why is my system duplicating application data folders - now have about 20 duplicated folders

C:\Users\John-Gateway\AppData\Local\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data

 

This is not all them they seem to go on forever

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Answer
Answer

Hi

 

The problem is that the Application Data 'folder' is not a folder, it is called a Junction.

 

Some of the system folder names were changed in Windows 7 and to assure compatibility with older programs that are hard coded to look for these former names, Windows 7 uses Junctions with the older name to redirect these older programs to the new location.

 

The C:\Users\Den\AppData\Local\Application Data junction redirects to: C:\Users\Den\AppData\Local.

These Junctions have the permissions set to Everyone = Access Denied. They cannot be used as a folder to store any files.

 

This problem occurs when a user changes these permissions in an effort to access that junction. Changing the permissions allows any action to 'recursively walk through' the junction and this creates a recursion (Also called an infinite loop) the result of which is what you are describing.

 

Your best recovery option is to use System Restore to go back to a point before the permissions were changed. If this is not possible, see the following threads to see how other members fixed the problem.

 

Can't install or remove programs:

http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7install/thread/213de23f-1df0-4601-89a9-6a9fe72e206b

 

"Infinite" Application Data folders and subfolders:
http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7files/thread/e5c13e20-2271-4329-bde8-c93cb1988139


Why Are There Multiple Layers of "Application Data" Folders?

http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7files/thread/4ec2c92c-a691-432b-b86a-c76d2b9a3faa/#ef7a1f00-542c-4858-b4ac-1e8a75a30cc8

 

Regards

MVP 1999 - Present
Windows Insider MVP

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Last updated November 24, 2021 Views 1,078 Applies to: