Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: Hidden files

28 Mar 2014   #1

Hidden files

I just installed win7 over xp on older pc (really a dual boot but win7 not on a primary partition). All went well except I noticed I was not able to see several files. Those that I do see in ksh (running mks toolkit on windows). The files are ordinary and not related to windows, profile.ksh, environ.ksh, .. . As in xp you can select what is visible in explorer window and everything that can be seen has been requested.
This did not occur with win8 on another pc which does the sudo win7 look alike.
This also seems to be the case in root directory.
Is this an owner thing somehow? I am the admin and only user.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2014   #2


I just got clue but not sure where to go with it.
I can create a win7 visible directory via mks-tools but no files.
Office tools can not write in root either.

I look at properties on root dir and I have full permissions but ms-word can't write to root, and mks-tools can but win7 doesn't see them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2014   #3

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)

Not clear on your setup, or whether your questions concern folders/files created while in Win7 or XP, and then trying to view them from the other OS.

Incidentally, Windows itself does not need to be installed into a "primary" partition. It can go into a "logical" partition just as well and work perfectly from there. All that is required on a system is to have (a) some hard drive defined as the FIRST drive in the boot sequence (as configured in the BIOS), and (b) one partition on that particular drive set as ACTIVE, and (b) that ACTIVE partition MUST BE "PRIMARY", i.e. it cannot be a "logical" partition. It is this ACTIVE+PRIMARY partition on the FIRST drive in the boot sequence where the BIOS goes to begin the boot process, and it is there where Boot Manager is supposed to be present. From there, Boot Manager examines its "boot menu" to see if there is only one bootable OS, or possibly multiple bootable OS's (which can be on other primary or logical partitions, on the same or different hard drives).

In an old WinXP install, Boot Manager is installed into the very same partition that the WinXP operating system is also installed... and this is seen as drive letter C to Windows itself. So this particular install configuration ends up with the same single one-and-the-same partition as ACTIVE and also is set to PRIMARY (to satisfy the BIOS), and is also where Boot Manager lives... which then discovers WinXP is actually in the very same partition and continues the boot process using WinXP in that partition. Windows then comes up and assigns its own partition a letter of C.

In a typical standard Win7 install, the install process creates a small 100MB "system reserved" partition which is (a) marked as ACTIVE, and (b) created as a PRIMARY partition, and (c) Boot Manager and boot menu are placed into it. This satisfies what the BIOS wants at boot time, to begin the boot process. Then the Win7 installer creates a second large partition where it places the actual Win7 operating system. This second partition is also created as PRIMARY by default, but if you override the install defaults you can put it anywhere, in any partition (primary or logical) on any drive you choose. Again, it's only the one-and-only ACTIVE partition on the FIRST drive in the BIOS boot sequence which MUST be PRIMARY, and where Boot Manager is expected to live.

So, if you install Win7 as a second bootable OS into an environment which already is a WinXP system (and where Boot Manager from WinXP already lives on the same single ACTIVE+PRIMARY partition as WinXP), the Win7 install will simply replace the old WinXP Boot Manager and boot menu in that partition with the new format Win7 Boot Manager and boot menu. And it will place Win7 wherever you point to (i.e. whatever other partition, logical or primary, you point to on any drive). Then the boot menu is updated to point to both (a) the old WinXP system, or (b) the new Win7 system... which actually will be set to be the default bootable OS of the two available. And if you choose to boot to Win7, then THAT partition will be drive lettered C (from the perspective of Win7), with the old WinXP partition being assigned a different drive letter... say D, or E, or something other than C.

Similarly, if you choose to boot to WinXP, again WinXP will letter its own partition C and the new Win7 partition will be given D, or E, or whatever. Note that except for C (which cannot be changed), after things are stabilized the drive letters on any other CD/DVD or external removable drive/device can then be changed through DISKMGMT.MSC to be whatever you want.

Note that drive letters might appear different when you are booted to WinXP or Win7 on the same machine, but we both know we're looking at the same drives/partitions.

Now... can you please post screenshots (from XP and/or 7) that demonstrate what your problem is. What does it look like when whatever you're trying to see looks "correct", and what does it look like when it's not. Don't forget to specify whether the perspective for the screenshot is XP or 7.

There might be an ownership or authorization problem if you're in XP and trying to write to the 7 partition, or vice versa. This needs to be squared away by adjusting "permissions" and/or "ownership". This is not unusual and is very common when adding Win7 to an existing WinXP environment to produce and preserve two bootable OS's, as opposed to simply moving on to Win7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Mar 2014   #4


I have winxp c: part, a copy of same on e: and win7 on f: part. I can boot to both. winxp looks like it has for a long time. win7 boots like 7 and behaves like 7.
Inspecting this dual boot installation I noticed files that are in root dir were not visible via win7. These files are there and visible via k-shell as seen through mks-tool kit. MKS-Tool kit is not an operating system, instead a tool-kit that's been around since DOS days and are loaded as tools. The problem is not with the tool kit it doesn't try to control the operating system just works on it.
I can not write a file to root via office, any sub-dir is fine. I can write files and dirs via mks-tools every where. Win7 only sees the directories made at root level. It will see all files in sub-dirs.

Don't see need for shots but here they are, please see the mks snap shows more content than win7 does. Also notice they both report the same dirs. mksdir/

Attached Thumbnails
Hidden files-screenhunter_04-mar.-28-09.39.jpg  
Attached Images
Hidden files-screenhunter_03-mar.-28-09.38.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2014   #5

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by klong915 View Post
I have winxp c: part, a copy of same on e: and win7 on f: part. I can boot to both. winxp looks like it has for a long time. win7 boots like 7 and behaves like 7.

But remember, drive letter F is simply the 7 partition as viewed while under XP. While under 7, that partition is its own C (though obviously not the same C as XP calls itself when booted to XP).

So in order to have a proper discussion, it's really important that you indicate which OS you are booted to when you discuss a problem or describe a screenshot.

In the screenshots you've posted, since you've shown the 7 partition as F that means to me you are booted to XP and looking at the 7 partition using XP Windows Explorer . I'm also assuming that the output of MKS you show was produced while running MKS under XP, as opposed to when running MKS under 7. Yes??

Can you produce that MKS display in some type of alphabetical sequence that is more readable, so that it can be easily matched up against the Explore equivalent and any differences easily seen??

(sorry... I'm not familiar with MKS, but I can obviously understand its output if intuitive and easy-to-read)

Inspecting this dual boot installation I noticed files that are in root dir were not visible via win7.
You've only shown the root of F (i.e. the 7 partition) while booted to XP. You haven't shown the same partition while booted to 7 (when it is lettered C, from 7's perspective).

So if there is some difference in the view of the root of that partition where 7 lives, depending on whether you're booted to XP or 7, please provide TWO screenshots so that the difference can be seen.

I can not write a file to root via office, any sub-dir is fine.
Again... this is ambiguous. You don't say whether you're booted to XP or 7 when you try to "write a file to the root", which I assume means to the root of that partition on which 7 lives (and which is lettered F when booted to XP). Yes??

So are you booted to XP and trying to write to F (i.e. where 7 lives) using Office or some other application?

And what does "can not write" mean... are you getting an error message such as "access denied", or some other error? Or did the write seem to work but you then can't see it?

I would imagine your 7 partition is formatted as NTFS. What is your XP partition formatted as... NTFS or FAT32?

I can write files and dirs via mks-tools every where.
Again... ambiguous. Are you doing this while booted to XP and running MKS?

Win7 only sees the directories made at root level. It will see all files in sub-dirs.
I don't understand what you're saying at all.

Show an example of what you're trying to describe with a screenshot (worth 1000 words).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Mar 2014   #6


The problem is as I posted. It however is even greater. I was not able to send mail via outlook. It seems like win7 doesn't own it's install somehow. I would like to fix it. I will list what was done, and ask what should be done to successfully install win7 as a dual boot. Winxp is still ok on this machine.
Gparted-live reduced c: drive partition (FTFS).
In the newly freed space partition E: and F: were created and assigned FTFS type
the reduced c: partition was copied to e: part.
win7 was installed as new operating system on the f partition. I used ISO as downloaded from web. about 3.1gB
I have a win7 DVD but It failed to load so I was forced to download a version.
gag40 is employed as boot manager. Boots to either the origional c: part (winxp) or win7 is possible.
At first glance the win7 load is ok, however; after a little working on it. It seems like win7 doesn't own it's own install.
Aside from not being able to recognize files (regular files) in the root directory I was not able to send mail via outlook. I get message from system of failure, it is immediate, that is as soon as the attempt to send is made it fails.
I think the win7 install is faulty. I would like to correct it.

I never formatted the e: and f: partitions. They were specified as FTFS but I never went through the long wait of formatting. Did I miss a step? I didn't think so but maybe so.

copy of c: to e: partition also seems to be 100% but there is not a lot I can do there to learn more. It was copied only as a back-up thing. I used this pc for several years and use less than 50g of space so the 300 that I have is just a waste anyway.

Both gparted and win7 disk manager give the 3 parts their blessing. They check error free.

I am confused. I've read in more than one place on line to use gparted as I did, and install win7 as was done. Do I have a bad copy of the win7 iso or did I fail to do something else?

I have several ISO disks win7 32 bit and 64 bit, gparted, easUS, gag40, I want a valid win7 install. Where should I attempt next?

I did try re-installing the win7 ISO. It behave like the first time, I watched it through out it's install and noticed nothing being reported as an error or anything that it did not like. I am in the same place however.

I don't know how to better describe what's wrong. There probably will many things that come with use.

Initially and now it looks like win7 doen't own it's install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2014   #7

File hadling was altered in win for protection reasons.

I learned about the win7 file reporting discrepancy B/W ksh and win7. I'm attaching a link to a pretty complete article on it.
Invisible files and / or folders in Windows 7 - Microsoft Community
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Hidden files

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
How to delete Hidden Files, and Uninstall Programs with Hidden files?
1. I still have leftover files... from Adobe Acrobat 9, that I uninstalled/deleted Folder in 2013 (CCleaner still sees it)- a. In the past to get rid of Firefox (CCleaner shows)- I Show Hidden on C:, shift/delete everything..., Hide, closed Explorer, waited 30 min, and reboot 3 times (I did the...
Performance & Maintenance
What are ~$ files that appear on desktop when hidden files show
Hello All, I would like to remove the 30 or so files that are now showing on my desktop since selecting to "Show Hidden files" They are all old excel and word documents but not sure if removing them would cause an issue What are they/how are they created? I'm on Windows 7 Home Premium...
General Discussion
Show hidden files that remain hidden
In Appearance Files View, clearing the 2 buttons to reveal hidden files does not allow access to, for instance, C documents and settings, which has a padlock next to it, and others. I had reinstalled the OS from within the machine and uninstalled any junk such as games etc. Have Avast free,...
General Discussion
show hidden files folders (exclude files)
Is there any way in windows 7 the show hidden files and folder and show system files, however hide only desktop.ini's and thumbs.db? Don't need to seem them. Annoying.
General Discussion
Hidden System files are no longer hidden
Some of my important system files are no longer hidden and I can't hide them even with the Command Prompt "attrib" command. Files such as bootmgr and ntldr are shown and I can't hide them. Also, show Protected System files is unchecked and show hidden files is also unchecked so they shouldn't be...
General Discussion

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 13:17.
Twitter Facebook Google+