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Windows 7: Mysterious Hidden file

14 Apr 2010   #1

Windows 7
Mysterious Hidden file

I have an application that I am supporting that was written in VB6. It runs on xp, vista and 7 with no problem. I don't know if this is the only machine that this happens on. I have not seen it yet on other machines. A user has a HP laptop with vista upgraded to 7. The program opens an Access 2002 mdb file. I added a msgbox that tell me what the mdb file path is when it is successfully opened. At some point after use the mdb file gets hidden and becomes invisible to file manager. I can rename the file and run the program and it tells me the original named file has successfully opened. I can delete the mdb file and still it successfully opens. I can copy another version to the same folder and the old version opens even though there is a new one with the same name. I have all file options to visible. It is not just hidden. What is wierd is I have a file open dialog to select which mdb file to use. That file list shows this phantom mdb file when the file manager does not and the file has a lock icon on it. I am pretty sure it did this in vista before the 7 upgrade. Uninstalling and installing to a NEW folder does allow them to work again normally. Installing to the same folder does not remove the phantom file and that one will continue to open. It is very frustrating to not know which file you are really working with. I had them turn off indexing on the entire drive. I am at a loss as to what is going on. We are looking to make some sales of this program, but this problem could kill that so I am very interested in what is going on.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2010   #2
not so gray matter

W7 Ult. x64 | OS X

I suggest posting in a developers forum, it seems a bit technical and while this place is techie it's not quite technical.

Good Luck.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2010   #3

Windows 10 Pro (x64)

What is probably happening is your application is working on a version located in "C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\VirtualStore" any files here will appear existing in the correct location though the File Save/Open dialogs but not in Windows Explorer. The reason files are put here is for lack of permission. Your application is probably trying to write to a location it does not have permission to write to, like Program Files.

Or I could be wrong as I do not have said application in front of me to test.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

15 Apr 2010   #4

XP Pro SP3 X86 / Win7 Pro X86

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by fsteveb View Post
I have an application that I am supporting that was written in VB6. It runs on xp, vista and 7 with no problem.
While I get this is a big problem for you (would be for me) the best thing you can do is contact the program's developers and get some testing done on the app itself.

If the files you're opening have been copied over from XP, you could try giving the Users group ownership of that branch of your file tree... but I'm thinking it's more than likely just plain old fashioned bad code.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2010   #5

Windows 7

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by logicearth View Post
What is probably happening is your application is working on a version located in "C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\VirtualStore" any files here will appear existing in the correct location though the File Save/Open dialogs but not in Windows Explorer. The reason files are put here is for lack of permission.
Ok thanks I'll check that. It is probably that. I think the mdb gets copied back and forth during testing and I think permissions are being a problem. Yes the program is installed under Program Files(x86) but I need to fix this in the code. As suggested this is probably a more technical issue but I didn't see a developer forum that would be appropriate here. I have the source and I am now the developer/maintainer so it's not bad code.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Sep 2010   #6

Windows 7 Professional x64
Is there another solution?

I had the same problem. Turned out there were some files in the "\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\VirtualStore" directory that were overriding the actual files in the "Program Files" folder. I deleted them and all is good.

Seems to me a little more thought needs to be put into whether the VirtualStore files are kept if permissions and changes are made to the actual underlying files.

This was EXTREMELY frustrating to figure out. The fact that you have to take ownership of files and folders when the current user is an Admin is stupid. To add a layer of hidden overriding cached files on top of it is just outright retarded.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2010   #7

Windows 7

Yes, files in the "\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\VirtualStore" directory is indeed the problem. When he removed the files from there it worked fine. It is VERY frustrating because this old program is opening an MDB file, which I send him a new version with the updated exe. The new MDB file gets placed in the program folder and the new exe runs fine. When the program opens the MDB to read the database, it actually opens the old version file that is in the VirtualStore and not the new one in the program folder. There is a option to change the location of the MDB file and it says it is in the program folder. If I delete the new MDB it still opens, even though there is no file where it says it is opening. In otherwords, a support nightmare. I am now going to need to add code to remove files in this VirtualStore I guess.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Mysterious Hidden file

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