I am logged in as a user who has Adminstrative privileges on my standalone (not part of a domain) PC, which is running Windows 7 x64 Ultimate, and I've opened Notepad++ "as administrator", yet I cannot see the \etc folder beneath system32\drivers. I want to edit the hosts file there. In file browser, I can see the \etc folder is present, along with many other folders that are not displayed in the Notepad++ open-file dialog. Is this a permissions issue or a Notepad++ issue?
The issue is folder redirection, If a 32 bit program attempts to access the System32 folder it will be invisibly redirected to the
%windir%\SysWOW64 directory, this is for 32/64 bit application compatibility.
All the files in System32 are 64 bit, however if a program was incorrectly written they may have hard-coded the System32 in to their program when looking for a DLL. To prevent random program crashes from incorrectly written programs Microsoft does that redirect.
Now if you look at that link I posted at the top
%windir%\system32\drivers\etc is exempt from this redirection, that is why if you go directly there it works fine, but if you are in
%windir%\system32\drivers you are really looking at the
%windir%\SysWoW64\drivers folder which does not contain a
There are a few workarounds
- you need to either directly enter
- navigate to the "hidden" folder
%windir%\sysnativewhich will take you to the "real"
System32folder and you can go up the directory tree like normal.
- When you are in
%windir%\System32\driversmanually click the address bar and add on the
\etcto the folder path (this is really just another way of doing method #1)
I have unlocked administrator account here is how to do it: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/enable-the-hidden-administrator-account-on-windows-vista/
And now i can see it
I had exactly the same problem and found the explanations here helpful but the answer is even simpler than they suggest - you don't have to type the whole path name in or do any any folder redirection. When you run Notepad++ as Administrator and use File, Open you can navigate to the drivers folder and just add into the Filename dialog box: /etc/hosts (or any other file you want to open) - it opens immediately.