Solved: Cannot view a folder which I know exists

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Drew1776

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Apr 24, 2006
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Dear Tech Support Guy,

I have searched the internet and while I have found problems related to this, I had a hard time finding the exact same problem or a solution.

I installed a legitimate program which allows me to generate custom maps for a game I have Europa Universalis III. As you can see, there are three folders in the "Map Generator" folder.


However when I open the program and attempt to load a map I am able to view a folder which I can't view in Windows Explorer


I am able to use the program to load files from this invisible folder. It is very worrisome that I have a folder on my computer that Windows explorer will not show me. I am administrator and have set myself as the owner of the root folder and the "Saved" folder in question. Under properties->Security I am listed as having all access except "special permissions" which I can't select. Under permissions I am listed as having "Full Control".

Under the "Auditing" tab it states it is unable to display the current owner. When I attempt to take ownership I get the following error.


I assume this folder exists, how can I view it in Windows Explorer? I would like access to the files.
On another note how do I ensure that this doesn't happen again? Why does windows allow files to be stored on my computer but not make them visible even to an admin? How would I detect and delete such a folder? This folder conatins ~100Mb of information but Windows won't show it's existence

I have tried to view hidden folder but it doesn't show up even then.

ARRRRGGGG.

Please help. Thanks,

Andrew
 

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Drew1776

Thread Starter
Joined
Apr 24, 2006
Messages
20
Using DOSBox I am able to confirm that the folder and the files exist. So I guess my question would now be how can I view folders which windows hides from adminstrators? In DOSBox I also noticed that there were other windows folders which do not show up in windows explorer. I assume these are part of the backup system.

Thanks,
Andrew
 

Drew1776

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Joined
Apr 24, 2006
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20
I found a discussion here http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7files/thread/77c04068-c834-4ec3-bf9a-da86f91ffb99
Starting with Vista, Microsoft decided it was time to start enforcing the rules (the reasons include increased system security and reliability). Whether you agree with it or not, that's where we are today.


However, many program break and crash if they tried to save a file somewhere and get blocked, so Microsoft provides compatibility for these older "naughty" programs by tricking them. Essentially, the program says "save this data to Program Files\AppName\Data", and Windows says "sure thing, boss!" ...but in reality, the data actually got saved to a place like c:\users\you\appData\secretPlace\AppName.


When the program says "what's inside Program Files\AppName\Data?", Windows answers with a hybrid of both the real folder and the secret virtual folder. The program thinks everything is normal, but Windows is pulling the wool over its eyes to provide security/reliability and still let the program work correctly.


When you go browse the folders on your own, you only see what's really there.
It descibes the problem and the solution. The folder was stored in C:\Users\Andrew\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files (x86) as descibed.

I keep posting because I hope this solution will be helpful to someone else with a similar problem!
 

Ent

Josiah
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Apr 11, 2009
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5,467
Congratulations on your research ability, and thank you for posting the solution.
 
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