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My parents have a Windows XP laptop running Picasa, Dutch version of both. It's configured to put imported photos in C:\Documents and Settings\user\Mijn documenten\Mijn afbeeldingen, which is Windows XP's default My Pictures folder localized to Dutch. A while back I noticed disk space was going much faster than it should be. Turns out there was a Documents and Settings\user\Mijn documenten\$My Pictures pretty much the same size as the original one. This was well over a year ago.

I figured it to be an internationalization bug, the $My Pictures thing looks like a placeholder that didn't get resolved. I figured it'd get fixed soon. It didn't. I threw out Picasa, tediously cleaned up the mess it left behind and replaced it by Windows Live Photo Gallery.

My parents found WLPG to be unworkable and asked to get Picasa back. I reinstalled it, by now it's at 3.8.0 (build 117.29, 0). Wouldn't you have it, the mystery $My Pictures folder is back, 25GB of disk space has evaporated and it's the same mess it used to be. What's going on here? How do I stop it doing this?


I have used a duplicate file finder that I found in another SU question to create a list of duplicate pictures in the two pictures folders, grepped that into a list of just the dupes in the $My Pictures folder and turned that into a cmd script to delete the lot. This took away 23GB of the 25Gb of that mystery folder. I moved the remaining 2GB into the proper location and deleted $My Pictures. Upon starting Picasa, it didn't immediately return, so that's something. I'll check whether it's returned next time I get the chance.

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Have you tried this?
From the Tools menu choose Options and in the General tab there,
enable "Detect duplicates while importing".
Please reply with an update on what happens.

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This option is active. I haven't toggled it while investigating this yesterday, so best I know, it always has been active. – Barend Dec 26 '10 at 11:38

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