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Windows 7 tips and tweaks

Libraries can't be trusted - refresh them

A new feature in Windows 7 is libraries. In previous versions of Windows we had the My Documents folder, the My Pictures folder, My Music and so on. In Windows 7 those folders still exist, but the default view is the Documents library, the Music library and so on. There's a difference and a library is a special type of Explorer view that shows the files in multiple locations. By default, the Documents library lists all the files in your private My Documents folder and also the Public Documents folder. The same is true of the Music, Pictures and Video libraries. It's a great feature, but it also seems to have a bug that you need to be aware of.

When copying and pasting and moving files around in a library, such as the Documents library, it is possible for the Explorer display to be wrong. Files or folders can be listed that aren't really there and files or folders may appear to be duplicated, or perhaps disappear.

I haven't worked out the exact cause, but have managed to reproduce the problem when copying files from one place to another in subfolders of a library. Pressing the F5 key (refresh) cleans up the file/folder listing and corrects it, so that's the solution. Whenever you do any copying, pasting, creating or deleting or renaming of files/folders within a library, press the F5 key to refresh the display and make sure it's correct, otherwise weird things appear to be happening.

One thing that was odd, was that when a file was duplicated I checked the properties of them both and one had the Windows pathname and the other had the Dos short name (8 characters max per file/folder name) as the location, whatever that indicates. Weird.

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