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Windows 7 Compatibility Files: minor issue with file copy

Posted on 2013-11-07
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Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I am upgrading to Windows 7 (32-bit) from XP. I have an Access 2003 MDE application that gets updated via a separate Access MDE application that copies a new file image from a network share to C:\Program Files\<MyAppDir> whenever there is a timestamp differential between the local version and the network share version.

On XP this was a straightforward operation. On Windows 7 I run into the Compatibility Files stipulation which puts the newly copied file in the VirtualStore folder under C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\<MyAppDir> instead. When the user tries to run the program from C:\Program Files\<MyAppDir> it appears to launch the old version even though the new file was copied into C:\Program Files\<MyAppDir>.

Is there an acceptable way to allow the file in C:\Program Files\<MyAppDir> to be run directly without it redirecting to the C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\<MyAppDir> copy? This is the only application where I need this functionality.

There is a shortcut on the Public desktop that launches the application and I would prefer to keep it that way so that any new users will have access to it.
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Question by:kkamm
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Expert Comment

by:Emmanuel Adebayo
ID: 39630741
Is there no way in your application to use the new path?

Or better still you can use Windows XP Mode in Windows 7.
Using Windows XP Mode, you can run programs that were designed for Windows XP on computers running Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate editions
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by:kkamm
ID: 39630818
The only problem with using the new path is that I would have to copy the file to every local users VirtualStore directory. The application that does the update is a static file (including the local path to Program Files) and is installed on every machine (40 workstations) There is a mix of mostly XP workstations and a handful of Win7 machines. I would have to provide a different update application for the Win7 machines.

I tried disabling UAC and it seemed to disable the Compatibility Files functionality too but I am wary of the security issues. I was hoping there was a way to do an exception list so that certain paths into Program Files would bypass the VirtualStore function.
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by:kkamm
ID: 39633726
Under the UAC security model is it considered bad practice to launch an Access MDB or MDE application from the %AllUsersProfile% (C:\ProgramData) directory? These kind of files are in a gray area between app and data and this directory seems to be where all the other data files for other programs are stored. I want to avoid having multiple instances of the same application stored in multiple places. Only one user will be using it at a time and I would rather they launch it from a common directory.
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 39634173
Clearly, it had only worked on xp because users were either power users or members of the admin group. It would not have worked with standard users as those cannot write anything to the program files folder - not in 7, not in xp.

Why not design it to use a different folder where the user could write into, like below %appdata%?
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Author Comment

by:kkamm
ID: 39638757
What about %AllUsersProfile%?

I am not adverse to using %appdata% but I would rather not have a separate file image for each user. In XP, any user that logs into the machine uses the same files image in C:\Program Files and if there is a problem with it there is only one place to look.
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McKnife earned 500 total points
ID: 39638766
You can take any common folder you like as long as the user that is used to write the files may write into it. Allusersprofile is a restricted folder, not recommended.
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Author Comment

by:kkamm
ID: 39638901
How about C:\USERS\PUBLIC\PUBLIC DOCUMENTS\<My_MDB_Folder>?
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 39638976
Yes, that folder is writable by all.
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Author Comment

by:kkamm
ID: 39639132
Does Microsoft actually have a 'best practice' suggestion for the location of MDB and MDE files under Win 7?
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 39639222
I don't know.
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