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I am using the text editor gedit on Windows Vista. I did not realize it at the time, but the default is the gedit saves a file to "C:\Windows\system32". I am looking for a file that I saved to this default location (and gedit assures me that it is in the directory) but the file does not appear in windows explorer or the command prompt. My question is how do I find this file outside of using gedit's file chooser itself?

I am sure this is very simple but I am not very experienced with computers.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Look in %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Windows\System32

I'm not familiar with Gedit, but if you have UAC enabled and are not running GEdit as Administrator, then it is likely that vista is virtualising that directory.

Basically programs should NOT be writing to this directory, but lots of them did (and not just viruses) and this causes lots of programs, so Vista now protects this folder unless the program is running in administrator mode. Any program written prior to Vista which tries to write to this directory will be directed to the virtualStore. Note this is invisible to the program which thinks it is writing to the real directory.

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Thanks! The final directory was name "SysWOW64" (perhaps this has to do with having a 64-bit machine?) rather than "system32" but otherwise your diagnosis was spot on. What I really want to know is why system32 is the default saving directory for the text editor. – J. Kepler Jul 16 '11 at 18:35

If you use Windows Explorer, Windows may try to tell you not to look into important 'system folders' like C:\Windows\system32, but you should insist. Whose folders are they anyway?

I'm not familiar with Vista (fortunately) but it may also hide certain kinds of files by default.

If you can, tell Windows not to hide files from you. Let it know who is boss.

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In this case, I was able to access the system32 folder but I did not see the file I was looking for in this directory. It looks like the situation was as sgmoore said. Thanks though. – J. Kepler Jul 16 '11 at 18:38

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