselves organized. It all started going
    downhill when the shell tried to be smarter than the user, and introduced
    these "conveniences" that were ripe for abuse. It's self-defeating, really.
     
    Homer J. Simpson, Mar 19, 2007
    #32
  13. I have NEVER EVER found application files in the My Documents folder. They
    should NEVER go there. It some application is, in fact placing it's program
    files there, it is a real crappy program. Since Windows 95 My Documents has
    been for documents that a program "creates". Any program that you install
    should place user created documents in this folder by default.

    If a program does otherwise, and places user created documents elsewhere,
    the program is not following accepted protocol!

    A user may be able to change where these user created documents are stored,
    on a program by program basis - IF the program has that option in it's
    preferences section. If it does not, the default should be My Documents.

    Many programs will create a sub directory within My Documents for user
    created files. It makes it easier for the user to find specific files by
    program.

    Other than the fact that YOU can't do what YOU want, I see nothing wrong -
    or incorrect - with the way Microsoft has set up their methodology since
    Windows 95.

    Sorry if you are not happy. If you can't live with the situation, change the
    situation. I sure can't.

    --


    Regards,

    Richard Urban MVP
    Microsoft Windows Shell/User


     
    Richard Urban, Mar 19, 2007
    #33
  14. I have 72 directories/folders within My Documents. For the most part, these
    directories are created by various programs I have installed, and are
    initially empty.

    An example of the above is: Paint Shop Pro 9 creates about 15 empty folders
    where various custom effects that "you" create are stored for later use.

    I have only two folders that I feel shouldn't be there. They are:

    Windows Media Player 9 - Fun Packs - store executive files in My
    Documents/Creativity Fun Packs. This is a major violation of the accepted
    protocols and the violator is Microsoft themselves.

    I installed a contractor estimating program a few years ago. This placed all
    the program template files (over 1000) in My Documents. These should have
    been in the programs folder. It was a crappy program to begin with.

    Other than that, everything is as it should be in my estimation. I have
    hundreds of folders and subfolders that are empty - until I create and save
    a file using a particular program. Then the file is saved to the particular
    folder within My Documents that has been hard coded into the program.

    Anything that I create, using any program on my computer, is included in a
    backup of My Documents. I like it. I exclude folders that I don't want
    backed up. Any decent backup program will allow you to do such.

    The backup program that comes with Vista is sub optimal, in my opinion.



    --


    Regards,

    Richard Urban MVP
    Microsoft Windows Shell/User
     
    Richard Urban, Mar 19, 2007
    #34
  15. I have NEVER EVER found application files in the My Documents folder.They
    YES! That's the problem I have with the whole system. It's being abused,
    even by MS's own tools: Visual Studio 2005 puts a bunch of files and
    folders there without asking me during installation. These files are static
    and will get recreated anyway if your system gets hosed and you have to
    reinstall the OS and the program. So why lump these static files in my
    personal data file folder?

    SQL Server 2005 does that too. I've already mentioned Acrobat Reader's
    'updater5' folder, and some game folders. I currently also have another "My
    Web Sites" folder (not too sure which application created it, probably
    VS2005 again).

    If I wanted to use My Documents as my sole repository for regular backups
    (and I'd love to), I would have to rifle through it every single time to get
    rid of files/folder I haven't created (or want) and are just wasting
    additional space needed for my backup set. Actually, given that some of
    these are program settings, if I do delete some of these files, some
    programs might stop working entirely (makes sense, it's not terribly wise to
    delete program setting files--in the best case scenario the program will
    revert to defaults/recreate the files). So instead I have to build an
    exclusion list.
    Yes. But things like application settings aren't "user-created documents".
    Static template files that are created automatically when you install a
    program aren't "user-created documents".
    That, I don't have a problem with--nowadays most programs do stick with
    putting documents under My Documents. The problem is that they put a lot
    more in there than really belongs. I suspect %APPDATA% was created for that
    reason, and I *really* wish more programs would use it instead of My
    Documents.
    Again, I have no problem with that. It's the other "non-user created
    document" files that I don't want to see there.
    I have no problem with that either.
    Look, ultimately I don't have a problem with the concept of having a My
    Documents folder. All I have a problem with is that there are way too many
    programs out there that abuse it, and there are already other folders that
    have been introduced for that purpose--which a lot of application developers
    choose to ignore.
     
    Homer J. Simpson, Mar 19, 2007
    #35
  16. Anything that I create, using any program on my computer, is included in a
    Ideally, I would drag and drop anything and everything under My Documents on
    a blank DVD, without having to deselect files/folders individually. Right
    now I can't do that because the stuff I didn't put there makes the whole My
    Documents folder exceed 4.35GB.
    :-D Not an issue--MS will have dropped support for XP before I move to
    Vista. Hopefully by then, the next OS will be out, correcting the usability
    mistakes introduced in Vista.
     
    Homer J. Simpson, Mar 19, 2007
    #36
  17. DP

    littlerufe Guest

    I don't know if it's already been discussed, but one purpose of "My
    Documents" is that it resides in a folder that's inaccessible to other
    non-administrator users of the machine. This allows you to put items
    in your folder and have them safe from prying eyes of others.

    One thing that I think is cool about Vista is that when I was restoring
    backed-up folders from an XP machine to a different machine running
    Vista, it automatically detected that some files being migrated were in
    the "My Documents\My Pictures" folder and asked me if I would like to
    have these files moved to the "Users\MyName\Pictures" folder. Pretty
    cool!!

    I also have a question (if anyone is still following this thread). If
    you choose to show hidden files in Vista, you will notice that there
    are shortcut links to "My Documents", "My Pictures", etc. in the
    "Users\YourName" folder. Is it safe to delete these shortcuts (which
    give you an error if you click on them)? Are they used for some
    purpose by the OS or other programs?

    Thanks,
    Rufus
     
    littlerufe, Mar 26, 2007
    #37
  18. DP

    Jane C Guest

    Those 'shortcuts' are actually junctions, that are there to provide
    backwards compatibility for older programs. They are system files and must
    not be deleted.
     
    Jane C, Mar 27, 2007
    #38
  19. DP

    littlerufe Guest

    Thanks! I've heard about junctions but will have to revist them again
     
    littlerufe, Mar 28, 2007
    #39
  20. I don't know if it's already been discussed, but one purpose of "My
    Moot point--you can set access permissions on any folder.
     
    Homer J. Simpson, Mar 28, 2007
    #40
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