In our Active Directory we deploy a policy to our clients where the personal directory (My documents) is redirected to a file server of ours


In older systems everything worked fine. In Windows 7 some users are experimenting the following symptoms:

  • The Documents library is EMPTY
  • Where the documents library should be shown in Explorer an empty white icon is displayed. No caption.
  • Right clicking in the Documents library to edit the folders that are part of the libraries brings the dialog up. However, that dialog is unusable. No folder is present there and clicking Add folder does nothing.
  • Deleting the library and auto-creating it doesn't solve the problem
  • The shared directory can be accessed via UNC paths and it can be mounted as a shared drive as well. The library is still broken.
  • The shared drives are on a W2008 indexed server...
  • Using the Windows Library tool utility doesn't solve the problem.

What can the cause of this problem be and how can this be solved?


1 Answer 1


In notepad, open %appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Libraries\Documents.library-ms
The contents of the file should look something like this, you can also edit the file easily (Windows is pretty forgiving of users directly editing the file).

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<libraryDescription xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/windows/2009/library">
  <ownerSID>S-1-5-21-xxxxxx-{The uers's SID}-xxxxx</ownerSID>
    <property name="HasModifiedLocations" type="boolean"><![CDATA[true]]></property>


  • The user's actual SID has to be put in the file.
  • The folderType field in this example is for the built-in "Documents" folder. There's all kinds of interesting things you can do with folders and their types, but that's beyond the scope of this question.
  • This example has two locations. Notice the first one has the DefaultSaveLocation set to true, and the second doesn't have this field at all. You can have just one folder, or up to 50 folders; exactly one must have the default folder field.

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