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Multiple "My Documents Folders" ????

XP Pro SP2, 512MB Ram, Acer 290 NB

For some reason unknown to me, this system has all of a sudden started showing two My Docs folders. The primary has nothing in it and the secondary (2nd) has the normal folders and files. It's impossible to combine the two into one by any method I know of. This brings me to my friends on CNET! Does anyone know what has caused this issue? Does anyone know what is necessary to defeat and correct it? I would be enormously grateful to any and all. Thanks!!


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Brady, Where Are They Located?

In reply to: Multiple "My Documents Folders" ????

Are both of these folders on your desktop? Or are you finding them in Windows Explorer? Please give us the EXACT path to each of these "My Documents" folders.

In reality, depending on how many users you have allowed on the machine, there may be a LOT of "My Documents" folders. If the "empty" folder is in another user's profile, that's perfectly normal.

Hope this helps and let us know more.


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My Docs reply

In reply to: Brady, Where Are They Located?

Hello Griff,

This issue exists at all levels. I'll show the paths of all I can find.

Desktop: Has one folder that leads to a shortcut. It's path is, C:\My Docs\My Docs
Deleting shortcut sends all folders to the Rec. Bin

The first user account that shows a path to My Docs is the ''Brady(me/admin)'' and that path is, C:\Docs & Set\Brady\My Docs\My Docs.

The second user account is ''Dad's Limited'', it's path is C:\Docs & Set\Dad's Limited\My Docs, this folder is empty.

The third is ''Nicole'', it's path is C:\Docs & Set\Nicole\My Docs this folder is empty.

The fourth is ''Shared'', it's path is C:\Docs & Set\All Users\Document. This folder contains ''Shared Pictures, Shared Videos and Shared Music''. All of these folders are empty.

The only other thing I can think of to tell you is that Windows Explorer's path opens to C:\My Docs\My Docs.

If I can provide anything else just let me know.

Thanks, Brady

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Drag and Drop

In reply to: My Docs reply

I can't say how this occurred, but can't you just drag and drop my docs to my docs, and delete the empty file?

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Drag and Drop

In reply to: Drag and Drop

Hi Paul,

You can't drag My Docs into My Docs, even though it's a shortcut. The system won't allow you to transfer a folder that is identical to the receiving folder. If I changed the shortcut to My Docs to say My Docs 2 it still won't allow it. Thanks, Brady

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Should be normal...

In reply to: My Docs reply

Each username in Windows XP receives its own ''My Documents'' folder, so that each user can keep his/her documents seperate and private (to some degree). The ''My Documents'' shortcut on the desktop automatically points to your ''My Documents'' folder.

If those are all current users, everything's OK, and you shouldn't delete anything. However, if any of those users don't exist, feel free to delete the was left behind after a user was deleted from the system.

Also, the ''shared'' one is normal...if someone wants to let all users of the computer access a document, he/she can put it in there. (If it's placed in his/her own folder, it can't be accessed by everyone else.)

Hope this helps,

P.S. The reason you see all the folders is that you are the computer administrator can see/access all folders on the computer (from all users) unless the other user has chosen to prevent you from accessing them.

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Should be normal

In reply to: Should be normal...


I am the administrator on this home computer. I have two other user accounts, both being limited accts. I never had this shortcut issue before, it just presented itself one fine day! This issue exists in all user accounts. There hasn't ever been a user account deleted.

I have tried to delete the shortcut and it takes all the folders with it. I can't drag and drop the shortcut because the OS won't allow it. I understand your explanation regarding the desktop shortcut accessing the My Documents Folder. This problem differs in that when clicking "on" My Docs it sends me to the shortcut instead of to the folders. The shortcut contains the folders and if I try to drag and drop the two together (either way) the OS (XP Pro SP2) won't allow it. If I delete the shortcut all the folders go with it. This exists when accessing My
Docs from any possible angle.

I hope this provides more information on the problem.

Thanks alot!


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More Info...

In reply to: My Docs reply

If you can, please tell me what programs you run/have run that change anything as far as Windows' GUI or settings. Too often this is caused by a "Tweak" program that was later deleted and certain information was never restored.

Have you moved/copied the My Documents folder (maybe using a Tweak program) or is C:\My Docs\My Docs the default location of this folder? I ask that since Windows has the My Documents folder generally registered to C:/Doc and Settings/"the user's name"/My Documents via mydocs.dll

If you have changed the location of the My Documents folder, you will have to unregister this file by going to Start -> Run -> Type in "regsvr32 /u mydocs.dll" NOTE: This will remove the My Documents icon. If this doesn't work and you want to change things back, just type in "regsvr32 mydocs.dll".

Also, please check that the "My Documents" of other Accounts are set as "Private" by logging into the accounts, right clicking the folder and clicking on properties, and checking the sharing tab. Make sure the check box is checked I only put this in there because you have an account that I assume has limited accessibility and might be a public account whos files can be seen by the admin).

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Brady, What Happens When....

In reply to: My Docs reply make the "My Documents" folder disappear on the Desktop? RIGHT click on the Desktop, choose "Properties". Then click on the "Desktop" tab, then the "Customize Desktop" button. In the upper section, UNCHECK ALL of the listed icon selections..My Computer, My Documents, My Network Places, and Internet Explorer. Now click on "Apply", then OK. The "My Documents" folder should now disappear from the desktop. Restart the computer.

Since shortcuts on "point" to the main folder/file in the Windows Explorer file structure, you should now be able to safely delete any remaining "My Documents" shortcuts on the desktop.

Next, do exactly the same thing again, but since all the boxes should be unchecked in the "Customize Desktop" option, click on the "Restore Default" button to set the default settings again. Click on "Apply", then OK. Now restart the computer again.

Now, for the last time, do the same thing again, BUT this time, place a CHECK mark in those items you want on the desktop..My Computer, My Documents, etc. As before, click on "Apply", then OK.

If the above steps don't fix the issue, (it's only a guess and may not), you should be able to cure the problem by copying all of the files and folders from within the "My Documents folder to a separate/new/backup folder on your desktop then deleting the unnecessary "My Documents" folder. Once you're sure that you've got all your important data backed up, then simply delete the incorrect "My Documents" folder...As you've previously suggested, there should NOT be a second "My Documents" folder "inside" the first "My Documents" folder.( The first user account that shows a path to My Docs is the ''Brady(me/admin)'' and that path is, C:\Docs & Set\Brady\My Docs\My Docs.)

All the pathways to the other accounts are correct and should be left as is..

Hope this helps.


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What happens

In reply to: Brady, What Happens When....

I have been working on your suggestions all day and have seemingly hit a road block everytime I tried another chance at success. Well, I just now got everything returned to a single My Docs folder (YEA!). As I was double checking the rest of my folders I have found a double set of the identical My Doc files in my personal user account file. I attempt to delete a file from that folder and guess what?, I also lose a folder/file from My Docs. At least there aren't two My Doc folders (1 in 1).

First, before we share anything else I would like to thank you and all the other CNET forum members for the time they have generously donated in my quest to find an answer to the problem.

Griff, I wasn't successful performing your first steps recommended but succeeded by backing up the entire folder into a new folder on the desktop. However, the OS wouldn't allow me to copy the folder into the original My Docs folder. I was repeatedly warned that I couldn't move the ''Backup'' folder as a whole unit. I received a warning that the destination folder is the same as the source folder. So I was finally able to accomplish the task by dragging and dropping each folder/file back into the original My Docs folder and then deleting the new "Backup" folder. Now if I try to delete the files in the ''Brady'' folder (C:\Docs&Sett\Brady\My Docs) files from both folders delete. Another issue occurs but only after the most serious was taken care of!! If you have any comments on the newest issue I'll appreciate it.

Thanks very much,


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