Latest posts by Michael Pietroforte (see all)
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You probably know that the C:\Documents and Settings folder doesn’t exist anymore in Vista. It was replaced by the C:\Users and C:\ProgramData. Vista uses symbolic links pointing to these new folders for compatibility reasons. However, many guides still refer to the old folder structure. There is a simple trick for using the old folder name in Windows Explorer, though. This way you can find configuration files easier.
If you want to see the symbolic links, you have to enable first “Show hidden files and folders” in Folder Options. To access the Folder Options you must press “ALT” in Windows Explorer to make the menu visible. You’ll find them under tools.
Now, you should be able to see Documents and Settings. But if you double click on it, you’ll get an error messages. Even administrators don’t have enough NTFS rights to navigate to this folder. It is not even possible if you change the rights by taking the ownership.
You can, however, navigate to subfolders of Document and Settings by entering the corresponding folder name in the address bar of Windows Explorer. For example, just type C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\ and you will see all of the user profiles’ subfolders, you know from Windows XP.
This also works if you use a language pack other than English. On a German Vista edition, you can type C:\Dokumente und Einstellungen\, for instance.