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  1. #1
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    How do I unlock folders in Windows 7. Example C:\Documents and Settings, or C:\Users\<user name>\Application Data?


    Thanks for ANY help
    Richard

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    On Windows 7 legacy folders such as "Application Data" are not real folders they are junction points that just point to the real folder. When you display hidden system files they appear as shorcuts. They are in Windows 7 for compatability purposes so older software that does not know about the Windows 7 structure will still operate correctly.

    See KNOWNFOLDERID (Windows) for list of what is called "Known Folders".

    Joe
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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aheron View Post
    How do I unlock folders in Windows 7. Example C:\Documents and Settings, or C:\Users\<user name>\Application Data?


    Thanks for ANY help
    "C:\Documents and Settings" is not a folder. It has a folder icon with a shortcut arrow on it, but it is not a folder. It is a junction point, meant to redirect installation routines for older versions of Windows. It contains no files, and it cannot be opened. The same goes for "Application Data".

    It's a Windows 7 thing. Look in your "Documents" folder for your files.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

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  4. #4
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    "c:\Documents and Settings" is a shortcut to "c:\Users". "c:\Users\<username>\Application Data" is a shortcut to "c:\Users\<username>\AppData". Win 7 retains the old directory names for apps that use hard coded directory names (instead of asking the OS for the directory like they are supposed to). To see where such a shortcut leads, open a command prompt and then enter the "dir" command with the "/a" option. For example, to see the shortcuts under c:\users\<username> enter "dir c:\users\<username> /a".

    If you really want to "unlock" those directories, right-click on them and from the Security tab change the ownership to your self and then grant yourself access right. Of course, you need Win 7 Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate to do that - you can not do it with Home Premium (unless someone knows of a plugin that can give you access to that Security tab).

  5. #5
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    Many thanks.

    Is there a guide to where the "real" folder / files are on the hard drive?
    Richard

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aheron View Post
    Is there a guide to where the "real" folder / files are on the hard drive?
    See the link in post #2.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aheron View Post
    Many thanks.

    Is there a guide to where the "real" folder / files are on the hard drive?
    If you do NOT display Hidden System files then these junction points will not be displayed and only the actual folders will be shown. This is sort of the trade off when you select this option. You will then see it all, and confusion can ensue.

    The libraries are another area of confusion in Win 7. Basically the libraries are pointers to the actual folder containing this data, and are not the actual data, but do not delete the libraries because you will delete the actual folders. This site does have a more detailed explanation of Win 7 libraries.
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    Thanks to all. It is slowing sinking in. Hopfully I will understand this soon.
    Richard

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aheron View Post
    How do I unlock folders in Windows 7. Example C:\Documents and Settings, or C:\Users\<user name>\Application Data?


    Thanks for ANY help
    Aheron,
    Hello... For an "easier way" Download and run "Winbubble"(free program) http://unlockforus.blogspot.com/2008/11/download.html Once installed you can add "take ownership" ( file or folder ) to your "right click" context menu as an option.From this point on ...you can take "ownership" of any file \ folder, without jumping through a lot of "hoops". There are many more "tweaks" available that you can do to make life better for you and your PC. Regards Fred
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