Jump to content


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.

Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.


Combined desktop folder

  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 Uzag


  • Members
  • 13 posts
  • Local time:11:03 PM

Posted 03 August 2011 - 09:30 AM

When I install Windows XP, I like to move the desktop folder off the main drive so I can retrieve the desktop files in case Windows ever gets damaged.
However, I messed up this time and managed to overwrite the "user desktop"-folder with the "all users desktop"-folder. Due to this, whenever I place something on the desktop, two identical copies will appear. Not only is it confusing, but the files also seem to interfere with the other. How can this be fixed?

Edited by Uzag, 03 August 2011 - 09:31 AM.

BC AdBot (Login to Remove)


#2 Allan


  • BC Advisor
  • 8,602 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Jersey
  • Local time:06:03 PM

Posted 03 August 2011 - 01:28 PM

I really don't know what you're talking about. First, why would you MOVE the desktop folder since all it contains is shortcuts? Second, I honestly don't know what you did.

#3 Artrooks


  • Members
  • 1,463 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New York
  • Local time:06:03 PM

Posted 03 August 2011 - 02:08 PM

Like Allen said, the Desktop folders only contain shortcuts to programs, especially after a clean XP install. I do however, know individuals who like to keep additional folders and files in that "user" desktop folder.

Any shortcut (or folder) in "All Users" desktop folder will show up on "users" desktop but not the other way around.

I would delete any item in "All Users" Desktop folder that you don't want to show on other users desktops (possibly delete everything in that folder), then manually add or delete shortcuts and folders into the "user" desktop folder until it contains everything you need.

As always, backup the original Desktop folders to a USB drive or CD before you make any permanent changes.



#4 Uzag

  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 13 posts
  • Local time:11:03 PM

Posted 04 August 2011 - 03:27 AM

Thanks for the replies!

I went ahead and re-formatted the HD again to solve this issue. I presume there’s an easier way around but I was in a bit of a hurry.
I’ll try to re-describe the error anyhow, in case someone feel like digging into it! The error was caused by me being foolish so I image that I won’t ever end up in the same situation again; I got myself a trial-and-error learning, least to say...

I wanted to move my desktop folder from C:\ to D:\. So I grabbed the folder from this direction;
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Desktop
and moved it to;

I realized I had taken the wrong desktop folder and repeated the process with this one;
C:\Documents and Settings\User\Desktop

This is where I messed up. Both are named ‘Desktop’ and I accidentally made the later one overwrite the other. I figured it was no big deal but nope... rather then overwriting, they fused. This way I ended up with a “D:\Desktop” which resembled both the ‘User’ and the ‘All Users’ desktop at the same time.
Whenever I dropped a file on the desktop, I figure that the computer took it as I had put one file on the ‘User’ desk and another on the ‘All Users’ desk. But in reality, there was just one file.
This caused Windows to display two identical files on the desktop, although just one of them was functional. And if either of them was moved off the desk, the ‘ghost copy’ would go away with it. Thus, it was either two or none.

I got the impression that the desktop folders work as some sort of directions and by overwriting, I made them link to the same location. What would have been handy is if there been a way to redirect them by manual coding and make them ‘break them apart’. But then, I may be completely wrong on this.

(The way I use the desktop makes it very handy to have on the same participation as my file storage. I work a lot with media and this makes me manage loads of small but important files. Over time I’ve settled with using the desktop a lot, moving files on and off the desk to keep everything well-sorted.
In the end, what bugs me is that Windows starts a copying process when I move something between the two participations. By keeping the desktop folder on the same as the file storage, I can drag-and-drop without potentially copying or wasting time on right-click-drag-and-drop. It’s just some seconds, but with my file sorting it sums up to a lot.
It’s a tiny issue but it’s also very easy to move the Desktop folder so I see no reason for me to not do it. It’s just that I messed it up this one time... heh...).

#5 Eyesee


    Bleepin Teck Shop

  • BC Advisor
  • 3,541 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:In the middle of Kansas
  • Local time:05:03 PM

Posted 04 August 2011 - 12:10 PM

Personally, I wouldnt move the Windows desktop folder to another location as it is a pretty important part of Windows. The pointers to programs in the registry will then be wrong as Windows will still be looking in the default location.

You can, however, back up the desktop folder and then restore it if need be.
I do that for people frequently.
In the beginning there was the command line.

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users