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Why Vista fools me on deleted files?

by rgriff / September 24, 2007 9:21 AM PDT

I am trying to delete some files from the Program Files folder. Specifically, I have an application installed in the Program Files folder and I want to delete some useless files and folders from that application; and replace some files in that folder as well.

Vista tells me no problem in doing that. And everything seems perfect from the WIndows File Exploerer. The deleted files are gone. And the replaced fiels have shown the new date and size.

But Vista fools me totally! When I start the application, the old components (files) still displayed in the application. And the application still use the old files without recognizing the the newly replaced ones.

I restarted the computer and emptued the recyccle bin. Nothing helps.

From Windows Exploerer, I cannot locate any deleted files and all replaced files showed the new date and size. But from the application, the deleted components still shown and work perfectly as if it were still in the place.

I know that the application plays no trick because I am the developer of the application. The appliaction just uses the regualr Windows API to locate files. If it find the file, it will load the file (component) and run.

Why Windows API can still have access to the deleted files, even been removed from recycle bin?

Everything works fine in XP but but I just do not understand what trick the Vista is playing.

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Are these DLLs?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 24, 2007 9:27 AM PDT

But I'm left guessing here since details are quite sparse in your post.


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They are data and text files
by rgriff / September 24, 2007 11:41 AM PDT
In reply to: Are these DLLs?

No. The deleted files are not DLLs, nor EXEs. They are just application data files or text files. None of thoese files are locked because I restarted the computer before doing the deletion.

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Is this program open source?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 25, 2007 12:43 AM PDT

If so, supply the link so others can look under the hood.

So far I can't tell if this is a Vista issue. Could be that old cache issue but most programmers painfully work over that.


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Same thing happend here
by hr.bruun / September 27, 2007 11:30 PM PDT

I'm experiencing what seems like the same problem.

It started when I was trying to overwrite a file during installation, but apparently files will not be overwritten if they have been modified in the current installation - not even if you uninstall the current installation before installing the new.

Using the file explorer I then tried to overwrite the file with one that was twice the size. In the file explorer the file is now twice the size. The really strange thing is that if I open the file it still contains the original content!

It's all very strange...


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This may not be the answer but may help
by scott_789 / September 28, 2007 12:34 PM PDT

I had a similar problem when trying to overwrite my Opera bookmarks file. I found that they were also kept in the directory: C:\Users\<myusername>\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\Opera\profile
... when I overwrote them in there as well as C:\Program Files\Opera\profile they became available in Opera.

I think that "VirtualStore" directory may be a security measure of sorts, like a sandbox perhaps. Maybe someone here knows what it is and can explain it.

Anyway, look in that VirtualStore directory.

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It's Windows virtualization
by oldgeeser / September 28, 2007 2:22 PM PDT

I had this problem also.

[From Microsoft: In Windows Vista, many legacy applications that were not designed to support standard user accounts can run without modification, using the built-in file/registry virtualization feature. File/registry virtualization gives an application its own "virtualized" view of a resource it is attempting to change using a copy-on-write strategy. For example, when the application attempts to write to a file in the program files directory, Windows Vista gives the application its own private copy of the file in the user's profile so the application will function properly.]

In other words Vista mirrors what you installed to your user account and runs everything from there. You will find the files under your user account. I forget the exact folder structure and don't have Vista handy to look, but under one of the folders you will find folders with names such as roaming and your files will be in a directory under there. That is why when you delete them from the Programs folder windows will find them again. This is only a problem for older applications, as far as I know, or a programmer that isn't fully versed in programming for Vista. When I had the problem my files showed up in the open dialog so I deleted them from there.

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