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Sunday, September 07, 2008

C:\Users\All Users in Vista? Where is it?

While taking some time to look at and move my backups around as I upgraded my MGB RAID Pro NAS device from 2-500GB drives to 2-1TB hard drives, I used the time to try and reclaim some wasted space on my computers. During a ROBOCOPY backup run, I noticed a whole bunch of Apple installation files wasting space.

Specifically, it was for the Apple Safari, Apple Quicktime, and Apple iTunes on my computer. It appeared that Apple prefers to store copies of every single installation or upgrade that it puts on your computer. In my case, it appeared to be about a 1/2 GB or so of installation files taken up in the Apple installer cache directory.

This is where the confusing part came in...

The directory, where ROBOCOPY was referencing these Apple Computer files were in the C:\Users\All Users directory in Windows Vista. The problem? When I went to My Computer, then the C: drive, and then the C:\Users directory, there was no directory for C:\Users\All Users.

What was going on?

Well, in Microsoft Windows Vista -- Microsoft has introduced "Junction Points" or references to other areas on the Hard Disk for backwards compatibility with application that were written on Windows 2000 or Windows XP.

In this particular case, C:\Users\All Users is a junction point that points to the Vista directory C:\ProgramData. By browsing to the C:\ProgramData directory, I was able to locate the wasted space and eliminate the old Apple Software installations.

A list of other Windows XP junction points include:
Directory of C:\
Documents and Settings [C:\Users]

Directory of C:\ProgramData
Application Data [C:\ProgramData]
Desktop [C:\Users\Public\Desktop]
Documents [C:\Users\Public\Documents]
Favorites [C:\Users\Public\Favorites]
Start Menu [C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu]
Templates [C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Templates]

Directory of C:\Users
All Users [C:\ProgramData]
Default User [C:\Users\Default]


Directory of C:\Users\All Users
Application Data [C:\ProgramData]
Desktop [C:\Users\Public\Desktop]
Documents [C:\Users\Public\Documents]
Favorites [C:\Users\Public\Favorites]
Start Menu [C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu]
Templates [C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Templates]

Directory of C:\Users\user
Application Data [C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming]
Cookies [C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies]
Local Settings [C:\Users\user\AppData\Local]
My Documents [C:\Users\user\Documents]
NetHood [C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Network Shortcuts]
PrintHood [C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Printer Shortcuts]
Recent [C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent]
SendTo [C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo]
Start Menu [C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu]
Templates [C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Templates]

Directory of C:\Users\user\AppData\Local
Application Data [C:\Users\user\AppData\Local]
History [C:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\History]
Temporary Internet Files [C:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files]

Directory of C:\Users\user\Documents
My Music [C:\Users\user\Music]
My Pictures [C:\Users\user\Pictures]
My Videos [C:\Users\user\Videos]

Directory of C:\Users\Default
Application Data [C:\Users\Default\AppData\Roaming]
Cookies [C:\Users\Default\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies]
Local Settings [C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local]
My Documents [C:\Users\Default\Documents]
NetHood [C:\Users\Default\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Network Shortcuts]
PrintHood [C:\Users\Default\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Printer Shortcuts]
Recent [C:\Users\Default\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent]
SendTo [C:\Users\Default\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo]
Start Menu [C:\Users\Default\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu]
Templates [C:\Users\Default\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Templates]

Directory of C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local
Application Data [C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local]
History [C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\History]
Temporary Internet Files [C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files]

Directory of C:\Users\Default\Documents
My Music [C:\Users\Default\Music]
My Pictures [C:\Users\Default\Pictures]
My Videos [C:\Users\Default\Videos]

Directory of C:\Users\Public\Documents
My Music [C:\Users\Public\Music]
My Pictures [C:\Users\Public\Pictures]
My Videos [C:\Users\Public\Videos]

1 comments:

Nick said...

I know I'm two years too late, but thanks for posting this info up. You saved me hours worth of headache trying to find out where 6 GB of my HD was being hogged.