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I believe I have weird placement of my files on my Windows computer. I'm not sure what the correct way it is supposed to be. For example, all the programs that I use are located in C:\Documents and Settings\David Godfrey\Start Menu\Programs. Is it really supposed to be in Documents and Settings?

I would expect the directory to be something like C:\Users\David Godfrey\Start Menu\Programs. Why does it use Documents and Settings and how can I fix that?

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

Yes, it's really supposed to be so. Windows 2000 and Windows XP always put user profiles under \Documents and Settings; this was changed to \Users only starting with Windows Vista. (Although it's possible to relocate them in XP through Registry.)

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Addendum: Windows 7 fakes Documents and Settings with a junction to c:\users – cybernard Feb 23 '14 at 22:31
What a relief! I thought I messed up my computer somehow! – David Feb 23 '14 at 22:44
Editing the registry directly to relocate those folders is not really supported at all. See The long and sad story of the Shell Folders key. Also, official source of what cybernard commented about: Junction Points – and31415 Feb 23 '14 at 23:48
@and31415: I am not talking about Shell Folders. I am talking about moving the entire profile through HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList. – grawity Feb 23 '14 at 23:49
@grawity I see. Care to point it out explicitly? – and31415 Feb 23 '14 at 23:52

Yes, should be so. See some changes that took place in the folder structure between xp and windows 7.

The list below describes some of the the commonly used folders and
their new locations.

XP: Documents and Settings
Windows 7: Users

XP: Documents and Settings\$USER$\My Documents
Windows 7: Users\$USER$\Documents

XP: Documents and Settings\$USER$\My Documents\My Music
Windows 7: Users\$USER$\Music

XP: Documents and Settings\$USER$\My Documents\My Pictures
Windows 7: Users\$USER$\Pictures

XP: Documents and Settings\$USER$\My Documents\My Videos
Windows 7: Users\$USER$\Videos

XP: Documents and Settings\$USER$\Application Data
Windows 7: Users\$USER$\AppData\Roaming

XP: Documents and Settings\$USER$\Local Settings
Windows 7: Users\$USER$\Local

XP: Documents and Settings\$USER$\Start Menu
Windows 7: Users\$USER$\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu

XP: Documents and Settings\$USER$\Templates
Windows 7: Users\$USER$\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Templates

XP: Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu 
Windows 7: ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu

XP: Documents and Settings\Default User
Windows 7: Users\Default


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