I zipped my old windows dir with 7 zip. It zipped the "Application Data" many time (hundreds) as shown here :
C:\Windows.old\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data/Application Data ...
Now I cannot unzip it as it runs out of disk space.

How do I solve this problem? .

  • 1
    what convinced you this was a good idea?!
    – John T
    Feb 6, 2011 at 23:57
  • @John T What do you mean? 7-zip did that, not me. Feb 7, 2011 at 2:17
  • Sounds like a bug in that case. Can you reproduce it? I would submit to 7-zip authors.
    – John T
    Feb 7, 2011 at 2:28
  • I don't know how it happened. I tried zip the Users dir from old windows and this happened. Feb 8, 2011 at 3:54

2 Answers 2


The problem you're running into is that \Application Data is an NTFS junction point to \AppData\Roaming. Microsoft changed the \Application Data directory's path when Vista came out. The junction point was provided for compatibility purposes.

When you extract the archive, completely exclude the Application Data directory and you should be fine. If, after you've extracted the archive, you find that some programs don't work, you can recreate the \Application Data link by using the MKLINK command.

The reason it got this way in the first place is that Windows has had historically poor support for symlinks -- something which *nix-based operating systems have had for decades. Even though NTFS supported them since Windows 2000, they were never used until Vista came out, and this explains why Explorer is not handling them properly when 7-Zip extracts the archive.

As the old joke goes, Microsoft doesn't know how to spell SYMLIN~1.lnk


If your system is running out of disk space, delete the old parent copy after extracting the next child copy. 7-zip has command-line functionality to help you automate this in a batch script if it makes things easier for you.

The system may not actually be running out of disk space, but the pathname contained inside the zip may be too long. I would also check My Computer to see how much space is left on your disk when you get these errors.

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