Longtime subscriber Stephen wrote with a question since he had recently shifted from WinXP to Windows 7:
Seasons greetings Terry
I did have my data saved on a second drive on my old XP box and followed a good backup procedure
Now I have a new computer running Win7 I was told to have this data on my C drive and set them as Libraries in windows explorer.
I have 20 major folders of witch 6 were set as libraries
For three months I have been backing up my User profile to my backup drive daily and weekly to a network drive
In preparation of my year end file save and placement in my safety deposit box @ the bank I see my libraries are not seen in any backups
Are they hidden folders or not saved in my user folder.
They were put in a folder named Data Storage under my user folder but my files set as libraries are not seen in this folder
I do see the libraries are easier to use and search
I wrote back to Stephen to point him in the right direction. The "library" concept in Windows 7 is not particularly obvious.
A Windows 7 library is not really a directory (also called a folder). It’s actually a pseudo-folder that is designed to be a convenient way to make files that are in a number of different directories available in one place.
If you have a one-to-one relationship between libraries and folders, that is, if you create a library and "include" one folder in it, the library is little more than a convenient way to access a folder on your hard drive. If you save a file to the library, Windows 7 would actually save the file in the linked folder.
What happens if you link more than one folder (directory) to the same library? If you open the library in Windows Explorer, you’ll see the individual folders listed, and you can access them just as any other time. The really interesting thing is that the library will also show in its “root directory”, all of the files and folders that are included within those linked folders.
That brings up the question: What happens when you save a file to a library? Where does it get saved?
Read the answer in this article on my Terry’s Computer Tips web site: HOWTO: Saving Files in Windows 7 Libraries.
The final point about libraries, and pertinent to Stephen’s question, is that in order to back up your files, you have to back up the folders (directories) where you’ve really stored the files.