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Windows 7: Nested Application Folders Directory (many times)

25 Jul 2010   #1
soho1

 
Nested Application Folders Directory (many times)

I re-installed Windows 7 so that I could run a 64bit version instead of the 32bit version. When I searched for old user files in Windows.old so that I could restore old favorites and documents, I found that All Users\Application Data had Application Data nested underneath it and that repeated many times with a full copy of all files at the bottom of the tree. The nesting occurs about 20+ times.

What gives?

No, I have not had viruses on either installation. I run Microsoft Security Essentials for my AV-ware.


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03 Aug 2010   #2
soho1

 

From the lack of response, I'm just going to guess this is a Windows 7 install "feature".
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03 Aug 2010   #3
logicearth

Windows 10 Pro (x64)
 
 

"Application Data" is a junction that points to its parent. Did you alter permissions of "Windows.old" or the user directory?
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19 Feb 2011   #4
diamondfist

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

Sorry to add to an old post, but this is very relavant to me. I have the same problem with the nested Application Data folders, 23 instances that I can tell. But this is a major problem for me. I have two files, Windows.edb and Data1.CAB (a NERO install file I think) that are about 250MB each. I wondered why my relatively new (3months) install of Win7 was taking 50GB. Now I know where a big chunk of that is. 23 x .5GB = 12GB. Ouch.

I am going to try to leave the base Application Data folder and delete the first iteration, which should take care of the rest. Hopefully I do no damage and the problem does not recur. I have a suspicion about why this ocurred in the first place, but don't want to say without knowing for sure. Any comments from others who may have experienced this are appreciated.
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19 Feb 2011   #5
diamondfist

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

Well, no surprise, Windows will not let me delete these folders. I've tried to change the access to give "everyone" read/write access, mark the folders/subfolders as not read only, but no success. Any help is appreciated.
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26 Feb 2011   #6
soho1

 

@diamondfist, I moved "off" the C: drive and created a home folder on another drive instead, then went back and deleted "Application Data" altogether, just by setting permissions for the folder. I had to make sure that both my user account and administrator account had full permissions. There are a number of posts in the forum regarding getting off C: and onto some other partition. Before deleting anything, you should backup of course. More importantly, verify you can access all the files in the backup.
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26 Feb 2011   #7
Ztruker

Windows 10 Pro X64
 
 

There are not 23 (or more) copies of Application Data. As mentioned, that is a Junction Point that redirects you to the real location, \Users\username\AppData. If you have setup Folder Options to show hidden system files, or taken ownership of the Documents and Settings Junction Point, then Windows Explorer (or Command Prompt dir) will show what appears to be many nested levels of the same folder structure. This is not true, it's a result of the Junction Point. Lots of info available on the web about this.
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02 Mar 2011   #8
diamondfist

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

Seriously? So, when I do a folder search for gigantic files and 23 copies show up, those are not real? And when I check properties of my OS drive and find that 49GB are used for the OS and moderate amount of applications I have installed, then that's not real either? And when I do manage to "delete" these nonexistent files, my hard drive shows only 36GB full - that's not real either?

I had thought that there was some kind of pointer issue going on, but the hard drive space led me to believe otherwise. I've only recently migrated to Win7, and I am still on the steep end of the learning curve. I believe you that appdata is a junction point and can have multiple pointers when you take ownership. But I also believe there may be more to my issue than your quick response indicates.
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03 Mar 2011   #9
soho1

 

The junction point only works when the permissions are correct and applications pay attention to it. There are several posts about this. People often change the permissions or run applications that don't know anything about junction points, thus allowing the application controlled (accidental) recursive creation of the same directory. Google



Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it.
Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it. Alan Perlis
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 Nested Application Folders Directory (many times)




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