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


fruh

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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)
 

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glasskuter

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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.
 

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Berton

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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.
 

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fruh

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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
 

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glasskuter

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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.
 

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fruh

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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
 

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fruh

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Winuser

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I remember when most of the programs I used didn't have to be installed. Now it's the other way around. :)
 

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fruh

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@Winuser portables are still great though
 

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Lance1

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NavyLCDR

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Actually, Windows does not need to be on C:. It can be installed to any other drive letter.
 

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Berton

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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:.
 

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NavyLCDR

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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
 

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