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My Documents..general question


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#1
bettei

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I have a newer HP computer with XP Media edition, and I noticed that the My Documents part of my computer is holding a lot of things I don't think need to be in there.
I have downloaded music from Sony Sonic stage, and there are at least 20 thumbnails of things relating to Sony, data base, sonic stage installer, music modules, and so on. And I also noticed a thumnail of the Media Center in there also. So it seems like everytime I open a program to use, a thumbnail goes in My Documents. I don't know much about computers, but it seems to me that it is a waste and doesn't need to be in there. I don't remember ever being asked each time I use a program, if I want it stored in there.

So my question is this, do I have something in my settings that is automatically putting these thumbnails in there, and is there a way to change it? I am afraid of deleting something necessary, but don't know for sure what should be in there either?

Any advice?
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#2
Neil Jones

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Many new programs insist on dumping things in My Documents when you install them. The logical argument for this isn't really clear, as there's not a lot in there that can't sit in a more suitable place. There are exceptions though such as Saved Games where its useful to have them as they then get included in any backup routine of the documents. Many programs insist on saving things also into My Documents as a logical starting point.

I wouldn't worry about it. Go with the flow.
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#3
1101doc

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If it is in "My Documents," it is not vital to your system or any active application. Those sorts of files are saved in other places. "My Documents" belongs to me. It is a place where I can delete, change, copy, or move around anything I want. It is a subfolder of my account. (User profile.) Any program dumb enough to put anything important in there isn't worth having anyway. So the real question is do YOU want those files? Might they be important information that you may want in the future? If you have lots of drive space, keep anything you think you might want. You could copy them to CD if you like, and then delete them. It is possible that you have set "My Documents" as a default downlod folder in your browser or download manager. Worth checking. Also, a "Details" view of the files will provide more information about each file.
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#4
bettei

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Exactly how would I check to see if it is a default setting? It looks to me like it is somehow, and I am afraid of deleting until I know for sure.
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#5
1101doc

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Which browser are you using? Any download manager active?
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#6
bettei

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Internet Explorer, and I don't know where I would check to see about the download manager.
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#7
1101doc

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Control Panel>Internet Options>Security tab. Click the button that says "Custom level." Lots of stuff here, just scroll down untill you get to "Downloads." Mark the radio button for "Enable" under "Automatic prompting for file downloads." "File download" should be enabled, and fonts are up to you. "Prompt" always offers an option at the time. I suggest that you make no further changes to the list until you understand the consequences of the change. Like all such changeable lists, alterations should be made one at a time so you know what went wrong if it does. "OK" your way out. Now when you choose a download you will get a small window that asks "Open or Save?" I suggest that you choose "Save." This will open another window in which you can browse to the location in which you want to save the file. I have a special folder that I use for all the programs that I download. I always save to there, and then run the installer from my saved file. That way, if I need to un/re-install I already have the installer. I put photos in one folder, and documents in (duh) My Documents. Makes it easier for me to know where to look for something. As you can see by my signature, I use Opera all the time. Not going to argue for "better," but for me, switching from IE to Opera made it all "simpler." I find the controls for Opera much more straightforward and intuitive. Might want to give it a try. If you do, and would like assistance in configuring it to your needs, post a topic about it in the "Web browsers" section of the forum and send me a personal message with the link. I'll be glad to help.
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#8
Tyger

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While everyone is handing out advice I might as well join in. Folders and subfolders are the keys to organizing your computer and minimizing the effort involved in finding things. Any of these app that download to My Documents can usually be set to download to a folder of your choice, that folder does not have to be in My Documents, it can be in the C: drive or another drive if you add one. For general downloads I suggest just making folder called Downloads (surprise, surprise) in the C: drive and using it with as many applications as will let you, then just move stuff from it to any subfolder of your choice. That way when you open My Documents you won't have to deal with 1000 files with thumbnails taking forever to load.
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#9
Whiskeyman

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I create multiple folders in My Documents one of which is Downloads. I moved My Documents folder to another partition. Right now it's size is over 3GB. It contains 192 folders with over 2,200 files. The Downloads folder is over 725MB. All of this is after a full morning of cleaning out old useless files.

The My Documents folder is my workshop, so to speak.
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#10
bettei

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That's much like organizing pictures in to folders then, good idea. I was just leary of deleting or moving them until I asked about it. And I will check my download manager too. Thanks.
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