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Windows 7: Infinite Application Data

01 Nov 2009   #11
seekermeister

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

logicearth,

I keep reading the data in your link, but it doesn't really sink into my old thick skull. When I entered dir /al, it only showed the folders within users, which I do understand is in essence the "real" location of most entries, but it is obvious that some programs, which are not so oddball, like Opera, Sun Java, Skype and others ignore this file structure to some degree. For instance, Opera places it's folders in several places...some within the Program Files (x86) install folder, some in users, and some in Documents and Setting/username/App Data/Local/Opera.

I'm not certain, but it appears that this latter group is where the problem is, but it is also where certain customizations that I accustomed to must be done. In the past, Opera had a choice to use an installer that placed all program files within the folder created at install, but with Opera 10, that no longer appears to be true.

At this point, it seems that I'm going to have to attempt to delete the extraneous Application Data folders, and hope that this fixes the problem. The only alternative is to start over from scratch, as I feared at the beginning.

Situations like this have a tendency to fluster me, and sometimes I can't see the trees for the forest. I understand the words on your linked page, but if they present a solution, I'm not seeing it.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
01 Nov 2009   #12
profdlp

Main - Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit; 2nd - Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by seekermeister View Post
...At this point, it seems that I'm going to have to attempt to delete the extraneous Application Data folders, and hope that this fixes the problem...
I am having the same problem (and probably for the same reason: TakeOwnership), and am going to try this myself.

Fingers crossed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Nov 2009   #13
MacGyvr

Windows 7 Ultimate RTM (Technet)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by seekermeister View Post
logicearth,

I keep reading the data in your link, but it doesn't really sink into my old thick skull. When I entered dir /al, it only showed the folders within users, which I do understand is in essence the "real" location of most entries, but it is obvious that some programs, which are not so oddball, like Opera, Sun Java, Skype and others ignore this file structure to some degree. For instance, Opera places it's folders in several places...some within the Program Files (x86) install folder, some in users, and some in Documents and Setting/username/App Data/Local/Opera.

I'm not certain, but it appears that this latter group is where the problem is, but it is also where certain customizations that I accustomed to must be done. In the past, Opera had a choice to use an installer that placed all program files within the folder created at install, but with Opera 10, that no longer appears to be true.

At this point, it seems that I'm going to have to attempt to delete the extraneous Application Data folders, and hope that this fixes the problem. The only alternative is to start over from scratch, as I feared at the beginning.

Situations like this have a tendency to fluster me, and sometimes I can't see the trees for the forest. I understand the words on your linked page, but if they present a solution, I'm not seeing it.
If you start deleting, you are going to make the situation worse. The "folders" you see are not actually folders, but pointers. You run the risk of deleting real folders that you need.

If you cannot do a System Restore, you are going to have to reinstall Windows to get back to where you should be.

You also apparently have other system issues if your System Restore points are missing/not working.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

01 Nov 2009   #14
seekermeister

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

I guess that I'm resigned to reinstalling the OS...I just have to get my mind set for the chore. The thing that I still don't understand is why I didn't have this kind of problem on the betas and RC of both x32 and x64, when I did the same thing with permissions there? The only significant thing that I know is different, is that the betas and RCs were Ultimate, and my RTM is Professional.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Nov 2009   #15
MacGyvr

Windows 7 Ultimate RTM (Technet)
 
 

Don't worry about the why's...just reinstall and don't mess with permissions. There's no way to really go back and tell why it happened.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Nov 2009   #16
seekermeister

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

reinstall...yes, but if I don't know the whys, I'm going to continue to have problems because I must change some permissions to make my computer behave as I require. I will be much more careful about any changes that I make, especially in regards to the use of Take Ownership with junctions, but one way or another I will get what I want.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Nov 2009   #17
zBobG

XP SP3 32bit, Vista HP 64bit, Seven Pro 64bit
 
 
Junctions

I have seen these duplicate folders (junctions) on a computer that had a fresh install where there had been no changes in permissions. I don't think it has anything to do with permissions. It does however have something to do with "view hidden folders and files" being set ON.

Normally that 'Application Data' folder (junction) is hidden and you'll never see it, so keep it hidden and no one knows any different, it can however be seen by programs written to parse the Windows folder structure and can cause that program to fail. I have had to rewrite several programs to simply ignore the 'duplicate' folders, this is not so simply done by creating a sorted list then matching folder paths and ignoring the duplicates. I consider this 'feature' of Vista (also applies to Seven) junctions to be broken.

The following link provides one reasonable explanation of junctions and why they (don't) work as you might expect. Link to the lockergnome.com post, scroll down to the 2nd to the last post.

In brief from that post:
Quote:
This actually is explained completely by the behavior of junctions - and I
would assume that this is one of the reasons that the shell denies access to
junctions (by default).

"c:\users\USER\Local Settings" is a junction that points to
"c:\users\USER\AppData\Local"
"c:\users\USER\AppData\Local\Application Data" is a junction that points to
the same place.
I do not completely agree with the explanation given, I consider junctions to be a broken feature - a MS kludge used only to provide backwards compatability.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Nov 2009   #18
seekermeister

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

I'm still going through the thread that you linked, but I read one post that raised a point that might explain why I had this problem on the RTM and not before. In the betas and RCs I always ran in the administrator account, instead of the user account. I reversed this because I didn't understand about the built in administrator account being disabled until today...looking at the clock, yesterday.

If I enable the administrator account before doing any program installations, and doing all installations there, perhaps this would avoid a repeat of this mess...what do you think?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Nov 2009   #19
logicearth

Windows 10 Pro (x64)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zBobG View Post
I do not completely agree with the explanation given, I consider junctions to be a broken feature - a MS kludge used only to provide backwards compatability.
Junctions are far more useful then backwards support. Junctions are like hardlinks but for folders, need an alias to a location say on an external drive or a networked location? Use a junction without the need of copying any data over.

It is not junctions that are broken, it is your understanding. No offense.


And it has everything to do with permissions. Because the default permission that is set on the junctions for backwards support, have one and only one permission that gives the Access Denied. Everyone, DENY, List folder / read data. As long as this permission is set, not even the super powerful SYSTEM account gets access.

If your applications choke when they reach an Access Denied then your applications are the ones that are broken. In programming it is called error handling.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Nov 2009   #20
logicearth

Windows 10 Pro (x64)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by seekermeister View Post
If I enable the administrator account before doing any program installations, and doing all installations there, perhaps this would avoid a repeat of this mess...what do you think?
When installing you elevate (by getting a UAC prompt) you are then running with administrative power, running as the real administrator would not help. There is a secret most are not told about, if and when an application is ran without administrative powers and it writes to a location it does not have permission to, the location is virtualized.

Virtualized locations and files are stored here:
C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\VirtualStore

But stay out of "Document and Settings" or delete it, but the new location is Users.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Infinite Application Data




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