Where does Windows 7 hide files?


D

DanS

One of the things I dislike about Windows 7 is that it
hides files and one can waste a lot of time trying to find
them.

The latest one that it has done this to is an update to
Acronis.

I downloaded it yesterday, all 250 or so megabytes of it,
and i can't find the file. I can find the download of the
previous version in the C:\Download directory, where, if I
remember correctly I asked it to put downloaded files.

When I run Acronis, it tells me there is an updated version
ready to install, but I cannot find the file.
And it doesn't have an "Install Now" and/or "Skip" button right there when it tells you that ?
 
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E

Evan Platt

+1. It's a bit overpowering at first as there are so many options.

Are you running the x64 version (XE v0.0.0.550)? That is an improvement
over the 32-bit version as if you need something back from the recycle
bin, it lists the full file name, rather than a dos 8+3 name.

One problem I found was that with the default install, when a folder or
file name was left-clicked it went completely black - the name was
unreadable! I was able to change that in "Settings", but I did wonder
why it was that way by default.
I use the 64 bit version 8.09Beta
 
S

Steve Hayes

This little tutorial could go on and on, but it's best if you open a Command
Prompt window and start experimenting with the Dir command - and learning by
doing, not just for today but for the future.
I've known how to use the dir command for the last6 25 years -- 30 if you
count CP/M.

But do you know how many directories there are on my computer?

The dir command is useful, provided you know which directory to look in.

And typing Windows directory paths, especially the ones with long words and
spaces in them, is even more of a pain.
 
J

J. P. Gilliver (John)

(A good philosophy.)
I've known how to use the dir command for the last6 25 years -- 30 if you
count CP/M.
(And ls and its variants.)
But do you know how many directories there are on my computer?

The dir command is useful, provided you know which directory to look in.
His tutorial did - briefly - mention how to use dir with a known
filename (including, IIRR, wildcards therein). But failing that, you
could always (I think) do it with a sort by date/time, and/or direct the
output to a text file you could search in various ways.
And typing Windows directory paths, especially the ones with long words and
spaces in them, is even more of a pain.
Agreed, especially since from XP onwards, the right-click "Properties"
no longer gives you the 8.3 version of names.--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G.5AL-IS-P--Ch++(p)[email protected]+Sh0!:`)DNAf

"You realise, Fraser, that what happened between us can never repeat itself.
Unless, of course, the exact same circumstances were to repeat themselves." "By
exact same circumstances, sir, you mean: we would have to be aboard a train
loaded with unconscious Mounties, that had been taken over by terrorists, and
were heading for a nuclear catastrophe?" "Exactly." "Understood."

 
B

Bob I

I've known how to use the dir command for the last6 25 years -- 30 if you
count CP/M.

But do you know how many directories there are on my computer?

The dir command is useful, provided you know which directory to look in.

And typing Windows directory paths, especially the ones with long words and
spaces in them, is even more of a pain.
Given your stated complaints, it is readily apparent that you don't know
how to use "dir" to search a harddrive. Please increase your knowledge
by typing dir /? on the command line.
 
R

R. C. White

Hi, Steve.
I've known how to use the dir command for the last6 25 years -- 30 if you
count CP/M.
Not to be a smart-alec, but there's an old saying that there is a difference
between 25 years' experience and one year's experience 25 times. :^}
But do you know how many directories there are on my computer?
No. Do you know how many are on mine? I've no desire to get into a contest
about this. I'm just trying to help YOU find YOUR missing file. Do you
want to find it? Or do you want to give up? Or to argue with me?
The dir command is useful, provided you know which directory to look in.
And if you don't know, that's when you use wildcards, combined with what you
DO know. You should be able to use the process of elimination - and some
logic - to narrow down the possibilities - and then focus on the
probabilities. And give dir /s some time! Remember that it is checking all
those directories. Sometimes it might take hours. But only you know how
much that missing file is worth, and how much your time is worth.

Another technique, which I think someone else posted, is to go back and
start to download the file again. This time, watch carefully as the
download manager determines - and reports - where it will put the file. I
don't recall if you said which downloader you are using, but most of them
save to the default (which may simply be the last previous destination), but
only after giving us a chance to Save As to some other location. You don't
have to download the whole 250 MB file again; just let it start and get far
enough so that you can see the destination, then abort. And then look for
your file in that location.

Long ago I created my own E:\Download folder - NOT C:\Downloads - and send
all my downloads there. (I may move them later.) If the source of the file
proposes C:\Downloads or some other destination, I insist that it go to
E:\Download; usually that becomes the default for future downloads from the
same source and if it doesn't, I change it again.
And typing Windows directory paths, especially the ones with long words
and spaces in them, is even more of a pain.
More pain than you've had searching for the past 24 hours?

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(e-mail address removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP (2002-2010)
Windows Live Mail 2011 (Build 15.4.3538.0513) in Win7 Ultimate x64 SP1


"Steve Hayes" wrote in message

This little tutorial could go on and on, but it's best if you open a
Command
Prompt window and start experimenting with the Dir command - and learning
by
doing, not just for today but for the future.
I've known how to use the dir command for the last6 25 years -- 30 if you
count CP/M.

But do you know how many directories there are on my computer?

The dir command is useful, provided you know which directory to look in.

And typing Windows directory paths, especially the ones with long words and
spaces in them, is even more of a pain.
 
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R

R. C. White

Hi, John.
Agreed, especially since from XP onwards, the right-click "Properties" no
longer gives you the 8.3 version of names.
But dir /x does. ;<)

As I said, use dir /? to see the list of switches and parameters, including:
/X This displays the short names generated for non-8dot3 file
names. The format is that of /N with the short name inserted
before the long name. If no short name is present, blanks are
displayed in its place.

As I also said, start experimenting (sometimes called "playing" <g> ). You
might be surprised by what you might learn! ;<)

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(e-mail address removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP (2002-2010)
Windows Live Mail 2011 (Build 15.4.3538.0513) in Win7 Ultimate x64 SP1


"J. P. Gilliver (John)" wrote in message


(A good philosophy.)
I've known how to use the dir command for the last6 25 years -- 30 if you
count CP/M.
(And ls and its variants.)
But do you know how many directories there are on my computer?

The dir command is useful, provided you know which directory to look in.
His tutorial did - briefly - mention how to use dir with a known
filename (including, IIRR, wildcards therein). But failing that, you
could always (I think) do it with a sort by date/time, and/or direct the
output to a text file you could search in various ways.
And typing Windows directory paths, especially the ones with long words and
spaces in them, is even more of a pain.
Agreed, especially since from XP onwards, the right-click "Properties"
no longer gives you the 8.3 version of names.
 
Y

Yousuf Khan

One of the things I dislike about Windows 7 is that it hides files and one can
waste a lot of time trying to find them.

The latest one that it has done this to is an update to Acronis.

I downloaded it yesterday, all 250 or so megabytes of it, and i can't find the
file. I can find the download of the previous version in the C:\Download
directory, where, if I remember correctly I asked it to put downloaded files.

When I run Acronis, it tells me there is an updated version ready to install,
but I cannot find the file.

Any hints about where I could look?
You're talking about the installer image, or the final installed
program? I assume you're talking about the installer image. It depends
on what is downloading the update for you. If it's the previous version
of the program, then it's likely being downloaded to one of the temp
directories. If it's Internet Explorer or Firefox, then it's somewhere
else which you set.

Yousuf Khan
 
D

Dave \Crash\ Dummy

Steve said:
I've known how to use the dir command for the last6 25 years -- 30 if you
count CP/M.

But do you know how many directories there are on my computer?

The dir command is useful, provided you know which directory to look in.

And typing Windows directory paths, especially the ones with long words and
spaces in them, is even more of a pain.
25 years, and you never learned how to use the "/s" switch?

DIR [drive:][path][filename] [/A[[:]attributes]] [/B] [/C] [/D] [/L] [/N]
[/O[[:]sortorder]] [/P] [/Q] [/R] [/S] [/T[[:]timefield]] [/W] [/X] [/4]

[drive:][path][filename]
Specifies drive, directory, and/or files to list.

/A Displays files with specified attributes.
attributes D Directories R Read-only files
H Hidden files A Files ready for archiving
S System files I Not content indexed files
L Reparse Points - Prefix meaning not
/B Uses bare format (no heading information or summary).
/C Display the thousand separator in file sizes. This is the
default. Use /-C to disable display of separator.
/D Same as wide but files are list sorted by column.
/L Uses lowercase.
/N New long list format where filenames are on the far right.
/O List by files in sorted order.
sortorder N By name (alphabetic) S By size (smallest first)
E By extension (alphabetic) D By date/time (oldest first)
G Group directories first - Prefix to reverse order
/P Pauses after each screenful of information.
/Q Display the owner of the file.
/R Display alternate data streams of the file.
/S Displays files in specified directory and all subdirectories.
/T Controls which time field displayed or used for sorting
timefield C Creation
A Last Access
W Last Written
/W Uses wide list format.
/X This displays the short names generated for non-8dot3 file
names. The format is that of /N with the short name inserted
before the long name. If no short name is present, blanks are
displayed in its place.
/4 Displays four-digit years

Switches may be preset in the DIRCMD environment variable. Override
preset switches by prefixing any switch with - (hyphen)--for example, /-W.
 
J

Jason

Use another search tool rather than Windows's built-in one. I find it
difficult to use and not very accurate.

I like Everything Search: <http://www.voidtools.com/>

and Agent Ransack
<http://www.mythicsoft.com/page.aspx?type=agentransack&page=home>

I have them both installed. Agent Ransack has more options and is able
to search file contents, size, date, etc., but it is slower than...

Everything only searches file names, but it's VERY fast. Since I'm
looking for files by name 95% of the time, that's the one that gets
used most.
I have also found Filelocator to be very fast and useful for this sort of
searching. The free version is good, the inexpensive paid one is even
better. (I have no commercial interest here...)
 
S

Steve Hayes

Hi, Steve.


Not to be a smart-alec, but there's an old saying that there is a difference
between 25 years' experience and one year's experience 25 times. :^}


No. Do you know how many are on mine? I've no desire to get into a contest
about this. I'm just trying to help YOU find YOUR missing file. Do you
want to find it? Or do you want to give up? Or to argue with me?
No, thank you very much for your help, and I have no desire to get into a
contest about it, but dir didn't find it. Nor for that matter, did File
Commander.
Long ago I created my own E:\Download folder - NOT C:\Downloads - and send
all my downloads there. (I may move them later.) If the source of the file
proposes C:\Downloads or some other destination, I insist that it go to
E:\Download; usually that becomes the default for future downloads from the
same source and if it doesn't, I change it again.
Yes, I have an e:\download directory on my XP computer, and it puts stuff
there.
 
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S

Steve Hayes

You're talking about the installer image, or the final installed
program? I assume you're talking about the installer image. It depends
on what is downloading the update for you. If it's the previous version
of the program, then it's likely being downloaded to one of the temp
directories. If it's Internet Explorer or Firefox, then it's somewhere
else which you set.
And sounds like it's a hidden temp directory too.
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

I have also found Filelocator to be very fast and useful for this sort of
searching. The free version is good, the inexpensive paid one is even
better. (I have no commercial interest here...)
Currently, FileLocator is my favorite too. I am still using the free
one.
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

Another technique, which I think someone else posted, is to go back and start
to download the file again. This time, watch carefully as the download
manager determines - and reports - where it will put the file.
This is what I usually do, as long as I haven;t done any other
downloads recently that might erase that memory.

I also use Firefox, which saves a list of recent downloads, which makes
it easy to find one. I believe Internet Explorer has a similar feature.
But since Steve Hayes was apparently using another program, that won't
apply.

Of course (as I think was already mentioned elsewhere) it is not a
problem in Windows, it relates to the software that Steve Hayes was
using, plus a possible dose of PEBKAC.
 
P

Paul

Paul said:
According to this article, one of the Acronis updates ends up in

%TMP%\AcronisUpdates

http://kb.acronis.com/content/27297

If you do find the file, post back where it was located.

Paul
Since I couldn't get the "dir" command to do what I wanted, I
played around with vbscript. I couldn't find a good primer, so
this is just cobbled together from other scripts on the web.

**************************** listdir4.vbs *****************************
' // **************************************
' // Script to list files on a partition and include file size.
' // List is tab separated, filesize first, full file path second
' // No error handling (this is my first script in this language).
' //
' // User inputs - topDir = the thing (drive letter) you want to list
' // outputs - OutputFile = the place to store the list
' //
' // Presents a MsgBox when the script run is finished.
' //
' // Could this be written better ? Absolutely. There is undoubtedly
' // a better way to write output. As for the syntax, I have no idea
' // how variables or storage or scoping works here. This is just
' // someone else's script slightly re-arranged. An example of
' // an improvement, would be to pass parameters from the command line.

Dim objFSO
Dim tab
tab=chr(9)

topDir = "D:\"
set objFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")

' Create text file to store output data
Set OutputFile = objFSO.CreateTextFile("ScriptOutput.txt", True)

Set objFolder = objFSO.GetFolder(topDir)
ScanSubFolders(objFolder)

' Close text file
OutputFile.Close

MsgBox " LISTDIR4 finished "
' Program exits here...

' // **************************************
Sub scanSubFolders(objFolder)

Set colFiles = objFolder.Files
Set colFolders = objFolder.SubFolders

For Each objFile in colFiles
Outputfile.write(objFile.size)
Outputfile.write(tab)
Outputfile.writeLine(objFile.Path)
Next

For Each objSubFolder In colFolders
ScanSubFolders(objSubFolder)
Next

End Sub
********************* End Of listdir4.vbs *****************************

This script sorts the output from the first script, and uses the
same filename as the first script for its input. Wait until the
first script is finished, before running the second.

**************************** sortdir4.vbs *****************************
' // **************************************
' // Script to post-process "listdir4.vbs" output.
' // Sorts output by file size, for easy inspection.
' //
' // (Scripted separately, because this script may run out of RAM.)
' // (Uses 256MB of RAM to sort a 180,000 line file.)
' //
' // Input (and Output) format
' // Filesize_Integer Tab_Character Full_File_Path_String_spaces_and_all
' //
' // No error handling (this is my second script in this language).
' //
' // User inputs - (The input text file, default "ScriptOutput.txt")
' // outputs - (The output text file, default "ScriptOutputSorted.txt")
' //
' // Presents a MsgBox when the script run is finished.
' //
' // Could this be written better ? Absolutely. Pass filenames as
' // command line parameters.

' For the first two constants, see http://www.w3schools.com/ado/ado_datatypes.asp
' MaxCharacters may need to be adjusted.

Const adDecimal = 14
Const adVarChar = 200
Const MaxCharacters = 280
Const adFldIsNullable = 32
Const ForReading = 1

Set DataList = CreateObject("ADOR.Recordset")
DataList.Fields.Append "LineText", adVarChar, MaxCharacters, adFldIsNullable
DataList.Fields.Append "SortField", adDecimal, MaxCharacters, adFldIsNullable
DataList.Open

Set objFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
Set objFile = objFSO.OpenTextFile("ScriptOutput.txt", ForReading)

Do Until objFile.AtEndOfStream
strLine = objFile.ReadLine
arrFields = Split(strLine, vbTab)
strField = arrFields(0)

DataList.AddNew
DataList("LineText") = strLine
DataList("SortField") = strField
DataList.Update
Loop

objFile.Close

DataList.Sort = "SortField, LineText"

Set OutputFile = objFSO.CreateTextFile("ScriptOutputSorted.txt", True)

Do Until DataList.EOF
strLine = DataList.Fields.Item("LineText")
Outputfile.writeLine(strLine)
DataList.MoveNext
Loop

OutputFile.Close
MsgBox " SORTDIR4 finished "

' Program ends here...
********************* End Of sortdir4.vbs *****************************

Paul
 
J

Jeff Layman

No, thank you very much for your help, and I have no desire to get into a
contest about it, but dir didn't find it. Nor for that matter, did File
Commander.
What were your search parameters? I have failed to find files by
forgetting that on using Alt-f7 the search is from the folder
highlighted, rather than C:\ (unless that is the highlighted folder)!
 
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S

Steve Hayes

What were your search parameters? I have failed to find files by
forgetting that on using Alt-f7 the search is from the folder
highlighted, rather than C:\ (unless that is the highlighted folder)!
I have boxes ticked that say "Start from root" and "Search subdirec tories"

It found the original file I downloaded last September (ie before the current
update), which was in the C:\download directory.

DIR also found it.

But neither found the new one.
 
C

Char Jackson

I have boxes ticked that say "Start from root" and "Search subdirec tories"

It found the original file I downloaded last September (ie before the current
update), which was in the C:\download directory.

DIR also found it.

But neither found the new one.
I don't remember the last time I was able to observe someone who had
this much trouble finding a downloaded file. :)

Hang in there.
 
J

Jeff Layman

I have boxes ticked that say "Start from root" and "Search subdirec tories"

It found the original file I downloaded last September (ie before the current
update), which was in the C:\download directory.

DIR also found it.

But neither found the new one.
So were you searching for a file with name *.*, of >50Mb size, modified
(you could also try "created") between 17 and 19 January, and with all
possible attribute boxes checked?
 
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R

R. C. White

HI, Jeff - and Steve.
...and with all possible attribute boxes checked?
Better yet, use the /a switch to show ALL files, including those with ANY
attribute set. The mini-Help file doesn't mention this option, but it
works. As you indicated, without /a, dir might not show Hidden or System
files.

Dir C:\ /s/a

will start at the Root of Drive C: and list ALL files in ALL directories and
subdirectories on Drive C:, no matter what Attributes may have been set for
the file. Just be ready for a LONG listing! Dir D:\ /s/a will do the same
for Drive D: - etc. By the time you've run Dir Z:\ /s/a, you've seen EVERY
file. But it might take until the middle of next week. :>(

The Dir command can be very simple - or very complex, depending on how much
you know about your missing file and about your computer's directory
structure.

If your missing file is in Temporary Internet Files, it might not show up in
a "normal" dir listing. So, start IE and use Internet Options' first
"General" tab to find the TIF location. (In IE9 the button is Settings
under Browsing history.) Then, in Command Prompt, use CD (Change Directory)
to get to that folder. The dir command alone will probably show NO files or
folders; dir /a should show at least the "Temporary Internet Files" folder;
dir /s/a will produce a LONG listing! (ctrl+c to stop it) Then use the dir
command with /s/a and with as much of the downloaded filename as you know,
with wildcards for the rest: dir abc*.d* /s/a This will list all filenames
that start with "abc" and have an extension starting with "d". The
variations are endless so I won't try to list others; just use your
imagination. And be warned: The TIF folder is DIFFERENT! from all others;
you probably will find the same file in at least 4 different
sub-directories. I've never understood this TIF folder tree, so if you need
an explanation, let someone else handle that. But you might get a very LONG
listing here. (Use the /p switch to display it a page at a time, but it
will still be very long.)

You can spend all day playing with the dir command and its several switches
and parameters - as I have more than once - and still have a lot to learn
about it.

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(e-mail address removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP (2002-2010)
Windows Live Mail 2011 (Build 15.4.3538.0513) in Win7 Ultimate x64 SP1


"Jeff Layman" wrote in message
I have boxes ticked that say "Start from root" and "Search subdirec
tories"

It found the original file I downloaded last September (ie before the
current
update), which was in the C:\download directory.

DIR also found it.

But neither found the new one.
So were you searching for a file with name *.*, of >50Mb size, modified
(you could also try "created") between 17 and 19 January, and with all
possible attribute boxes checked?
 

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