Documents & Settings vs. Users folders

OS: Vista Business; upgraded from Win XP Pro SP3.  Joined to a WinSer 2003 
domain.

I just noticed that I have (near) identical files and folders in my 
C:\Documents and Settings folder and the C:\Users folder.  Is this because 
it was an upgrade?  Is there a way to eliminate one of them to free up some 
HD space?

-- 
Mike Webb
Platte River Whooping Crane Maintenance Trust, Inc.
a conservation non-profit (501 (c)(3)) organization
Wood River, NE 

0
Mike
12/15/2009 10:44:49 PM
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In article <8B0B66B9-1E62-479D-BC74-BF79A50895E6@microsoft.com>, 
Mike_in_Nebraska@newsgroup.nospam says...
> 
> OS: Vista Business; upgraded from Win XP Pro SP3.  Joined to a WinSer 2003 
> domain.
> 
> I just noticed that I have (near) identical files and folders in my 
> C:\Documents and Settings folder and the C:\Users folder.  Is this because 
> it was an upgrade?  Is there a way to eliminate one of them to free up some 
> HD space?

C:\Documents and Settings folder is probably just junction 
or directory symlink to Users folder.( for compatibility reason ).
there is more such redirections in Vista.

Practically, they are just 2 pointers to the same folder.
Whatever you change in C:\Documents and Settings,
will be changed in C:\users and vice verse.

Similarly, vista uses also plenty of file hardlinks
( didferent pathnames to the same file )
E.g. Many files in system32 ( or syswow64 ) folder
are just hardlinks to huge winsxs folder.


-- 
Poutnik
The best depends on how the best is defined.
0
Poutnik
12/15/2009 11:11:21 PM
In article <MPG.25923601dad28cdd989895@127.0.0.1>, me@privacy.net 
says...
> 

For more search for 
Vista command mklink,
junctions,
hardlinks
symlinks

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTFS_symbolic_link

-- 
Poutnik
The best depends on how the best is defined.
0
Poutnik
12/15/2009 11:15:24 PM
It's the same files, except Windows is using fake folders (which don't exist 
on a harddisk) for some special folders to make it look simpler.
Otherwise the path to REAL folder which does exist on harddisk is too long & 
complicated for general public.

In the good old days when computers were still used by people with brains, 
not kids or people with degrees in Philosophy or Gardening, when they were 
used by Academia, techies, Engineers, Scientists and Busienssmen, what used 
to be called "File Manager" showed you REAL FILES/FOLDERS.

Beginning from Windows95 back in late 1990's it started to also show "fake" 
folders which look simpler and merely show the same thing that exists in a 
real folder but in a simpler and quickly accessible location.

So the folder "Documents & Settings" doesn't really exist on a hardisk or 
whatever system storage you're booting from (usually C:\ harddisk), it's a 
phantom folder Windows  shows you.
If you want to know what is really on your harddrive you just have to 
memorize which folders are 'special ones" Windowds fakes/doubles.
Or you have to use a professional File Manager similar to old style, instead 
of Windows built-in Windows Explorer.

Remember also one new change in Vista & Windows7:
Microsoft has shortened some special folder names/paths, and rightfully so 
because sometimes their length causes problems with file copy/move if 
filename was also too long or was burried deep in subfolders.
However a giant number of old softwares still look/expect these folders to 
put their settings into them.
So beginning from Vista and Windows7, there's also "junctions".
A junction is an older foldername which is there just to tell old software 
"I am still here", biut when old software is writing to that folder WIndows 
automatically carries it over to the new foldername, instead of breaking 
down softwares and making customers angry.
For example there used to be a special folder called "My Computer" - the top 
level folder, which again keep in mind doesn't even exist on a harddisk.
It's just fake to make it look simple for simple people.
OK, but now it's called by a shorter name "Computer".
Another example - the older special folder "Application Data" is now called 
"AppData", but the old software will be desperately looking for that older 
longer foldername.
So Microsoft cleverly still leaves old Application Data name in filesystem, 
fake or not, it's there.  But when you write to it it ends up in Appdata 
instead.

Now try this:
click on those junction foldernames, e.g. "Temporary Internet Files" or 
"History" under Users folder.
You get an ERROR - "cannot read", "no access" or somethign to that effect.
Because it's a junction, it's not even a fake folder, it's NOTHING, just a 
phantom name.  Let alone being a real folder.  it doesn't exist but WIndows 
Explorer shows it just to be compliant with old softwares. 

0
Stan
12/15/2009 11:16:17 PM
Thanks!

"Poutnik" <me@privacy.net> wrote in message 
news:MPG.259236ed4c769f16989896@127.0.0.1...
> In article <MPG.25923601dad28cdd989895@127.0.0.1>, me@privacy.net
> says...
>>
>
> For more search for
> Vista command mklink,
> junctions,
> hardlinks
> symlinks
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTFS_symbolic_link
>
> -- 
> Poutnik
> The best depends on how the best is defined. 

0
Mike
12/16/2009 2:23:49 PM
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