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Windows 7 Special Folders missing from panel

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  • Windows 7 Special Folders missing from panel

    BC3 v3.2.3 13046
    Windows 7

    I am doing 'mirror to right' in a folder sync that used to work fine. Now Windows 'special folders' c:\documents and settings and c:\users are not appearing in the left panel, so Beyond Compare wants to delete them from the right. However, these folders do exist. As a troubleshooting step, I created a new folder sync and new folder compare with no filters and the problem existed in both.

    Is this a BC bug or did something change in Windows 7?

  • #2
    From the Change Log:
    v3.2.2.13000 December 6, 2010

    Official 3.2 release.

    - Notable Changes
    - Added "Exclude protected operating system files" option that excludes
    system and hidden files, folders, and junction points (Windows only).
    Enabled by default.
    To disable go to Session Settings/Other Filters/DOS Attributes and uncheck the option.

    Greetings Lutz


    • #3
      In addition to Lutz comments, C:\Users is not one of the OS Protected Folders hidden by that option. Is it specifically C:\Users that is hidden, or subfolders/sub-items within it?

      Items can be hidden from view for a variety of reasons. If you could post a full screen screenshot here or email us at [email protected] that could help reveal some clues. If you email us, please include a link back to this forum post as well.
      Aaron P Scooter Software


      • #4
        I'm not liking this

        I unchecked 'protected operating system files'. It did NOT have any effect on my problem. I am currently running 'Sync Now'. Mirror To Right is causing 70+ GB of data to be deleted from my NAS drive 'on-the-right'.

        I've been using Beyond Compare to do full file drive backups and it seems to me that there are files I am now no longer 'allowed' to back up with the latest version.

        I will do some screen prints and forward them to support.


        • #5
          I'm sorry, I did not check it correctly.

          As Aaron said, this option does not cause hiding system folders (I wished it would in another thread).

          I'm using W7Pro64 as Administrator and I'm seeing C:\users and can backup the folder.
          I am able to see C:\Documents and Settings in BC by checking Session Settings/Handling/File handling/Follow symbolic links but due to W7 I get no access, neither in Windows Explorer nor in BC.
          But this doesn't matter since C:\Documents and Settings is only a symlink pointing to C:\users.

          Greetings Lutz


          • #6
            > "/Follow symbolic links"

            I don't have that option in my version.

            At the bottom of the left window is the following. :

            (tiny blue square with a Windows shortcut symbol on it)
            Name: Documents and Settings ( -> C:\Users)
            Size: 0
            Attributes: sh

            Nothing appears immediately to its right, in the right window.

            I did a search in BC for a file I know is really under c:\users on my PC and BC did not find it in my Folder Sync session.


            • #7
              Yes, this is same that I see, if I uncheck "Exclude protected operating system files" and "Follow symbolic links".

              Please check again the option, it's available since

              Greetings Lutz
              Last edited by Lutz; 21-Dec-2010, 10:02 AM.


              • #8
                No 'Follow Symbolic Link' option

                We have a licensed version of BC3 3.2.2 (build 13000) at work and no option that you mentioned. (see attachment). I just updated to 3.2.3 (build 13046) and no option.


                • #9
                  I really needed a picture compare of our screenshots to realize the difference:

                  @Jack: Sorry, I overlooked "folder sync" in your first post and tried it with "folder compare", but I never thought that there will be a difference.

                  @Scooter: In Folder Sync/Session Settings there is no option to "follow symlinks". Is this intended behaviour? Please explain, because I'm running out of english!
                  (FYI: I just did backups of my system drive to my internal and external backup drives without following symlinks and excluding any protected system files and other files flagged as "system", because I think it's not possible to restore my system from these files.)

                  Greetings Lutz
                  Last edited by Lutz; 21-Dec-2010, 04:31 PM.


                  • #10
                    The missing "Follow Symbolic Links" option in the folder sync was just an oversight, and we'll get a fix out soon.

                    Jack, are you able to navigate into "C:\Documents and Settings" on your Windows 7 system? Normally it's a symbolic link to "C:\Users" that doesn't have read permissions, so you shouldn't be able to access it even if you're an administrator. Since it normally points to C:\Users, actually following it would be a bad idea anyway, since you would just be duplicating the same files in two places.
                    Zoë P Scooter Software


                    • #11
                      @Craig, 1st part: This may happen!

                      @Craig, 2nd part: I couldn't explain it better! As I've posted in several threads before I'm using symlinks to collect different devices in one folder. I ever have to be sure that I don't create recursive folder structures and if so, I have to exclude the parent folder from a sync or compare to prevent duplicate copies.
                      Following this I renew my wish to exlude protected system folders by default just following my custom symlinks (on my W7Pro64-system the folders c:\Windows\CSC\v2.0.6 and c:\Windows\System32\LogFiles\WMI\RtBackup are currently creating access denied errors).

                      Before you change current behviour, please think about the use of following symlinks where on most systems access is denied.

                      Greetings Lutz
                      Last edited by Lutz; 21-Dec-2010, 05:18 PM. Reason: added link to other thread


                      • #12
                        @Lutz, as of v3.2 we detect recursive symbolic links and will show them as plain symlinks instead of directories. It does have to recurse once though, so in cases like "C:\Documents and Settings" vs "C:\Users" it will still duplicate things.

                        I don't understand your comment about excluding protected system folders though. The "Exclude protected operating system files" option largely handles that, buy excluding anything (files or folders) that's system+hidden. I'm not really sure what criteria Microsoft uses to flag folders that way, but that's what Explorer hides by default. The only alternative I could see is capturing the "Access denied" error instead and marking those folders excluded, but that seems weird, since it would exclude things as you try to visit them. BC2 kind of worked that way, since it treated load errors as empty directories.
                        Zoë P Scooter Software


                        • #13
                          Hi Craig,

                          "C:\Documents and Settings" would be a candidate to exclude by default as a "protected operating system folder" so that I may leave "Follow Symbolic Links" checked to use my custom symlinks.

                          I really have no better idea but to capture "Access denied", perhaps we all should give it a try. It may be shown in the log pane but excluded from folder compare/sync.

                          Greetings Lutz


                          • #14
                            Short and long term solution

                            I am going to replace my 'Folder Sync' session with a 'Folder Compare' session because, quite frankly, I can accomplish the results I want that way without waiting for a fix to 'Folder Sync'.

                            It has never been my goal to back up Windows protected files with the intention that I would use it to restore from - if I had a complete hard drive failure. I have other methods to do that (BartPE, DriveXML, Windows restore disk). But 'documents and settings' (aka 'c:\users' in Windows 7) contains a lot of user data that I cannot afford to NOT back up.

                            Issue aside, I will continue to use Beyond Compare as my primary file backup utility. The company I work for has a multi-user license and we use it to a great degree.

                            I love it.