Junction points in Windows

New Win10 user here coming from XP.


“For backward compatibility, the old locations have junction points that point to the new locations. For example, C:\Documents and Settings is now a junction point that points to C:\Users.”

From a DOS prompt* you can CD to c:\Documents and Settings. If you do a DIR from there you get no files. If it links to C:\Users then why doesn’t the DIR display what is in C:\Users?

*can’t even get to it in File Explorer (and to even see it you have to enable displaying hidden items)

\Documents and Settings has different default permissions to \Users, even though it is just a link to the latter. In particular, it has Deny List Folder/Read Data for the special group Everyone, whereas \Users has more conventional permissions.

Ximenean covers the how, but not the why. The reason why is to discourage people from using that folder in new stuff. Microsoft wants everyone to use C:\Users, and only included C:\Documents and Settings for the sake of older programs.

If you wonder how those programs work–it’s because they bypass C:\Documents and Settings and go straight to C:\Documents and Settings*username*. You should be able to do that in Explorer or at the command prompt.

Let me see if I can explain the problem I am experiencing, which I think is related to junction points and/or backwards compatibility.

My XP box backs up to an external USB hardrive

SOURCE C:\Documents and Settings\Doug\My Documents\Camara
DEST Z:\Doug\My Documents\Camara
On Win10, when I try to copy (by dragging/dropping in File Explorer)

SOURCE E:\Doug\My Documents\Camara (the external USB drive is E: on this box)
DEST C:\Users\Doug

it places the files in C:\Users\Default.Migrated\Camera

and then I have to manually move THAT to
C:\Users\Doug to finally get what I wanted in the first place, which is C:\Users\Doug\Camera

I don’t want to have to do that for every subdirectory in E:\Doug\My Documents\

So, you’re attempting to copy files TO Windows 10 that you copied FROM Windows XP, correct?

If that’s the case, what you’re seeing is actually the preferred behavior for copying an entire user profile (in xp, the documents and settings\doug; in 7+ it’s users\doug). That folder contains application data (including for built-in apps and parts of windows), settings, installation logs, temp files, and a lot of other stuff that isn’t necessarily compatible with later versions of windows.

What you really want is the documents, pictures, music, favorites, downloads, and other folders that you’ve knowingly added data to. The rest will just mess up your system and give you no end of headaches.

Basically you’re trying to install the entire seat from your old car into your new one, when all you really want is the seat covers and the stuff you kept in the arm rest/pockets.

When you do this:

you’re doing it wrong.

Instead you should be doing this:
SOURCE E:\Doug\My Documents\Camara (the external USB drive is E: on this box)
DEST C:\Users\Doug*Documents*

That’s IF you’re dragging the Camara folder itself. If instead you’re dragging the contents of the Camara folder, then you need to

SOURCE E:\Doug\My Documents\Camara (select all contents)
DEST C:\Users\Doug*Documents\Camara*
Which means you’ll need to pre-create that Camara folder before you try to drag stuff into it.
FYI, this user path changed starting with Win7. It isn’t some new Win10 thing.

Curiosity only, but why did you spell Camara that way instead of the traditional spelling: Camera? Or does this have nothing to do with picture-taking?

I understand that. That is why I created one subdirectory

C:\Documents and Settings\Doug\My Documents*

That is ONLY subdirectories with data files, for example

…My Documents\Excel*.xls
…My Documents\Manuals*.pdf
…My Documents\AutoCAD\DWG*.dwg

That’s what I meant to do. I’ll try again.

Apparently because I can’t spell. Never noticed it.

Note that under Win10 there ought to already be a C:\Users\Doug\Documents folder.

Documents, without the “My”, is a special pre-existing folder that functionally corresponds to the “My Documents” of the XP era. There is likewise a Pictures, Videos, and Music folder which correspond to the XP My Pictures, My Videos, and My Music.

You want to put 100% of the files and folders you create inside one of those 4 pre-existing containers.

That worked better. I must have miss dragged/dropped. It happens at 4:00 in the morning.