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Thread: HIdden Files

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    HIdden Files

    Is there a way to ferret out all the hidden files in my computer?
    And, why on earth do I need hidden files anyway?
    It's a single "hobby" computer at home.
    Win98SE
    T-450
    512MB
    IE6 (ugh)
    scanner and printer and CD burner, if that makes any difference. Thanks for past help

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    Re: HIdden Files

    The hidden files I assume you speak of are mostly put there by the operating system and occasionally other programs. The reason they're hidden is to "protect" us from ourselves! Seriously, I guess it's the vendor's way of trying to prevent something that won't run because of an accidental file deletion. Unless you really, really know for certain that there's something unnecessary there, you probably should forget about the hidden files and learn to live with it.

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    Re: HIdden Files

    As Doc says, these are Hidden System Files, and they are better off left alone. You start messing with those dang things, and the next thing you know, everything will be hidden: behind a blue screen of death.

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    Re: HIdden Files

    Use with caution... <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: HIdden Files

    To get a list of all the hidden files on your C drive type the following DOS command

    DIR C: /s /ah >hidden.txt

    the /s tells DIR to look in all sub folders
    the /ah tells it to only look for files with the hidden attribute
    the > hidden.txt tells it to put all the output in a file called hidden.txt which you can then type or edit

    StuartR

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    Re: HIdden Files

    thanks for all the replies - I actually know better than to mess too much with the settings. Maybe I'm misconstruing the screens that I'm getting. "Access denied - you do not have permission to move this file", or something to that effect. I'm trying to clean out old files, and find myself stymied more than seems reasonable.....Is there any other reason I'd be denied access to a file I created, and didn't download from the web????? I was thinking I could gather all the hidden stuff into one folder, then never
    touch it again........these things seem to be scattered all over the computer, in almost every folder! Help?

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    Re: HIdden Files

    Hi rabee,

    Windows won't allow you to delete or move files that are currently in use. Sometimes it gets confused about things and says files are in use when you don't think they are - usually because the application has crashed but it's still in memory, which you can see giving Windows a 3-fingered salute (Ctrl-Alt-Del). In that case, ending the errant application, or a reboot, usually fixes things. If that doesn't work, and you're SURE deletion won't affect anything else, you might need to boot to DOS and start messing around with attrib.exe to remove read-only, hidden & system attributes so that the files can be deleted:
    attrib -r-h-s [drive:] [path] filename
    Type attrib /? at the command prompt for more details.

    Alternatively, if they're the only files left in the folders concerned, and you want to get rid of the folders too, deltree.exe might be the way to go:
    deltree [drive:] [path] foldername

    Cheers
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

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    Re: HIdden Files

    I tried the DIR C: /s /ah >hidden.txt, but only got "File not found"..........Did I screw up the input?
    Also, I did this from the DOS from the Programs list in Windows. Correct?
    Hate to be so dumb, but I'm trying.....

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    Re: HIdden Files

    Hi Rabee,
    DIR C: /s /ah >hidden.txt
    will list all files in all folders on drive C with the 'hide' attribute set. If you're getting "File not found", that simply means there aren't any with that attribute set. You might get a different results with
    DIR C: /s /as >hidden.txt
    though, since system files are hidden even if the 'hide' attribute isn't set.

    Cheers
    PS: you get an output of all files & folders, with their attributes, via:
    attrib C:*.* /S /D
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

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    Re: HIdden Files

    DIR C: /s /ah >hidden.txt

    Worked perfectly well for me -- included everything in subfolders as well.

    Are system files really hidden or just more difficult to delete? (I have had "Show all files" set for so long I don't remember!)

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    Re: HIdden Files

    "Are system files really hidden or just more difficult to delete?"
    Yes, to both in most cases.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Re: HIdden Files

    I must say, I cannot demonstrate that behavior on this WInNT machine -- and I believe the same goes on all my WIn98 boxes. System files are ONLY hidden if they have the "H" attribute set -- as best I can tell. The "S" attribute does not hide the file or folder.
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    Re: HIdden Files

    You will find on Windows Me and XP that the "System" folders, i.e., Windows is a hidden folder. MS started doing this on Me which come out after the 2K and 98 that you have. If one does NOT have the option to show system and hidden files in Windows Explorer, every time one goes into the Windows folder you are greeted with a "Caution" note. This is to protect us from ourselves.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Re: HIdden Files

    Ah, you are talking about something completely different. That is NOT due to the System attribute, but instead due to the desktop.ini file within those folders.

    That DOES occur on Win98 -- but as best I can tell, that is NOT the issue! The question is whether System files (or folders) are hidden by the operating system. I argue that they are NOT. The "S" (system) attribute does NOT make a file hidden -- only the "H" (hidden) attribute hides a file (or folder).
    _________

    You are refering to the ability of the Desktop.ini file to present the user with the "warning" about viewing the contents of both the "Windows" (%windir%) and the Sytem folders. This has absolutely nothing to do with the file attributes and this can be completely eliminated by modifying the Desktop.ini files in those folders.

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    Re: HIdden Files

    Hi R2,

    If you set a file's system attribute from the command line:
    attrib +s filename
    the file will no longer be visible in DOS. The file also may not be visible in Windows explorer, depending on how it's configured. Even if the file is visible in Windows Explorer, you won't be able to remove the System attribute - the box will be greyed out, but it will show the check mark.

    So, going back to what I said before, DIR /ah only shows files that have the hidden attribute set. If a file has the system attribute, but not the hidden attribute, set DIR /ah won't show it but DIR /as will.

    Cheers
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

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