Invisible files and / or folders in Windows 7

Wondering if anyone else has encountered this issue over a file or folder being invisible from Windows Explorer (Windows 7 Home Premium 32).

It works like this. Windows Explorer shows you have three subfolders in the \Program Files\ folder: Folder A, Folder B and Folder C.

However, when you go to save a file from Internet Explorer (by right-clicking and choosing Save), and in the resulting save dialog box in the \Program Files\ folder, you now see four subfolders: Folder A, Folder B, Folder C and Folder D. Interestingly, Folder D (which is invisible in Windows Explorer) has a lock on the folder icon when you see if in the Save dialog box.

Noticed this with both a folder and a file.

Is this caused by some sort of permissions issue? Anyone else finding this?

Thanks!

 

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Last updated October 31, 2018 Views 34,696 Applies to:
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This question was unjustly marked as answered (but seems to have been subsequently unmarked - good stuff!), so i posted a similar question here;

http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7files/thread/26fc08f9-1ff7-431f-9db4-5858f2aadba5

That question is marked as answered by me, because the guy did go to some effort investigating it and i decided to just give up on it.

But i still would really appreciate an answer from microsoft, because this behaviour is inconsistent with the way we usually expect windows to work and its clearly causing confusion for us users.

We still dont have a satisfactory explanation for this behaviour. To simply say that we shouldn't be saving files to the c drive root directory is not satisfactory in my opinion. This is behaviour that deserves an explanation because it results in files going missing.

Hi

 

This cannot be explained without a brief history of the issue.

 

Back in 2002, Bill Gates announced the  Trustworthy Computing Initiative, which was a result of the legendary security vulnerabilities in the Windows operating systems.

 

The core of the vulnerability problems was that everyone who used Windows was using an Administrator account which gives the user unrestricted access to any part of the system. This made it very easy for a malicious intruder to gain access to the computer through the vulnerable administrator account. Up to this point, most third party developers were not concerned about permissions for their products because they could code their programs to also have unrestricted access to any part of the system through the users administrator account.

 

Because of this fact, the Windows developers knew that implementing all of the new security protocols would cause many legitimate third party software programs, which were not updated to work with the new security measures, to break. To assist these third party developers, they decided to implement File and Registry Virtualization which would allow these programs to continue working. From the beginning, all of the published documentation for file and registry virtualization has stated that this measure is temporary to give third party developers the time to update their products. At some point in the future this virtualization will disappear.

 

When a software program is installed that has not been updated to work properly with Windows Vista or Windows 7, it will try to write directly to a secure part of the OS or registry. When this happens, Virtualization will intercept these attempts and redirect the program to an isolated, non-system, user-specific location, such as the C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Virtual Store folder.  In the Registry, when a program tries to write to a system wide location such as, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software, the write is redirected to the
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\VirtualStore key.

 

All of these redirects by the system are completely transparent to the application.


The bottom line is that if an application is subject to virtualization, it is less than compatible with the published best practices for windows software development.
 

Here are some links that should be helpful.

 

Common file and registry virtualization issues in Windows Vista or in Windows 7

 

Windows Vista Application Development Requirements for User Account Control (UAC)

 

User Account Control

 

Using a Least-Privileged User Account

 

Hope this helps.

 

Thank You for using Windows 7


Ronnie Vernon MVP
MVP 1999 - Present
Windows Insider MVP

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I have the same issue.  I saved a couple files to my C:\, but I cannot see them.

I saved a .mov file from the internet.  I right-clicked, save target as, saved it to my c:\   

When the file was done downloading (it was very large), I opened my c:\ drive, but the file did not appear to be there.

I right clicked the link again, save as, but the file showed up as already there in the save as box.  It has a lock icon in the bottom corner.  The only way I can see that the file is even on my computer is by right clicking on the original link and saving as.   I have linked to a couple screenshots to show you what I mean.

I have showed hidden files and folders, but I cannot see the file, but I know it is there.  I can even open and play the movies fromt he "save as" dialog box, but can't access them any other way.

http://www.eriktande.com/screenshot1.gif

http://www.eriktande.com/screenshot2.gif

How do I make these files visible and acessable?  I can't even delete them!

 

Thanks in advance!

Hi Erik

You cannot download files from the Internet and place them directly in the root of the C: drive or any other System location.

The reasons are that files from the internet are inherently the most dangerous files that you can place on the computer and they are the source of over 90% of all computer infections. The Root of the C: drive is also the worst place that you could possibly choose to place these files. If the file turns out to have malicious code, it could infect your entire system from that location.

To prevent this, files downloaded from the internet are assigned a Mandatory Integrity Level of 'Low'. This prevents them from being placed in System locations.

When a file with a Low integrity level is downloaded and you select a System location, it is automatically 'Virtualized' and placed in a more secure location. This function is transparent to the system to prevent error messages.

This function is implemented through the Protected Mode in Internet Explorer.

This secure location is in your User Account folders and is called the Virtual Store.

In your second screenshot, look at the  Toolbar  and you will notice a  'Compatibility Button'  has appeared. If you click that button, it will take you to the folder where the downloaded file is located.

More information is here:

Understanding and Working in Protected Mode Internet Explorer:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb250462(VS.85).aspx


Regards,


Ronnie Vernon MVP – Windows Desktop Experience
MVP 1999 - Present
Windows Insider MVP

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