Why aren't all folders like the My Documents folder?


fruh

Well-known member
Member
VIP
Local time
7:54 AM
Posts
161
OS
Windows 11
The My Documents folder (as well as Desktop, Download, Music, Pictures, Videos folders) works as described here Configuration of the My Documents folder - Microsoft Support, which to me seems rather smart since you can change the location of that folder and all the programs that need it will still find it.

So why doesn't evert folder in Windows works like that?
Just imagine moving the Programs or ProgramData folder to another drive without breaking stuff o_O

(just a friendly discussion)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell g5 5590
    CPU
    intel 9th gen
    Memory
    8GB LOL
    Graphics Card(s)
    nvidia
    Hard Drives
    C: nVME kioxia SSD
    D: SATA toshiba HDD
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender (if it hasn't been disabled yet)
So why doesn't evert folder in Windows works like that?
Simply because event viewer is part if the OS and the premise is and always has been the OS has to be on C. It is due to the way MS designed the OS.
Just imagine moving the Programs or ProgramData folder to another drive
You can move programs, but it is highly advised you not do it as programs write certain registry keys to Windows that integrate them into the OS when they are installed.

Programs can be moved to another drive using several methods. You can also change the default installation path for programs.



Your personal folders are not part of the OS and all registry keys relating to them are in completely different registry folders separating them from the OS. This is why jacking with the location of your personal folders may keep your account from working if you screw up, but does not prevent Windows from working.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 22631.3737
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 7080
    CPU
    i9-10900 10 core 20 threads
    Motherboard
    DELL 0J37VM
    Memory
    32 gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    none-Intel UHD Graphics 630
    Sound Card
    Integrated Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Benq 27
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1tb Solidigm m.2 nvme+256gb SKHynix m.2 nvme /External +512gb Samsung m.2 sata+1tb Kingston m2.nvme
    PSU
    500w
    Case
    MT
    Cooling
    Dell Premium
    Keyboard
    Logitech wired
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
    Internet Speed
    so slow I'm too embarrassed to tell
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender+MWB Premium
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro 22H2 19045.3930
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 9020
    CPU
    i7-4770
    Memory
    24 gb
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Benq 27
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    256 gb Toshiba BG4 M.2 NVE SSB and 1 tb hdd
    PSU
    500w
    Case
    MT
    Cooling
    Dell factory
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
    Keyboard
    Logitech wired
    Internet Speed
    still not telling
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender+MWB Premium
What @glasskuter said about C: drive goes way back to DOS and the AT-style motherboards I started building in a shop in '94, A and B were floppies, C: was the boot/system drive. AT boards used ports that connected to drives via 40-pin/conductor cables with one end plug being the Master drive C: and the middle plug being the Slave D:, usually had 2 such ports for up to 4 drives. The floppy drives had 1 port that used a 34-Cable same way.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win11 Pro RTM
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 3400
    CPU
    Intel Core i5 11th Gen. 2.40GHz
    Memory
    12GB
    Hard Drives
    256GB SSD NVMe
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro RTM x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 5890
    CPU
    Intel Core i5 10th Gen. 2.90GHz
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Onboard, no VGA, using a DisplayPort-to-VGA adapter
    Monitor(s) Displays
    24" Dell
    Hard Drives
    512GB SSD NVMe, 2TB WDC HDD
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender/Microsoft Security
Everything you guys said is really interesting, though I really can't imagine who on earth would move core parts of Windows to another drive.
Of course, in that case folders like ProgramData and AppData shouldn't be shared between OS and user programs (I think, the one in my first post was just an example)

Anyway, I think it would be a better thought system overall if all folders worked and were supposed to work like My Documents etc, it's quite reasonable that in the current OS they can't since it's not designed to work that way
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell g5 5590
    CPU
    intel 9th gen
    Memory
    8GB LOL
    Graphics Card(s)
    nvidia
    Hard Drives
    C: nVME kioxia SSD
    D: SATA toshiba HDD
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender (if it hasn't been disabled yet)
it's quite reasonable that in the current OS they can't since it's not designed to work that way
It's not just the current OS, but all windows OS as far back as I can remember. Windows may have gone through a lot of changes over the years, but the core file structure is the same. Programdata is an OS folder. Appdata is a user folder.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 22631.3737
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 7080
    CPU
    i9-10900 10 core 20 threads
    Motherboard
    DELL 0J37VM
    Memory
    32 gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    none-Intel UHD Graphics 630
    Sound Card
    Integrated Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Benq 27
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1tb Solidigm m.2 nvme+256gb SKHynix m.2 nvme /External +512gb Samsung m.2 sata+1tb Kingston m2.nvme
    PSU
    500w
    Case
    MT
    Cooling
    Dell Premium
    Keyboard
    Logitech wired
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
    Internet Speed
    so slow I'm too embarrassed to tell
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender+MWB Premium
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro 22H2 19045.3930
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 9020
    CPU
    i7-4770
    Memory
    24 gb
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Benq 27
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    256 gb Toshiba BG4 M.2 NVE SSB and 1 tb hdd
    PSU
    500w
    Case
    MT
    Cooling
    Dell factory
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
    Keyboard
    Logitech wired
    Internet Speed
    still not telling
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender+MWB Premium
It's not just the current OS, but all windows OS as far back as I can remember. Windows may have gone through a lot of changes over the years, but the core file structure is the same. Programdata is an OS folder. Appdata is a user folder.

Leaving aside my bad examples (since admittedly I didn't know the difference between appdata and programdata), what matters is what I meant to say.

Anyway, of course all Windows OSs were like the current one. I was thinking about the future, not referring to the past (would have been definitely useless anyway).

This was more of a conceptual discussion on "how good would it be" if all the Windows folders were designed to work like My Documents etc rather than finding the exact reasons. Things work in a certain way because you design them to work like so.

It would be definitely cool if one day the file structure could work more like My Documents does while retaining compatibilty with the old approach, for sure it would be an interesting design challenge
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell g5 5590
    CPU
    intel 9th gen
    Memory
    8GB LOL
    Graphics Card(s)
    nvidia
    Hard Drives
    C: nVME kioxia SSD
    D: SATA toshiba HDD
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender (if it hasn't been disabled yet)

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell g5 5590
    CPU
    intel 9th gen
    Memory
    8GB LOL
    Graphics Card(s)
    nvidia
    Hard Drives
    C: nVME kioxia SSD
    D: SATA toshiba HDD
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender (if it hasn't been disabled yet)
I remember when most of the programs I used didn't have to be installed. Now it's the other way around. :)
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Canary Channel
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    PowerSpec B746
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-10700K
    Motherboard
    ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming 4/ax
    Memory
    16GB (8GB PC4-19200 DDR4 SDRAM x2)
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 TI
    Sound Card
    Realtek Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung SAM0A87 Samsung SAM0D32
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    NVMe WDC WDS100T2B0C-00PXH0 1TB
    Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB
    PSU
    750 Watts (62.5A)
    Case
    PowerSpec/Lian Li ATX 205
    Keyboard
    Logitech K270
    Mouse
    Logitech M185
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge and Firefox
    Antivirus
    ESET Internet Security
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Canary Channel
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    PowerSpec G156
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-8400 CPU @ 2.80GHz
    Motherboard
    AsusTeK Prime B360M-S
    Memory
    16 MB DDR 4-2666
    Monitor(s) Displays
    23" Speptre HDMI 75Hz
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 970 EVO 500GB NVMe
    Mouse
    Logitek M185
    Keyboard
    Logitek K270
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge and Edge Canary
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
@Winuser portables are still great though
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell g5 5590
    CPU
    intel 9th gen
    Memory
    8GB LOL
    Graphics Card(s)
    nvidia
    Hard Drives
    C: nVME kioxia SSD
    D: SATA toshiba HDD
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender (if it hasn't been disabled yet)

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 22H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom Build By Me...
    CPU
    Intel 12th Gen Intel Core i5-12600KF, 3686 MHz
    Motherboard
    GIGABYTE Z790 AORUS ELITE AX LGA 1700 Intel Z790 ATX
    Memory
    CORSAIR Vengeance 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin PC RAM DDR5 6400 (PC5 51200) Dual-Channel
    Graphics Card(s)
    GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4060, 3x Fans, 8GB GDDR6 OC
    Sound Card
    AMD High Definition
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung 32" 60Hz 4ms Curved PLS LED
    Screen Resolution
    1920 X 1080
    Hard Drives
    WD Blue NVME M.2 1T Boot Drive
    WD Blue SSD 1T
    WD Blue NVME M.2 2T
    WD Elements 6T Backup
    PSU
    EVGA SuperNOVA 850 GT, 80 Plus Gold 850W, Fully Modular,
    Case
    Fractal Design Pop XL Air RGB Black TG ATX High-Airflow Clear Tempered Glass Window Full Tower
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 chromax black, Dual Tower CPU Cooler with Dual NF-A15 PWM 140mm Fans (Black)
    Keyboard
    Devistator 3
    Mouse
    Inphic PM6 Pro
    Internet Speed
    Fiber Optic: Download 332.7 Mbps / Upload 331.5 Mbps
    Browser
    Vivaldi (64bit)
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
  • Operating System
    Window 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    DELL Inspiron N7110
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-2310M CPU @ 2.10GHz
    Motherboard
    Dell Inc. 0YH79Y
    Memory
    4 GB DDR3
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel(R) HD Graphics 3000
    Sound Card
    High Definition Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17.3 Inch Display
    Screen Resolution
    1600 X 900
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 860 EVO 500GB
    Internet Speed
    Fiber Optic: Download 332.7 Mbps / Upload 331.5 Mbps
    Browser
    Vivaldi 64 bit
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
Actually, Windows does not need to be on C:. It can be installed to any other drive letter.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Homebuilt
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi)
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Education
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 7773
    CPU
    Intel i7-8550U
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Nvidia Geforce MX150
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Toshiba 512GB NVMe SSD
    SK Hynix 512GB SATA SSD
    Internet Speed
    Fast!
Actually, Windows does not need to be on C:. It can be installed to any other drive letter.
The only issue I've seen in that is assuring the desired drive letter is chosen in a Custom install of programs as they may default to C:.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win11 Pro RTM
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 3400
    CPU
    Intel Core i5 11th Gen. 2.40GHz
    Memory
    12GB
    Hard Drives
    256GB SSD NVMe
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro RTM x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 5890
    CPU
    Intel Core i5 10th Gen. 2.90GHz
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Onboard, no VGA, using a DisplayPort-to-VGA adapter
    Monitor(s) Displays
    24" Dell
    Hard Drives
    512GB SSD NVMe, 2TB WDC HDD
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender/Microsoft Security
The only issue I've seen in that is assuring the desired drive letter is chosen in a Custom install of programs as they may default to C:.
What if there is no C: drive?

capture.jpg
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Homebuilt
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi)
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Education
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 7773
    CPU
    Intel i7-8550U
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Nvidia Geforce MX150
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Toshiba 512GB NVMe SSD
    SK Hynix 512GB SATA SSD
    Internet Speed
    Fast!
Back
Top Bottom