When installing a fresh installation of Windows 8.1 Pro it comes with many files and folders which are most often always in the same location with the same name etc.

If we create our own files and move them deep into some of the OS folders like C:\Windows\servicing\Packages and forget about them, is it possible to find these files via a search vector(keep in mind we do not know the name or locations as we have forgot)

The first search vector that comes to mind is that our files will not be default files which come with windows, however I dont know how we would include such a rule in a search.

  • So basically, you want to find all folders and files in the Windows directory that were added after Windows was installed, correct? – Cfinley Apr 21 '15 at 14:48
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    Why exactly are you manually putting files in protected folders? – Ramhound Apr 21 '15 at 15:49
  • @Ramhound: Hiding pr0n no doubt. ;) – Karan Apr 21 '15 at 19:45
  • @Karan - The protected folders are only write protected not read protected. – Ramhound Apr 21 '15 at 19:57
  • @Ramhound: Obviously, but the whole point behind burying them is so a casual user on a shared PC won't know or even come across them. – Karan Apr 21 '15 at 19:59

One way to approach this is using a "cutoff date," i.e. if you remember when you placed them there you could use Windows explorer let you search for them.

Another approach would be to copy the files coming from a fresh reference Windows installation onto an external harddisk (or use an sata adapter to connect the reference HD to your PC), then use a file sync tool like FreeFileSync - which has a compare mode - to let it show the files which are different.

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