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I just reinstalled Windows 7 after installing a new mainboard, and a few files "appeared" in the old installation directory afterwards:

  • junctions for "Documents and Settings" and its localized form
  • the $RECYCLE.BIN folder.
  • assorted desktop.ini files

Explorer is set up not to hide hidden and system files, same as before the reinstallation, so I suspect that there is a separate mechanism in place to remove these items from view that is independent from file attributes.

Where is this mechanism configured, and is there a document of the default settings?

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

The reason these files are appearing is because to the new installation, there is nothing special about them.

To the old installation these were "System files", but the new installation has its own version of all of these.

They are safe to delete.

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Hmm, I'd think at least the desktop.ini files should remain hidden, as the new system uses these as well. – Simon Richter May 26 '11 at 15:40

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