Subscriber Tom Linton wrote about his Windows Vista mystery and frustration, when he started moving his data from C: drive:
This is a follow-up to discussions of moving data off the C: drive so that when I do a system backup I am only backing up the OS and added programs, not all the data. As I may have mentioned in an earlier email, I have taken this advise and have proceeded to move my data to D: drive.
I have run into a snag with “My Pictures”. I started with creating a “D:\Data” folder and then added a “D:\Data\My Documents” folder for continuity in naming. I created a shortcut on my desktop for the new “My Documents” folder and proceeded to copy all the contents of the normal “My Documents” folder to it. Everything seemed to go so well.
I use PICASA 3 as a convenient program for cataloging my images and for posting images to GOOGLE Pictures.
Well, PICASA cannot find the new “My Pictures” folder, “D:\Data\My Documents\My Pictures”. Windows Explorer shows it just fine. Upon further investigation I find “cmd.exe” cannot find my new “My Pictures” folder either.
The above is a tale of frustration that has gone on for a number of days.
I finally solved this myself. I had done repeated searches using the “Start” area for “My Pictures” with no results showing up in the D: drive. I finally did a drive specific search by bringing up “My Computer” in Explorer and conducting a search on the D: drive. WOW! There was my missing “My Pictures” folder. Looking at the properties I found the folder was marked “hidden”. Why, I can not fathom. Un-hiding it solved the problem.
I hate MS, what a__ holes. Why make it so difficult to do anything in Windows?
Now I come to my real question. Another one based on frustration. A lot of areas on my computer are “off limits” to me the owner, administrator, etc. How do I STOP getting “Access is denied” errors for a lot of different folders on my computer? I have disabled UAC, but that did not help. It is “my data”, I should be able to do anything I want with it.
Sorry this email was so long. I guess I am just venting my frustration. I started out my computing using DOS 3. With each improvement to the OS, Microsoft seems to do its best to “roadblock” its users. I resisted going to VISTA as long as I could, but the necessity of buying a laptop forced the situation. And I bought too soon to upgrade to 7 for free. Currently I am stuck with VISTA until an upgrade opportunity comes along.
If I could get my favorite programs in another OS I would be gone in a flash. 😉
I pointed out how to tell Windows how to find the My Documents, My Pictures, and other pre-defined directories in last week’s newsletter. There’s another way, too — you can edit directly in the Registry by using RegEdit. However, if you haven’t used RegEdit before, you should make a backup of the Registry — an error in the Windows Registry can make Windows unbootable.
You start RegEdit by using the Run command on the Start Menu (or type it in the search box on Windows 7, if you haven’t changed from the Windows 7 default, which hides the Run command). Then, using Edit > Find, we would search for My Pictures.
By right-clicking on the Registry Key that says My Pictures, we get a pop-up context menu that allows us to pick Modify.
The resulting dialog box allows us to change the location where Windows will look for My Pictures.
That may be all Tom needed to solve his problem so that programs could find My Pictures automatically. Or, that may have been completely solved when he removed the Hidden flag on the directory — I have no idea how it got hidden, unless he accidentally added the Hidden attribute.
Of course, none of this will help if the program itself is hard-coded with the address of My Pictures. That used to happen all the time. However, in today’s Windows world, the location differs from Windows version to version and from Windows user to Windows user. But, the program might figure out where it is the first time a user runs the program, and then store it for quicker use later. In that case, the fix would be to reinstall the offending program.