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On Windows 7 I moved my Document and Desktop folders (using Windows Explorer, not on command line) to an external hard disc (directory F:\backup\).

When the hard disc is not attached and I use File -> Open, in any Windows application I always get an error. The error tells that F:\backup\ not found. (Example of such applications are Word or even Notepad++). I have a Unix background and may be missing simplest Windows concept(s)/step(s).

On internet search most articles are related to inability to read or write to external hard disc.

Other symptoms:

  1. The problem goes away when the external drive is connected.
  2. Many icons disappear when the external drive is not connected.

What I have tried:

  1. Right Mouse clicked on Document folder. Made sure that it points to proper directory (C:\Users\uname\document)
  2. Did the above for Desktop folder.
  3. using regedit looked at default Document folder registry value. Nothing pointing to F: drive was found.

My guess for the solution: A registry setting is changed. How do I scan through all registry setting (may be programmatic - Perl, C/C++ preferred but anything is welcome) and find the one that points to the F: drive.

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If you moved the files to f:\backup and then disconnect it, they're not longer there but many Windows apps automatically check for the existence of your Documents folder at startup. With a directory name like "backup", I would think you would want to be copying the files there in order to create backup copies of the originals, not moving them... –  martineau Nov 26 '13 at 20:12

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