Files saved in Program Files what has Vista done with them?

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Files saved in Program Files what has Vista done with them?

Post by bradavon »

Following on from my UAC thread and Folder Virtualisation I thought I'd discuss where Vista saves files saved into:

Program Files + Any subfolders
Windows\System32 + Various other Windows folders

The exception to this rule are File Managers (such as Windows Explorer) which have Folder Virtualisation disabled.

You may have noticed when you or a program saves a file into one of the above folders it "appears" to save into the folder perfectly fine, the program is none the wiser but try and find it in Windows Explorer and it will not be there.

As I explained in my UAC guide it is bad practise to save "User Data" or "Program Config Data" into the folders mentioned above. Microsoft couldn't have prevented you from saving in them as thousands of programs would've stopped working so instead Vista fools such a program into thinking it's saving where it wants to save but in fact saves into:


Inside here you'll find a Program Files and a Windows Folder.

Best practise is to save "User Data" or "Program Config Data" elsewhere so Folder Virtualisation doesn't need to be used.

Which btw Microsoft have said Folder Virtualisation is a temporary measure, it will be removed from the next version of Windows. Presumably to give programmers enough time to upgrade their software so Data instead stored in these locations.

p.s - There is also Registry Virtualisation too. It works in much the same way.
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