Found files do not exist, how can this be??

Microsoft Windows xp professional with s...
November 6, 2010 at 13:51:36
Specs: Windows XP, 1.6Ghz Pentium 4; 640MB ram
I was fishing around for a couple files, did a file search (with a third-party utility, "Look Disk", not the built-in Windows search facility, which for some reason has been broken on my system for years), the results showed dusplay.exe and dusplay.dll in my Windows\Downloaded Program Files directory, which was consistent with where I thought they might be, but when I opened the Windows\Downloaded Program Files Directory, neither of those two files were present in that directory. How can this be??

I DO have system files set to be displayed, in Windows Explorer - NOT invisible, so that isn't the reason for this odd occurrence. What the heck???

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November 6, 2010 at 17:46:51
I assume you are also set to "show hidden files and folders".

Downloaded Program Files folder is for Active X components. It is one of those folders that tells porkies, ie it shows you what it thinks you need to know rather than the whole truth. You could try a freebie called Active XCavator from here:
This will give a whole stack of info and might be of some help. I suspect Windows is, in effect, hiding those files.

You might like to burn an image of a Live Linux CD (such as Puppy Linux) and see what that sees - you will probably be in for a surprise. As you probably already know, you ensure that the CD is first drive in BIOS then poke the CD in the drive and boot up. As it runs only from the CD, Windows will return when you boot without it. You can access your HD - everything being single click.

How to know you are getting old 1:
If you can remember when radishes tasted of something

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November 9, 2010 at 19:33:18
Derek -

Thanks so much for your assistance on this. Yes, wow, "in for a suprise" is right - Windows shows the ActiveX "packages" (objects??), and when you go into that folder via some method other than Windows, you see all the .dll, .inf, .ocx etc files in there. My exploration there led to learning a bit about ActiveX, them being OLE extensions, finding that their contents can be accessed to a certain extent via the unique right-click context menu that the packages in Downloaded Program Files present to it's contents... And yes, Active XCavator is GREAT for seeing into the directory there and getting info on all the individual files that are hiding in there, thanks for THAT tip! A BYTE utility, wow, haven't thought of that great magazine in a longggg time...

Among the above-mentioned discoveries, I had another one that I think is cool enough that I'm going to pass on here, in case it may be of use to anyone else. My first encounter with the Downloaded Program Files directory was because a utility had directed me to a directory that it identified as C:\Windows\Downlo~1. I was puzzled, because there were two subdirectories in C:\Windows that started with "Download...", and I wasn't sure which of those two directories was being referred to. I guess I could have dropped into DOS (or Linux) and investigated the contents of the Windows\Downlo~1 folder, to see which of the two directories that Windows identified as starting with the word "Download" that was referring to, but I'm not good at manuvering around in either DOS or Linux and thought there might be an easier way to find out which 8.3 short filenames correspond to which Windows long filenames.

I came across this little gem: a .vbs script that will give the 8.3 short filename of any Windows file. Use a text editor, save the file with a ".vbs" extension, put the .vbs script icon on the desktop, drop any other file icon on it, and the script will present the short filename. I additionally dropped the script into my "Send To" folder so that I have it available via the right-click context menu of most files. Probably not something that people would find themselves using every day, but definitely useful when it's needed. I'm going to copy the code here, as it is so simple and others might find it useful. Too bad this is just a question-answer forum, no good way to post this unless I ask myself here how to find short filenames and then answer myself with a second post (which I just might do, lol). Anyway, perhaps someone will find this useful. The .vbs script is:

Set fso=CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")

' Is object a file or folder?
If fso.FolderExists(WScript.Arguments(0)) Then
'It's a folder
Set objFolder = fso.GetFolder(WScript.Arguments(0))
rtrn = InputBox("Here's your short path:", "SHORT PATH", objFolder.ShortPath)
End If

If fso.FileExists(WScript.Arguments(0)) Then
'It's a file
Set objFile = fso.GetFile(WScript.Arguments(0))
rtrn = InputBox("Here's your short path:", "SHORT PATH", objFile.ShortPath)
End If

Again, thanks for your help with this, Derek...

Despite the java scanning app here for some reason reporting my system spec as XP SP2 in my profile, it is actually running XP SP3... Hmmm, velly intellesting...

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November 10, 2010 at 06:13:59
Thanks for the info - I shall save your response. Glad to have set you in the right direction. You now probably know more about it than I do.

I'm constantly surprised how, even with modern systems such as Win7, many of the principles have never changed since the days of W95. Even most of the registry entries are still identical.

How to know you are getting old 2:
Your feet seem further away from your hands

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