The case of the missing Documents folder.

From time to time I back up my Documents and local cloud sync folders to my offline storage media. Prior to doing this backup I delete the old backup files on the offline media before replacing them with the updated files.

A few days ago things took a different twist when I deleted the Documents folder on the hard drive by mistake. I had deleted it from my storage media earlier and had no way to restore the missing files.

The first step was to make a new Documents folder but I knew that wouldn’t be enough. The next step was configuring Windows to recognize it as a system folder and not just another folder. I went to the Documents folder properties and tried adding its location to the list of library locations but that didn’t seem to work. It kept going to the public documents folder, which was not the intended outcome I had in mind.

Enter the TweakNow PowerPack, which saved the day. I used its Windows Secret utility to access the list of special folders, and sure enough, I saw that the location of the Documents folder was set to my external hard drive. I modified the location to the system defaults and one reboot later the issue was resolved.

But my data was still missing. I had a backup copy of the Documents folder I created last November but needed something more recent. Fortunately I had System Restore enabled and was able to restore the contents of the documents folder saved from the previous day. The local sync folders for my cloud backup service had the latest versions of my important data and I only had to copy those back to my Documents folder.

What a mess. I hope this never happens again.

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