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Updated files are now in my c:\Users folder. What is going on here ?

Posted on 2007-12-06
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
I have an application that, under XP, NT or 2000 updates an .iini file in the following folder. (Just an example)
C:\Program Files\Rays's folder\Settings\Ray.ini.

I run this application on a Vista Enterprise box
But when I look at C:\Program Files\Rays's folder\Settings\Ray.ini, the changes that the aplication made to the Ray.ini file are not there.

Rather,  I find a file named Ray.ini in the "C:\Users\RKode\AppData\Romaning,  folder.
And the changes that the application made are in THIS copy of the file.

And when I run the application a second time,  it actually reads the Ray.ini file from the C:\Users\RKode\AppData\Roaming folder.

I didn't expect this behavior.
I didn't expect this behavior at all.
What kind of Microsoft trickery and wizardry is at play here ?
Is there any way for my changes to be written back to the C:\Program Files\Rays's folder\Settings\Ray.ini version of the file as I have a routine that backs up the Ray.ini file from the C:\Program Files\Rays's folder\Settings folder.

Any help, insight or explaniation would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for all responses.

Ray in Wisconsin

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by:killbrad
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oh i feel your pain.  I believe the solution is to disable UAC, but just be aware this may cause more issues than it will solve.  For example, Lotus Notes does the same thing, and if you disable UAC, it goes to the right spot.. however then you lose connection to your old data and its a SOAB to get it linked back up.
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YGregersen earned 100 total points
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Likely, the program is coded to write to a pointer called something like %User_Home%.
On th old XP box it would automatically go to c:\Documents and Settings\user\....
On Vista it will go to C:\Users\....

Vista changed the location of where it stores the user profiles.
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by:McKnife
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To support killbrad: this program is not compatible to vista/the uac feature of vista that uses folder redirection. Either turn off uac or run the application as administrator (rightclick it - run as administrator - this is different from using an admin account!).
Read about uac and folder virtualization/redirection in MS technet or wikipedia.
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by:killbrad
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Thnx McKnife... yeah, Notes isn't "Vista Compatible" but had a client that did it anyways.. Just throwing out an example of issues that older/legacy apps can and likely will have with Vista..  Thanks for the post though!  :-)
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by:rindi
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That's actually the way software should have run all the time. When you change settings of an installed software, those settings should never be mad in the program files folder, but rather per user in his profile. If the changes are made in the program files folder everyone would require admin rights, and that isn't how things are supposed to work.
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by:LeeTutor
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It's all part of Vista's "new and improved" system security concepts.  See this page for an explanation:

http://juice.altiris.com/article/2665/folder-virtualization-concepts-windows-vista

Programs are no longer allowed free access to folders in the Program Files folder.  Microsoft has said that the virtualization concept is a "temporary" measure until they can figure out how to do it right...  (Of course that last comment following the word "until they..." is MY evaluation, not the way they put it themselves...)
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by:LeeTutor
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rkode, any feedback?
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by:Accidental Hyper-V Administrator
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Good morning (from a snowy Wisconsin),

Sorry for the tardy response but since reading the article via the link that LeeTutor provided, I have been working on my test VISTA box non-stop.

I can now state that I finally understand how things work with VISTA (redirection wise) as opposed to how they work in prior OS's.

And I also now understand as McKnife stated that running the application as administrator is different from using an admin account).
(I tested it.)

I actually received a piece of what I was looking for,  from each response that was penned to my question.
And for that, I thank each of you.

I NEVER (well at least not for a long time) would have figured this out on my own.

Thanks again to everyone.

Ray in Wisconsin
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by:Accidental Hyper-V Administrator
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I NEVER, EVER would have got this on my own.
Your the greatest.
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by:rindi
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Your welcome
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