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Old 03-17-2014, 02:47 PM   #1
Andrew B.
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Default Win7 C:\ProgramData\

I cannot get a clear idea from the Internet what this is for. But, here what I infer from looking at it's location, contents, and some comments on the Internet.

It is a place programs store data. It's not user specific. It is program files that (for whatever reasons) cannot be written into the same folder where the program is kept.

I took a quick look at what was in there and I'm not sure this is something I need to save.

BTW, looking at this I'm reminded that DOS had one or two folder systems where programs put stuff. And/or maybe it was Windows 3.x I don't remember the names.

   
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Old 03-17-2014, 03:07 PM   #2
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It functions as a repository (of a sort) for parts of user installed software (and some system software). For example, the Malwarebytes Antimalware folder (see "Malwarebytes") contains MBAM's sig file (rules.ref). It also contains the "all users" application data info--see c:\programdata\microsoft\windows\start menu. Basically, it's sort of equivalent to WinXP's "all users" in Application Data.


>>I took a quick look at what was in there and I'm not sure this is something I need to save.

You mean from your old system? If so, I'd definitely save it--at least for a while.

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Old 03-17-2014, 04:51 PM   #3
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You will also find a couple of Application Data folders under Users and its branches.

   
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:13 PM   #4
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hugh: You will also find a couple of Application Data folders under Users and its branches.
You know, I'd never realized that under Win7 that c:\program data is essentially (completely?) identical to c:\users\all users! So now, I'm not sure what c:\program data is for and basically my reply to Andrew is not worth all that much...sorry Andrew...


Later: Ok...found an answer to basically the same question at superuser.com:

Only C:\ProgramData actually exists as a "real" folder. C:\Users\All Users is a symbolic link to C:\ProgramData. That is, C:\Users\All Users points to C:\ProgramData, so if you navigate to the former, you are automatically redirected to the latter. That is why they appear identical.

C:\ProgramData is known as the "All Users Profile" and is required for the correct operation of Windows 7. Please do not delete it, if Windows even lets you.

C:\Users\All Users is there for backward compatibility. Poorly-written applications do not retrieve the path of the All Users Profile correctly. They say, "Windows, give me the name of the profiles directory." Windows says, "C:\Users." And the program says, "Okay, I know the All Users profile is called All Users and it's inside the profiles directory, so it must be C:\Users\All Users." Really, what the program should say to Windows is, "Windows, give me the path of the all users profile," to which Windows would say, "C:\ProgramData."



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Old 03-18-2014, 07:29 AM   #5
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That fits with the fact that you aren't allowed access Application Data on my installation but only to the routes via Users ?

   
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:43 PM   #6
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hugh: That fits with the fact that you aren't allowed access Application Data on my installation but only to the routes via Users ?
In Win7 (Vista?, 8/8.1?), c:\documents and settings\ which contained the various users' Application Data folder(s) is visible in Explorer but is not accessible so the previous Windows versions' Application Data is indeed not accessible in the way it used to be (via c:\documents and settings\anyuserid\application data) because Microsoft in its infinite wisdom changed the approach.

In Win7 (Vista?, 8/8.1?), with the exception of "all users" which is handled via c:\program data (symbolic link of c:\users\all users), what we knew as (c:\documents and settings\anyuserid\) Application Data for all user-defined userids is now found in c:\users\whateveruserdefineduserid\appdata which is split into "local", "local low" and "roaming".


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Old 03-19-2014, 07:06 AM   #7
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Fortunately I don't find I need to access anything that way very often!

   
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:47 AM   #8
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hugh: Fortunately I don't find I need to access anything that way very often!
I have a shortcut on my desktop for Explorer's "all users" created by opening Explorer, navigating to c:\programdata\microsoft\windows\start menu\programs and then dragging the leftmost icon in the location bar (top of the Explorer screen) out to the desktop. I also created a shortcut for my own userid using the same procedure from c:\users\myuserid\appdata\roaming\microsoft\windows\start menu\programs. With both of these shortcuts, I don't have to fumble around in Explorer trying to remember where the hell Microsoft has stashed my user data...'-}}

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