Where Did “All Users” Go?

Recently I was having a problem getting some software installed on my laptop running Windows 7.

The software (IBM’s Rational Developer for Power Systems) has a custom installer.   When I tried to run the installer, it was complaining about some internal version number.   Problem was, I couldn’t find any trace of the installer or it’s data.

On a Windows XP system, the installer’s data would be in the “C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data” directory.   When I tried to find the “All Users” home directory in Windows 7, I couldn’t find it.

User home directories, on Windows 7, were moved to “C:\Users” … but using the file explorer, I couldn’t find the “All Users” sub-directory.   I did, however, find the “Public” users home directory.   This directory didn’t have an “AppData” sub-directory.

After a little experimenting, I found that if you configured Explorer to not “Hide Protected Operating System Files”, the “All Users” home directory showed up.

Turns out you can also type “C:\Users\All Users” in the address bar to navigate to the appropriate directory.

I find it kind of odd that that particular home directory is hidden, even from administrators, when critical data could be stored there.

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