LKBEN10746: Where are my paths in Windows Vista?!


Some "Shortcuts" in Explorer cannot be accessed, although sufficient rights as owner or administrator


By design


In order to get some (language specific) faults from the past straight, Microsoft changed several folder locations in Vista.
While this generally makes sense, there are some deficits in telling the costumer...
Once you try to access a shortcut (Explorer) like "Documents and Settings" (or the language specific naming like "Dokumente und Einstellungen" in german), you'll get an "access denied".
This will not change with higher rights on the "folder" or deactivation of "user access control" (UAC).

The shortcuts are kinds of hardlinks called "programmatic junction points" (for further reading) and are intended for backwards compatibility.
Alas, Microsoft didn't implement any hint (for example in the properties), where they are pointing to or what's their real name.

Especially in language-specific versions you can get a blast:
"Program Files", named "Programme" in german are to be found under "Program Files" under Vista. But this is only to be seen under the good old CMD, in Explorer it's to be seen as language specific "Programme", while there is another "programmatic junction point" named "Programme", which cannot be accessed!
Now, does this make sense?! - Yes and no. To be fair with Microsoft, it makes sense to use non-language specific paths for installation purposes and the like.
The language specific naming in Explorer is good intention, just that there is no hint, where to find Explorer folders like "Programme" or "Documents and Settings" in real life.

And here they are:

- "Documents and Settings" --> "User" (which in Explorer is named language specific, f. ex. "Benutzer" in german)
- language specific name of Userprofiles-folder (as "Dokumente und Einstellungen" in german) --> "User" like above
- language specific name of Programs-Directory (as "Programme" in german) --> "Program Files" (which in Explorer is named language specific, f. ex. "Programme" in german)

- language specific name of Common Files (as "Gemeinsame Dateien" in german) --> "Common Files"

- "Default User" --> "Default" (hidden and watch rights...)
- "All Users" --> "All Users" (hidden and watch rights...)

Users-Profile (These might be different in language specific versions of Windows Vista):
- Application Data  and / or language specific name (as "Anwendungsdaten" in german) --> "AppData"
- Cookies --> moved to %Userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows
- Network Shortcuts --> moved to %Userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows
- Printer Shortcuts --> moved to %Userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows
- Recent --> moved to %Userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows
- SendTo --> moved to %Userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows
- Start Menu --> moved to %Userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows
- Templates --> moved to %Userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows
- Themes --> moved to %Userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows


The information provided in this document is intended for your information only. Lubby makes no claims to the validity of this information. Use of this information is at own risk!

About the Author

Author: Wim Peeters - Keskon GmbH & Co. KG

Wim Peeters is electronics engineer with an additional master in IT and over 30 years of experience, including time spent in support, development, consulting, training and database administration. Wim has worked with SQL Server since version 6.5. He has developed in C/C++, Java and C# on Windows and Linux. He writes knowledge base articles to solve IT problems and publishes them on the Lubby Knowledge Platform.