Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How I’m NOT going to delete my Windows profile folder again?

So I deleted the complete profile folder under C:\Documents and Settings\<my user id> on my work machine. Everything under that was gone, except for a few read-only folders that survived. My Documents, Application Data, Desktop, Local Settings, Favorites…gone. My Outlook archives, my OneNote notes and a few years worth of accumulated documents…all done for. Plus all my Java projects, since I configured git under that folder and all my git projects were there.
How did I do that? Well…I was creating a new Java project using Eclipse to demo the use of excel-testng. But since I didn’t want to use the default workspace location, I specified the location where I keep the git projects, which happens to be the profile folder. Usually when I use the default location, eclipse creates a sub-folder under the default location with the same name as the project as below:
But when I didn’t use the default location, it didn’t create sub-folder with the project name. It created the project right under that location!

And having not realized that and since I wanted to remove the project (can’t remember why), I proceeded to delete the project.

Now, to be fair to myself and going back to that moment just before I clicked OK, I have never ever before needed to not delete the project contents from disk. The whole idea of deleting it from eclipse workspace has always been to get rid of the project, completely. And that’s what I did. At that time, I found it a little surprising that it was taking a little longer that usual. But it was 5pm on Friday evening and things usually get a little strange around that time, so I was ready for anything. Just not ready for what happened next.
It probably took me less than a few seconds to realize what had happened since I had an explorer window open on that folder, and I saw blank white screen where I had my profile folder contents previously. And I’m not going to mention the words that came out of my mouth next, or the next few hours I spent trying to restore the contents unsuccessfully and recreate the git projects.
There’s a happy ending to this: I had got my laptop replaced just a week ago and had a backup of most of that folder. I’ll most probably never find out if there was anything I was NOT able to recover, and that’s a good thing!

1 comment:

  1. This is serious!!!

    You must be very systematic and orderly. For me, I have so many different directories, portable harddisk, CD/DVDs, and the PCs (some PC have 5 harddisk)/laptops where I have copied different things at different times, if anyone were crashed and gone, which happened before, I really will not feel the impact, until much later when I really tried very hard to search for the stuff again. "Messy person" u can call me.