Computer Newbies forum

General discussion

Lost part of My Documents, no letters e-z

by compfused / April 13, 2008 6:20 AM PDT

I backed up some files and folders from My Documents to my external hard drive. Now when I go to My Documents I can't find any file or folder starting with the letter "E" or beyond. When I save something to My Documents there seems to be no problem, I get no error message, but when I go to look for the file it isn't there. If I add a file starting with "D" it will show up in the folder, add one with an "E", its a no show, but add again and you'll be asked if you want to overwrite the file that is already there. The files and folders are going somewhere, I just can see where.
After searching everywhere(and no, search was of no use)I found a folder named Recent and has shortcuts to files and folders. Some of these look like the ones from My Documents, but I doubt this has any real connection because there were just a few files and folders listed.
BTW I have My Documents on the D drive, if it makes a difference. Right now the My Documents folder is a short cut to the target folder location D:\. At least that is what the My Documents Properties says(I'm not that up on this stuff). Is there a way to just clear disk D, put My Documents folder back to drive C temporarily while I clear (format?) disk D, then put My Documents (backup) back to D again? I would like to keep the folder there so not to fill up and slow the C drive. I try to keep the C drive as empty as possible and with my wife and two girls always adding RPG'S (role playing games) it's hard to do. All help is greatly appreciated.
Dell 8300 Dimension desktop
Windows XP Pro
C:\ Maxtor 80G
D:\ Maxtor 80G
G:\ Seagate(external) 375G

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Lost part of My Documents, no letters e-z
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Lost part of My Documents, no letters e-z
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
How to move My Documents
by Kees Bakker / April 13, 2008 5:46 PM PDT

- I've never seen it to be a shortcut. Somebody must have done something unusual.
- And I've never seen a folder refusing to accept files starting with certain letters, and no others.
- And I've never seen a backup causing such. But, then, I don't use any special backup program to copy files to an external hard disk. You don't tell how you did it.

So it's rather strange, all together. May I hope your backup is still complete? Better disconnect the external drive then until the problem is solved.

Collapse -
Regarding a comment you made ...
by Edward ODaniel / April 14, 2008 10:32 AM PDT
I found a folder named Recent and has shortcuts to files and folders. Some of these look like the ones from My Documents, but I doubt this has any real connection because there were just a few files and folders listed.

That would be the recent documents you have worked on. Right click on one and select Properties then look at the shortcut's path to the document. Do that for one that shows up in your Documents folder (begins with A-D) and note the path to the file. now do the same with one that does not show up in your Documents (begins E-Z) and again note the path.

Are the paths the same? I suspect you MOVED some and are actually working in two differend directories.
Collapse -
Re:Regarding a comment you made ...
by compfused / April 15, 2008 2:35 AM PDT

I just saved a notepad titled "Ben", saved as a text file and one titled "Zen". The "Ben" file located and showed in D:\My Documents and created a shortcut in the C:\Documents and Settings\Recent folder. The "Zen" file is located in C:\Documents and Settings\Recent and has a shortcut there. The target is D:\zen.txt.
Somehow when I save to My Documents, I'm involving the Recent folder. Never heard of this folder before but it seems to have intertwined with My Documents and its save feature.
When I double click the zen.txt shortcut it opens.
D:\zen.txt does not appear in D:\. There is no sign of it. When I right click on the "zen" file in the hidden Recent folder and click Properties, the location is stated as C:\Documents and Settings\Recent even with the shortcut being the only "zen" visible (with the show hidden file option nicked). No actual file.
I have tried a search of hidden and system files and setting the options to show hidden and system files. If I try to re-save the zen.txt, I am told the file already exists.
When told the file already exists, I can replace it without an error message and the changes are saved.
Hope the explanation isn't getting too convoluted.

Collapse -
Re: Recent
by Kees Bakker / April 15, 2008 5:25 AM PDT

That's a standard feature of Windows XP. Maybe you never noticed it, but I assume it's always been present. Details in and, of course, your own Windows XP Help and Support section.

But all of that doesn't explain where d:\zen.txt is. But it must exist somewhere, I think, or it wouldn't be found while resaving it. Strange indeed.

Until solved, save all your files as _e.... in stead of e... An _ (underscore) is smaller than a. Just a suggestion.



Collapse -
by compfused / April 15, 2008 6:40 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Recent

Thank you Kees, I can now see the file when I save it that way. The problem isn't solved yet, but I can live with this. Again, thank you.

Collapse -
by miklacic / May 8, 2009 12:06 AM PDT
In reply to: Re:

Did you ever resolve this problem? I'm working on a machine for a client and have never seen this before, but the client experiences the same problem. In the My Documents folder, There are no files with the letters e-z. I can't seem to find any other references on the web to this problem. Files are not hidden and when a new file is created in My Documents with name starting with e to ... the file disappears. Then when trying to re-create the same file the error says the file already exists.

Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Help, my PC with Windows 10 won't shut down properly

Since upgrading to Windows 10 my computer won't shut down properly. I use the menu button shutdown and the screen goes blank, but the system does not fully shut down. The only way to get it to shut down is to hold the physical power button down till it shuts down. Any suggestions?