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When did INI files in the C:\Windows folder become bad practice?

Posted on 2014-12-30
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Back in the Windows 3.1 days, programs would store configuration data in .INI files stored in the C:\Windows folder.

Nowadays, of course, this isn't a good idea anymore and it is surpassed by newer technologies like the Registry, and saving data in the user's AppData folder. For lots and lots of good reasons.

Is there a SPECIFIC Microsoft reference article or KB article that discusses this change in best practices, or some other kind of documentation I can point at to say when this shift in thinking occured on Microsoft's part? Maybe some kind of "introduction to the Registry" document from '95?

I'm trying to convince a stubborn vendor to update their software.
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Question by:Frosty555
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by:andreas
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Hey, just Google for user account control. I've worked for a software vendor and anything that has to write to the c: drive in system folders or even in its own root folder will fail.

This is the reason for what was originally dubbed windows logo certification. Your vendor needs to become Microsoft certified in order to be fully compliant.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/windows/desktop/dd371701%28v=vs.85%29.aspx
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by:dbrunton
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Probably Windows NT introduced the idea of using the Registry rather than ini files.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Registry#Virtualization

If you read the article it DOES NOT mean that Windows will take care of the ini problem.
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by:BillDL
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An interesting question was posed here:
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/archive/2006/02/22/536920.aspx#536935
and it led to the posting of a pros vs cons blog entry here:
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/archive/2007/11/26/6523907.aspx

It all depends on the complexity of the "program".  It would be practically impossible to store all the configuration data for an application suite like Microsoft Office in INI or XML-based config files, but for programs like IrfanView image editor, CCleaner, and so on, I see no compelling reason why the program settings should not be stored in an INI file in the program's own folder.
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by:andreas
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under win vista and up the c:\program files cannot be writteen to without admin rights. files wirtten with user rights end up in the profile folder of the user in some shadow directories, so the settings apply only rto this user created the file. if a file already persistent in the folder from installation and needs to be modified im not sure if a copy will go to the shadow dir or if it only can be modified with admin access. Thus putting files to the programs folder is laso no good way.
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by:Éric Moreau
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I wouldn't agree that the registry is a better option over config files. When programming in .Net, you are encouraged to use App.Config files (a kind of INI file XML formatted) as one is already created when creating a new project.
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