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Windows 7: "Program files" in local language versions

21 Dec 2009   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate
"Program files" in local language versions

Switching over from a Swedish language XP system I'm utterly frustrated with Windows 7 (Ultimate + Sedish language pack).
The localized version of both sytems replaces the "Program Files" folder with a "Program" folder.
In XP that causes no trouble, 95% of all applications happily install themselves into "Program" and run ok there, the few exeptions insist on creating a "Program files" folder but then run happily there.
Not so in Win 7. On the system disk there is a "Program" folder and at least some programs install themselves there, and run ok there. But, if you create a shortcut to a program the shortcut is pointing at C:\Program files\ and changing it to C:\Program\.. causes an error message when trying to activate the program. This becomes rather confusing when you yourself have to create shortcut addresses. Some programs have exactly the opposite problem, for example WinZip is on one hand unable to extract a zip file to C:\Program files as it cannot find the folder (altough explorer clearly sees such a folder) and on the other hand creates a new, extra, C:\Program folder if told to extract to that folder. So then there are two "Program" folders, one pointed at by %ProgramFiles% and another one not pointed at!
Some other programs have the same kind of problems.
What is going on here? Have I missed some step in the language pack installation or has MS managed to break a system that worked perfectly well in XP for years?
Has anyone had similiar problems with other language packs?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Dec 2009   #2


Hej Lup, välkommen till Seven Forums.

Do you believe me if I tell you you have no issue, no problem?

Let me explain:
Your Windows Seven with Swedish language pack works precisely as it should work. You install media language was English, therefore the program files folder is internally called Program Files. The language pack changes the name shown to user to a localized name, in Swedish language simply Program. But the internal name remains there. This double naming system is needed so that different installers always find the right folder to install, and so that you don't have to change pointers and shortcuts if you someday choose to use another language pack or revert back to the original installation language.

Shortcuts use internal names, not localized. You can test it: choose a program in your C:\Program (internally known as C:\Program Files) and create a shortcut to that program on desktop. Check Properties (egenskaper på svenska) of this shortcut you created, and you'll notice the shortcut points to C:\Program Files, even you don't even have a folder with that name.

Now run the shortcut and you'll notice it works even it, like mentioned above, is pointing to a non-existing folder. This is because Windows Seven knows that what ever localized name is used to this folder, it's still internally known as Program Files.

You WinZip issue is likewise a non-issue. It's same which language pack or not you are using, only built-in administrator account can extract / write to Program Files folder. So you have to start WinZip elevated by right clicking WinZip icon or shortcut and choosing Run as administrator (Kör som administratör in Swedish). Now you can extract files to any folder.

It's of course a completely other question is it wise to extract files to program files folder.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Dec 2009   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate

Terve Kari!
Thanks for the prompt response!
You solved my WinZip issue right away.
But with the folder naming problem I'm not quite convinced yet:
I'm familiar with the double naming from XP and know that %Programfiles% is a good way to always get at the right folder.
What I find so confusing is that Seven behaves in what I find a very unnatural way. In both localized XP and Seven there is a folder named "Program" but not a "Program files" one. XP is happy with that, a program shortcut created in XP points at "C:\Program\..." and any attempt to use "C:\Program files\..." results in an error message. In Seven the opposite is true, the shortcut points at "C:\Program files\..." and use of "C:\Program\..." results in an error. Not very logical! The situation is made even worse by the fact that if I use the built in search facility in Seven to look for program XX I get the result "C:\Program\..."! So now all of a sudden Seven uses the localized folder name and in fact provides me with a path that is not valid in a shortcut! It might all be minor annoyances that one should ignore but it is scary for a new user of Seven to be confronted with something like this. There is always that question "Have I done something wrong during installation? Will this screw up my system later on? Should I fix this before proceeding with installation of my critical applications?" And, of course, "Are there any other folders in Seven with this kind of behaviour?"
I think I will bite the bullet and go on and accept that this will not cause any future problems. Kiitos Kari!

BTW, In another forum I read that in the Finnish Win98 there was a "Ohjelmistotiedostot" folder but that in later versions MS reverted to "Program files". Do you have any comments about this?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Dec 2009   #4


I am not sure I understand your point. The search works for me as it should.

Example: I have a BSOD minidump analyzing tool WhoCrashed installed in C:\Programs, C:\Program Files as it is internally called:
"Program files" in local language versions-skaermklipp1.png

If I search this file, it's true I get some confusing information, tooltip tells it's located in Program when properties tells it's in Program Files:
"Program files" in local language versions-skaermklipp2.png "Program files" in local language versions-skaermklipp3.png

However, search always finds the file. Notice that I am not searching C:\Program\whocrashed or C:\Program Files\whocrashed, there's no need to type the path when searching. Search works, I can click the file in search results to open it.


P.S. Only to show up , here's my logon screen:
"Program files" in local language versions-kari_logonscreen.png

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Dec 2009   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate

The point is just this confusion you mention, not the question if search or a shortcut as such works properly. (They do!)
Take as an example that I'm starting to develop an application and for testing need access to an existing data file, "data.db". I search for it and find it at "C:\Program\Borland\...\data.db". On the other hand I might already have a shortcut to that file available; but that says it is located at "C:\Program files\...\data.db". So what do I type into my Delphi application as the proper address? Ok, trial and error will solve that problem but it seems damn clumsy to have to resort to that in the latest version of Windows as it was not a problem in eight year old XP! And furthermore, if one solution is right for one application, will the same solution be right for another application?
But as I said, the real worry was if I had screwed up the installation of Windows 7.

Kari, your logon screen looks very interesting! Thanks for taking time to calm my worries!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Dec 2009   #6


What's clear is that the folks at Microsoft have not thought this enough. It should not be so confusing, you are right there.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 "Program files" in local language versions

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