I destroyed my user folder, how to fix ? Solved

  1.    13 Oct 2016 #1

    I destroyed my user folder, how to fix ?

    So here's what happened:

    I have 2 HDD drives. C drive, I want to use only for system things, because it's only 55gb in size (it's SSD). For all other stuff (apps, documents, music, videos, games etc.) I use D drive. By deafult windows stores everything under C. So, I decided to change locations of my maps in "This PC" (Videos, Music, Documents...). I created folder with my name in D drive, then changed location in location settings for each one ... EXCEPT music, which I forgot for some reason. So months went by, and still my C drive is getting fuller and fuller. Today I realized my Music folder is still pointing towards my deafult location (C). I decided to move it. Then all hell broke loose! I hornestly do not know what happened, or what I did, but I will try to explain in best of my ability:

    I right clicked on music folder under "This PC", selected properties opened location tab and set the location ("D:\MyName") Ofc this was a mistake! I should created new folder inside MyName folder called "Music". Result was as you'd expect: Contents of the Music folder were moved inside of MyName folder. Then I did another mistake (I didn't know you can't do this with folders that are inside "This PC"). I said to myself "no big deal". Created New Folder (inside MyName folder), named it "Music" and selected all files that should go there, and just draged and droped them inside. This MESSED my Windows up bad! Instead of moving, my MyName folder has been reanmed and replaced with "Music" folder from "This PC"! It even has the symbol ... Look! : Attachment 105767

    Windows treated it as music folder in "This PC" screen. So when I would click on "Music" I would get sent to my main user folder (called "MyName") which contains videos, music documents, downloads ... you get the picture. My direct link to music was LOST But wait! It gets WORSE!!

    I ofcourse tried to fix this problem myself. So I changed the root location of my documents and stuff a few times and ended up with ... well Idk how to even call it. This picture will have to do: Attachment 105769
    That's right: The Music folder is now called "D:" and when you click it, it opens my D drive. My documents folder is somehow empty, and what is supposed to be videos folder now has same name as my main user folder (called "MynName" in this case) If I rename my user folder the "videos" folder renames to that! And ofc opens it. It's even wierder: If I decide to create new folder in my D drive that is named after me, I can't. The computer merges it with mymain user folder, as if both had the same name. It's no matter what I rename my "MynName" folder to. And btw.... if I try to open my Pictures folder, I get error saying original location has been moved and/or deleted!

    So in short ... all my shortcuts in my "This PC" are broken. I do not know what rules they even operate under, coz they don't behave like normal folders AT ALL! But yeah, you guessed it. It gets even worse. For some reason, my system restore is turned off. I don't remember when I did it, but I must've turned it off at some point because I was tweeking my safety settings, and forgot to turn it back off .... ofc this means I can't resotre system to previous date(if Windows 10 even has this option, this is upgrade from Windows 7, I was using before - and this is my first real problem).

    So now I ask the Internet ... what do? Restarting PC dosen't work, I can't system restore ... I must fix this manualy the hard way, but Idk how . I can't put all my files to C drive, because it dosen't have enough space. I could copy my files to external HDD (I have one that's big enough), and delete them from PC, then try to set up paths from scratch .... but I do not know procedure. If someone knows ... please help! I'm desperate!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    13 Oct 2016 #2

    Briefly: this is what I'd do. (In outline).

    1. Buy a bigger SSD and save yourself a lot of problems. 55Gb is simply too small for normal operation- allow 18Gb for the Windows folder and upgrades create a copy as Windows.old - that's about 36Gb gone just for starters.

    Even if you install programs on D:, they may create working space on C:
    And there are other partitions and folders that will exist on C: as well as things in your user profile.

    2. rescue any data I could from your existing C: by booting your PC from a boot disk or flash drive (there's one you can get at the top of the Software and Apps section of this forum).
    3. Clean install Windows to C:
    (See the Tutorial section for instructions on how to do that- you will need a bootable Win 10 medium).
    4. Rationalise data on D: in folders you relocated there with your new installation.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    13 Oct 2016 #3

    Great. Buy new SSD. That will take me a week at minimum. Not to mention cost me like 200 € I was hoping for a solution that I can do ... idk today ? Is there realy no turning back from this mess other than clean install ?

    C disk does not contain any programs other than windows. It just gets filled up because other programs keep storing data on it. Data that is lost with clean install anyway. I know programs and documents will most likely be intact after clean install on C (I have clean installed windows and formated C before, back when I was using Win 7 with no data loss). That's the beauty of having 2 drives and having data organized properly I guess. Bad thing is, you can mess it up ... like I did.

    Now, buying biger SSD is in back on my mind for some time now, and I'll do it eventualy .... but for now. I just want my documents, videos, music etc. folders to open documents, videos and music, when I click on them. Like I had before the mess. If clean install is only way, I have no choice, but I would be happy if other solutions would be available....

    Oh one more question: If I do install windows on C again ... is it ok if I install motherboard drivers, video drivers, firefox, directX, NET.framework etc. on D? Or do these need to be in same HDD than system ?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    13 Oct 2016 #4

    Hi, sometimes things don't work out as you'd like. There are ways of reducing Windows' footprint - I've seen people here give ways of doing that, but I have no reference to it. Please feel free to research.

    There's this from the Tutorial section, but the reduction I'm thinking of was a lot more.

    You can move these things (at least) to a second drive:
    a. new modern apps + data
    b. your user profile (people sometimes experience difficulty later having done this)
    c. Relocate library folders e.g. Documents, Videos (people sometimes experience difficulty later having done this)
    d. Install desktop programs on a 2nd drive (but many install folders in Documents, Videos etc and in folders in your user profile)

    See the Tutorial section for a,b,c

    You've no control over drivers that I know of.
    Note that folders such as Windows\Installer contain msi's which can be quite big.

    You can of course clean install on your existing SSD, then transfer everything to a new SSD.

    Before clean installing, I would create a disk image of what you have, so you can retrieve anything you've forgotten later.
    We strongly recommend Macrium Reflect (free). Disk imaging - routinely- means you have a second chance when things go wrong and can restore your system quickly to a previous functional state.

    Many other advantages.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    13 Oct 2016 #5

    Ok. Idk if I explained my problem well... Basicaly it's this: I already have library folders and user folder and programs, and games and everything relocated successfully on my D drive (non system drive). However now the "later" time has arrived and I'm experiencing problems having done this. I am looking for solution for said problems :)

    Basicaly I do not know how library folders in windows 10 function, and how can you organize them. They are not like normal folders.
    Ah well ... I guess I have to reinstall everything .... that will be painfull. Thanks anyway
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6. Posts : 984
    Windows 10 Home x64 and Pro x86
       13 Oct 2016 #6

    This article explains how to relocate folders the normal way and how to use the Registry to check & correct them [I wrote the article because I had made the same mistake as you].

    Despite the succession of mistaken relocations, you will still be able to recover without reinstalling.

    Relocate user folders

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    13 Oct 2016 #7

    It is very quick and easy to do a clean install of Windows 10 (I do it all the time), and then you should be able to manage your folders and data easily.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    13 Oct 2016 #8

    Try3 said: View Post
    This article explains how to relocate folders the normal way and how to use the Registry to check & correct them [I wrote the article because I had made the same mistake as you].

    Despite the succession of mistaken relocations, you will still be able to recover without reinstalling.

    Relocate user folders

    Restarting PC dosen't work, I can't system restore
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    13 Oct 2016 #9

    Try3 said: View Post
    This article explains how to relocate folders the normal way and how to use the Registry to check & correct them [I wrote the article because I had made the same mistake as you].

    Despite the succession of mistaken relocations, you will still be able to recover without reinstalling.

    Relocate user folders

    Thank you. I read you article. Yes this is the way I did it. So I can reinstall Windows with no data loss, save space on C, and many more. But! When It came to my Music folder, I didn't bother to move it untill today, when problem occured. I will try your registry solution and see if It will work ...

    Anyways: UPDATE!!! : I discovered (I think - I'm only about 80% certain) what may have caused the problem! I still have no idea how to fix it (like I said, I'll try Registry way next) - I think it's because of this: When I was moving my Music library location, I accidently moved it to D:\ , Instead of D:\MyName\Music. So now my when I open it, it opens D:\ drive. And also treats it as such. Process seem to be irreversible ... atleast through normal way - I can't move entire D:\ drive in a subfolder as I get error.

    UPDATE 2!!! : Thank you Try3! I was correct about what is the root of the problem! And that I couldn't fix it normal way! So I tried Registry way you suggested and ... IT WORKED! My music is where it's supposed to be! Problem solved. Was a bit complicated, but I used regedit before for other things ... so I worked my way around it fast I feel like an Idiot now ... Also thank to the rest of people here! It's been helpfull !!!
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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