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Migrating from WindowsXP Home to Windows 7 Pro. The last bit that I'm stuck on is migrating application settings, such as the settings for Opera, Firefox, MSN Messenger, and others. On the XP system, this all seems to be in "user/Local Settings" and "user/Application Data". On the Windos 7 system, there is a "user/AppData" folder as well as "user/Application Data" and "user/Local Settings". When I try to access "Application Data" and "Local Settings" on Windows 7, I get an "Access Denied" error (even though my user is an admin).

So... if I can't copy my application settings files to "Application Data" and "Local Settings" on Windows 7, where to I copy them to?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

On Windows 7, %USERPROFILE%\Application Data is only a symlink to %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming. It's there for retaining compatibility with poorly-written software, so by default, the symlink has such an ACL that you cannot open it in Explorer, while programs still can access files inside it.

Similarly, Local Settings is now a symlink to %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local.

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For the ignorant, "symlink" means "symbolic link". – user3463 Jan 30 '11 at 3:12
Hmm didn't seem to work too well for Opera. There seem to be hard-coded paths in there somewhere and now the Mail component (including RSS feeds) won't open. – FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Feb 1 '11 at 4:59
@Frustrated: Is it really because of path mismatches? Sometimes it's due to permission problems (if you moved the files, they retained their old ownership). Use Process Monitor to make sure. But do check AppData\Roaming\Opera\Opera\operaprefs.ini for traces of old paths. – grawity Feb 1 '11 at 12:37
Yes, the username I copied from was "old_user" and when Opera started it complained about not being able to find something in C:\Documents and Settings\old_user\Applocation Data\Opera\mail\omailbase.dat (or something like that, I'm going from memory here) but the key thing is it referenced the old username on the new computer. – FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Feb 1 '11 at 14:26
...For anyone else that has this problem, it's possible to migrate your Opera settings from Windows XP to Windows 7, but be careful with operaprefs.ini - it has hardcoded paths that must be manually updated to the new paths on Windows 7. – FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Feb 2 '11 at 4:47

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