I'm trying to fix my profile on Windows 7. Currently

  • %USERPROFILE% points to C:\Users\myUsername
  • My Documents is also at C:\Users\myUsername
  • \\profileServer\profiles$\myUsername has TWO "My Documents" folders
  • Neither of these folders contain what's in C:\Users\myUsername\My Documents
  • Navigating to %USERPROFILE% in Windows Explorer displays two copies of everything, one local and one copy from the server.
  • Programs use sort of a toss up between C:\Users\myUsername\My Documents or one of the two My Documents on profileServer.

According to our sysadmins, My Documents is supposed to point to the profile server, but other folders should be local.

How can I fix this so I have ONE copy of everything, with My Documents pointing to \\profileServer\profiles$\myUsername\Documents and everything else local?

To be honest, I don't understand why this is so difficult and confusing. For example, why does Windows allow displaying two folders with the same name in the same directory?

And why does inputting C:\Users\myUsername and %USERPROFILE% into Windows Explorer produce two different results? They should be identical.

Some screenshots

My directory on the profileServer

My local user directory, C:\Users\myUsername

Navigating to %USERPROFILE% in Windows Explorer

Showing that %USERPROFILE% is set to a local directory

  • Are you the system administrator? Got access to Active Directory? – Amicable Jun 20 '12 at 15:12
  • It looks like your user profile is corrupt. – Ramhound Jun 20 '12 at 15:35
  • @Amicable I am not the system administrator, nor do I have access to AD. I am a local admin on my machine. – Kris Harper Jun 20 '12 at 15:47
  • 1
    @Ramhound How can you tell? – Kris Harper Jun 20 '12 at 15:47

I hope I have your answer! I believe I reproduced this by copying the desktop.ini (hidden) file from the real my documents folder to any other named folder. This forces the look and feel of that folder to be My Documents even though it's something else.

To Fix Your Problem

  1. In explorer, navigate to the Tools->Folder Options menu
  2. Click on the View tab
  3. Find the Hidden files and folders item and under it, select Show hidden files, folders, and drives.
  4. Click OK
  5. In your %userprofile% folder, you need to identify the fake My Documents. Do this by opening the Property page of both items. One will have a tab named Location. This is your REAL My Documents folder. The real My Documents and the fake My Documents
  6. On the property page of the fake My Documents folder, click on the Security tab. This will show the location of the folder for your reference.
  7. Close the property pages and open up the fake folder
  8. Since you enabled Show hidden files in step #3, you will now see a transparent looking desktop file. Delete this file and return the previous folder. The original name of the folder will return. (Ignore the icon in my picture, I have this file associated with notepad++) desktop ini file controlling the look and feel of the folder
| improve this answer | |

You can change the location of your Documents folder, add more etc by Right Clicking on your "Documents" folder.

(Note, "Documents" folder under Libraries. Not "My Documents")

enter image description here

Either the folder itself, or the Start Menu shortcut is fine.

This window will pop up. You might have multiple folders listed here?

Window like so

You can then change the location of the libraries here.

| improve this answer | |
  • I do not see a window like this. i.stack.imgur.com/jthKw.png – Kris Harper Jun 20 '12 at 14:19
  • @root45 You've brought up the folder options for "My Documents" which is just a normal folder. Edited answer. – Amicable Jun 20 '12 at 14:42
  • Okay, I found what you are talking about. I only have one folder listed there. This doesn't seem to explain the two copies on the server plus my local copy. Moreover, when I save things to my local copy it doesn't appear on the server. – Kris Harper Jun 20 '12 at 14:56

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