How can I reverse folder corruption caused by moving the User folder?

Iqbal Hamid October 14, 2012
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I have networked several Windows laptops into a peer to peer Workgroup.

My intention was to move all user profiles off the local machines, onto a NAS drive. I decided to test the Folder Redirection method beforehand, by:

1. Renaming the “Saved Games” User folder on Gemma’s computer, to “Gemma’s Saved Games”

2. Moving the renamed, user folder “Gemma-PC\Users\Gemma\GEMMA’s Saved Games” from Gemma’s Vista computer, to “Ruhul-PC\Users\Ruhul” on Ruhul’s Windows 7 computer.

I was expecting the folder to be moved, so that I would see “Ruhul-PC\Users\Ruhul\Gemma’s Saved Games” on Ruhul’s computer. Instead the contents were moved and it appears that the two locations have been merged in to one, on the network. What has happened is, “Ruhul-PC\Users\Ruhul” has been converted to “Ruhul-PC\Users\ Gemma’s Saved Games” on Ruhul’s computer.

I would be grateful if anyone can advise on how I can reverse what I have done.


  1. Anonymous
    October 16, 2012 at 12:21 am

    Thank you everyone for your helpful answers. I have resolved the problem: All I had to do was to delete the desktop.ini file!. Why? There are 2 reasons:

    1. User folders (such as "Ruhul-PC\Users\Ruhul" or "Ruhul-PC\Users\Gemma’s Saved Games") do not normally have desktop.ini files.

    2. Folder Redirection from Gemma-PC to Ruhul-PC copied over the desktop.ini file FROM "Gemma-PC\Users\Gemma\GEMMA’s Saved Games" to "Ruhul-PC\Users\Ruhul". By doing so, it changed the dislayed name (or LocalResourceName) of the latter folder location TO "Ruhul-PC\Users\Gemma’s Saved Games".

    Why does Microsoft use desktop.ini? The answer: This is becasue, different language versions of Windows MUST still use the SAME ENGLISH version of the system folders. OTHERWISE, 3rd party software will never load! This is becasue the installer will not be able to locate key system folders. Yet, to still allow local language version of the folder name to be used, Microsoft implemented the desktop.ini file so that the local language version of system folders could be set there.

    Hope this helps others with the same problem.

    I would NEVER have has this problem IF Folder Redirection worked as you would have expected it to. Those of you out there who are not aware, please BEWARE: Folder Redirection DOES NOT move the folder and its contents to the target location (which was what I had expected)!!! Instead it only moves the CONTENTS of the folder only to the target location THEN renames the Localised name of the target location via injecting target location with the desktop.ini file from source location.

    Play around, you will see what I mean.

    • Justin Pot
      October 17, 2012 at 1:33 pm

      You came here seeking help but instead provided the web with information. I hope it's useful to someone else!

  2. ha14
    October 15, 2012 at 7:07 am

    What's New in Folder Redirection and User Profiles

    Folder Redirection Guide
    [Broken Link Removed]

    Folder Redirection – Best Practices

    How to stop Folder Redirection in Windows Server 2003 and in Windows 2000 Server

    perhaps this link can give some idea
    [Broken Link Removed]

    For the record in case anyone else is browsing for the answer you change the following REG Key, any new profiles are created in the specified directory.

    HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList ProfilesDirectory

  3. Sachin Kanchan
    October 15, 2012 at 2:00 am

    firstly, did you check the contents of the folder...

    see if there are any hidden folders or not