Thursday, October 28, 2021

Tech Tips
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ComicBase Tip of the Day:

Vista: Where’s the Pictures Folder?

Microsoft has been beaten up pretty bad over security in the past several years, so in Vista, they wanted to take pains to make the system more secure in any way possible. Part of that effort was to stop programs (other than installers) from writing to the Program Data folder. So what happens under Vista to the Pictures folder (normally stored at C:\Program Files\Human Computing\Pictures)?

Well, Microsoft (quite wisely) figured out that so many programs (including ComicBase) need to write data to various places in the Program Data folder, that simply causing such operations to fail under Vista would reduce the total amount of available Vista software to something like Notepad, Minesweeper, and that program that puts dancing babies everywhere on your screen. So what they did is this: any program read or write requests to locations in the Program Data folder get automatically redirected to a new, partially hidden, directory called:

C:\Users\<your user name>\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\

So, for instance, the regular C:\Program Files\Human Computing\Pictures folder on my system really lives at:

C:\Users\<my user name>\AppData\Local\VistualStore\Program Files\Human Computing\Pictures

It's a big change, but at the same time, you’ll probably never need to worry about it, since the actual reading and writing of pictures works as before, thanks to Vista’s automatic redirecting. The only time it comes as a surprise is when you’re actually looking for the picture files themselves in Windows Explorer. (We’ll also see if we can’t adjust our shortcuts to the Picture Files, shown in a previous tech tip, to be more Vista-savvy in this regard).