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One of the Windows XP users I support (it's a Windows domain environment) has a huge, nightmarish collection of folders, files and shortcuts to folders and files on their desktop. This came about due to a basic misunderstanding of the difference between a shortcut and the object to which it points (a file or folder). I think this person now understands the difference, but the mess needs to be cleaned up: the desktop folder is local and by default, local folders are not backed up.

For now, I've added a special process that backs up the user's desktop folder to the server so that the main nightly backup will back it up, but that's a temporary band-aid.

So my question is: given this spagetti-like mess of desktop folders containing shortcuts to server folders which contain files, more folders and shortcuts to who knows what, are there any tools out there that could help to unravel and re-organize it?

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Best option is to force all their desktop files to the server, then delete all but the basic shortcuts. Make them start with a clean slate. – BBlake Apr 6 '11 at 19:28
@BBlake: That would normally be my first choice, but the user is one of my managers, so it's out of the question. He's very happy with his desktop organizational system. I should have made that clear in my question. An ideal solution would be a set of folders in his My Documents folder on the server that correspond to a set of desktop shortcuts. No actual documents or folders on the desktop, just shortcuts. – boot13 Apr 6 '11 at 19:46
You might investigate Stardock's Fences then. It's a great app for desktop organization. And I understand your dilemma. You can't tell the boss they're exemplify the 1d10t error. – BBlake Apr 6 '11 at 21:13
Explain to your manager it is a PICNIC error, problem in chair not in computer. I feel for you....If he is happy with his desktop organization system, why are you wanting to mess with it? – Moab Apr 6 '11 at 22:07
@Moab: 'PICNIC' - that's a good one. I've only heard it as 'PEBCAK' - Problem Exists Between Chair And Keyboard. The reason I want to clean it up is that I'd like to get rid of the extra backup step. – boot13 Apr 6 '11 at 22:24

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