Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The hidden files in Vista

Somehow I have 'hidden' files in Vista. No, not hidden as in the attribute 'hidden'. But hidden in some manner I'm unaware of.

A file dialog in notepad:

A file dialog in Notepad++, with three more files:

This is what I've noted:
  • I'm looking at the same directory
  • Doing a 'dir' at the command prompt doesn't show the hidden files
  • Doing a 'dir' at the command prompt run as admin doesn't show the hidden files
  • Both processes are run as the same user
  • From the file dialog in Notepad++ I can copy a hidden file, then paste it. It will show up in Notepad and other files.
  • The files are visible to apache/php, as well, andwill be served.
  • If I:
    • click on an invisible file in notepad++
    • select properties
    • select security
    • Click 'edit' to change security
    • I'm told I don't have permission
    • If I try to take ownership, it says the file does not exist:

The owner for the hidden files is the same as the person I'm logged in as. If I create a new file, it is created with that new owner and visible.

I can't see the invisible files running as admin either. Just Notepad++ and Apache can see them for some reason. I've got no idea how those processes are accessing the file system differently.