Vista Folder File Informations

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Technical Notes: The following folders and file information are relating to (32-bit) Windows Vista. These
describe the purpose of each key folders and files in new Vista (32-bit) architecture. Some of these
information are also applies for the previous versions (i.e. 2000, XP and 2003) and many information (may
be all) are applies for the later versions (i.e. Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7).

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Vista Folder File Informations

  1. 1. bcdalai's Free Tech. Support Blog: [http://bcdalai.blogspot.com] Vista Folder-File Info No great discovery was ever made without a bold guess. –Isaac Newton Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes. –Oscar Wilde Persistence and positive thinking to make things happen. About this document: This document is for educational / informational purposes. About the Author: bcdalai, MCP, MCSE, MCTS: Windows Vista. The author is an IT pro working on Desktop, Server and Networking - as system administrator, Tech. Support, software troubleshooter and reviewer. He is available for tech. support in Microsoft forums, community and in other online forums with the online name bcdalai. He can be reached at: http://bcdalai.blogspot.com or e-mail: bcdalai2020@gmail.com. License: The subject matters are for system administrators and everyday computer users. This article is completely free to read, distribute (through website, CD/DVD or magazines) or share without any modification and may be reproduced in printable media with a link to this article. The article must be distributed in “Microsoft XPS” or “Adobe PDF” format. Disclaimer: This document is for educational and informational purposes. THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS”, WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED. It is assumed that you will use the contents of this document in proper and productive way. All names, websites, trade names and registered trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners. Copyright © 2004-2010 by bcdalai. Thanks: I’m greatly thankful to all the readers for reading and sending feedbacks to me. -1- © 2004-2010, bcdalai
  2. 2. bcdalai's Free Tech. Support Blog: [http://bcdalai.blogspot.com] Vista Folder-File Info [Applies for Windows Vista (32-bit)] Technical Notes: The following folders and file information are relating to (32-bit) Windows Vista. These describe the purpose of each key folders and files in new Vista (32-bit) architecture. Some of these information are also applies for the previous versions (i.e. 2000, XP and 2003) and many information (may be all) are applies for the later versions (i.e. Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7). Special Folders Where Windows Vista is installed, usually C: drive. Path: %systemdrive% Table-1 Folder Description $Recycle.Bin Hidden by default, this folder contains files that have been deleted. You should never need to directly interact with this folder. Instead, use the Recycle Bin object on the desktop and in Explorer to recover or permanently delete files. Boot On BIOS-based computers, this folder contains the BCD registry file, BCD log files, the Windows Memory Diagnostics file (Memtest.exe), and many subfolders containing regional versions of Windows Boot Manager (Bootmgr.exe.mui) and Windows Memory Diagnostics (Memtest.exe.mui). The BootFonts folder contains several TrueType fonts used during startup. On EFI-based operating systems, the BCD registry file is located in the EFIMicrosoftBoot folder on the EFI system partition. Documents and This junction point simply links to the Users folder for backward compatibility with Settings applications developed prior to Windows Vista. In Windows XP and earlier versions of Windows, the Documents and Settings folder was used to store user profiles. Program Files The standard location for installing application executable files. To help prevent standard users from installing new applications, standard users can read files in this folder but cannot write files to the folder. ProgramData The standard location for applications to store non-user-specific data, such as shared settings that all users should be able to update. System Volume A system folder that stores information about the disk volume. You should never need to Information directly access this folder. Users The folder used to store user files and documents. This folder contains a subfolder (the user profile) for each user on the computer. Additionally, the UsersPublic folder contains documents and settings available to all users of the computer. Windows This folder contains Windows system files, including drivers, log files, the registry, and more. Read the next section for more information about the contents of this folder. Windows Folders Location of “Windows” folder, usually C:Windows. Path: %systemroot% Table-2 Folder Description <language-region> Contains regional versions of some Windows tools. This folder is named using the language-region format. For example, the Windowsen-US folder contains United States English-language version of Windows tools. Addins ActiveX controls (.ocx) files. AppPatch Application compatibility files. Assembly Assembly files used for Microsoft .NET Framework–based applications Boot Copies of files located in the Boot folder Branding Used by computer manufacturers that want to insert custom branding into the operating system. CSC Offline files that are used during client-side caching. Cursors Cursor and icon files. Debug Log files. Used for debugging purpose. DigitalLocker Contains the Digital Locker Assistant, which facilitates downloading and purchasing software. Downloaded Downloaded program files. Program Files e-home Contains Windows Media Center files. Fonts All font files. -2- © 2004-2010, bcdalai
  3. 3. bcdalai's Free Tech. Support Blog: [http://bcdalai.blogspot.com] Globalization Contains globalization files, but might be empty, depending on the computer configuration. Help Help files. IME Language files. Inf Contains driver files. L2Schemas Contains networking profiles. LiveKernelReports A system folder used to store non-fatal error reports generated during the failure of a kernel mode application or driver. Logs Contains some Windows log files. Media Sound and music files (for example, WAV and MIDI files) used by the operating system. Microsoft.NET Contains files related to the .NET Framework, including XML-based configuration files. Minidump Contains small memory dump files created after stop errors. ModemLogs Contains modem log files. MSAgent Microsoft Agent files. (Microsoft Agent is a set of programmable software services that support the presentation of interactive animated characters within the Microsoft Windows interface.) Nap Contains files related to Network Access Protection (NAP). Offline Web Pages Downloaded web pages for offline reading. Panther Files related to Windows setup. Performance Files related to Windows System Assessment (WinSAT). PLA Performance logs and alerts information PolicyDefinitions Contains .admx files for extending Group Policy. Prefetch Data files related to enhancing the speed at which applications start. Provisioning XML schema files related to authentication. Registration COM+ files, which are enhancements to the Microsoft Component Object Model (COM). rescache Resource cache folder. Resources User interface files. SchCache Schema cache folder. Schemas XML schema files. Security Log files, templates for snap-ins, and security database files. ServiceProfiles Virtualized profile data for different classifications of services. Servicing Installable Windows components. Setup Dynamic Update storage location. ShellNew Used to store document templates. This folder is provided to provide backwards compatibility with earlier versions of Windows. SoftwareDistribution Microsoft Update files. Speech Speech synthesis files. System Backward-compatibility files related to the System folder (for example, applications that look for a System folder). system32 Core operating system files. Tapi Telephony Application Programming Interface (API) folders. This folder contains the Tsec.ini file, which includes the list of users who are telephony administrators. Tasks Scheduled Task files. Temp Temporary files. Tracing Stores Remote Access Services tracing files. twain_32 Imaging files (for scanners). Web Printer and wallpaper files. Windows Mobile Files for connecting to Windows Mobile devices. WinSxS Side by Side (shared components). System32 Folders Location of “System32” folder, usually C:Windowssystem32. Path: %systemroot%system32 Table-3 Folder Description #### (four numeric digits) Localization (language) files for a specific language, corresponding to the number assigned to this folder. <language-region> Contains regional versions of some Windows tools. This folder is named using the language-region format. For example, the WindowsSystem32en-US folder contains United States English-language version of Windows tools. AdvancedInstallers DLL files used by application installation programs. Boot Copies of files located in the Boot folder. Branding Used by computer manufacturers that want to insert custom branding into the operating system. -3- © 2004-2010, bcdalai
  4. 4. bcdalai's Free Tech. Support Blog: [http://bcdalai.blogspot.com] CatRoot Catalog files and signature files. CatRoot2 Catalog files and signature files. CodeIntegrity Files used to verify the integrity of system files. Com Component Object Model (COM) objects. Config Registry files and event logs. Drivers Installed drivers. DriverStore Windows File Protection backup files. GroupPolicyUsers Stores the user-specific local Group Policy cache for Multiple Local Group Policy Objects (MLGPOs). Ias Internet Authentication Service files. Icsxml Universal Plug and Play files. Ime Input Method Editor (IME). Language files. Inetsrv Internet Information Services files. Licensing Files related to Windows licensing. LogFiles Log files for Windows components. Microsoft Cryptography files. Migration Files used for computer-to-computer migration. MigWiz Files used for computer-to-computer migration. MsDtc Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator files. Mui Multi-user interface files. NDF Event Log trace files. NetworkList Icons for different types of networks. Oobe Out-of-box-experience (Oobe). Windows Welcome files. Printing_Admin_Scripts Scripts for managing printers. Ras Remote access server encryption files. RemInst Boot-manager files. Restore Data files or System Restore–related files. Setup Optional component-manager files. Slmgr Settings for Windows Product Activation. SLUI Files related to Windows Product Activation. Speech Speech synthesis files. Spool Print spooling files. Sysprep Sysprep files, used for automating Windows deployment. Tasks Scheduled Task files. Usmt User State Migration tool. Wbem Web-based Enterprise Management data files. Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) is the Microsoft implementation of WBEM. WCN Information about configuring wireless networks with Windows Connect Now. WDI Windows diagnostic information. WFP Windows File Protection files. Winevt Windows trace logs. Winrm Configuration settings for Windows Remote Management. XPSViewer Files for viewing XML Paper Specification (XPS) documents. Windows Vista Startup Files The files used to start Windows Vista OS and also Windows Server 2008. Table-4 File Name Location Description BootMgr %HOMEDRIVE% The Windows Boot Manager WinLoad %systemroot%System32 The Windows Boot Loader. Ntoskrnl.exe %systemroot%System32 The core (also called the kernel) of the Windows Vista operating system. Code that runs as part of the kernel does so in privileged processor mode and has direct access to system data and hardware. Hal.dll %systemroot%System32 The HAL dynamic-link library file. The HAL abstracts low-level hardware details from the operating system and provides a common programming interface to devices of the same type (such as video adapters). Smss.exe %systemroot%System32 The Session Manager file. Session Manager is a user-mode process created by the kernel during startup that handles critical startup tasks including creating page files and performing delayed file rename and delete operations. Csrss.exe %systemroot%System32 The Win32 Subsystem file. The Win32 Subsystem is launched by -4- © 2004-2010, bcdalai
  5. 5. bcdalai's Free Tech. Support Blog: [http://bcdalai.blogspot.com] Session Manager, and is required by Windows Vista to function. Winlogon.exe %systemroot%System32 The Logon Process file, which handles user logon requests and intercepts the Ctrl+Alt+Delete logon key sequence. The Logon Process is launched by Session Manager. This is a required component of Windows Vista. Services.exe %systemroot%System32 The Service Control Manager is responsible for starting and stopping services, and is a required component of Windows Vista. Lsass.exe %systemroot%System32 Local Security Authentication Server process is called by the Logon Process when authenticating users, and is a required component of Windows Vista. System %systemroot% The file that contains data used to create the registry key registry File System32Config HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEM. This key contains System information that the operating system requires to start devices and system services. Device driver %systemroot% Driver package files in this folder are used for hardware devices packages System32Driver Store such as keyboard, mouse, and video. Windows Vista Core System Files The files the important system files for Windows Vista OS and also Windows Server 2008. Table-5 File Name Location Description Csrss.exe %systemroot%System32 The Win32 Subsystem file. The Win32 Subsystem is launched by Session Manager, and is required by Windows Vista to function. Device driver %systemroot% Driver package files in this folder used are for hardware devices packages System32Driver Store such as keyboard, mouse, and video. Hal.dll %systemroot%System32 The HAL dynamic-link library file. The HAL abstracts low-level hardware details from the operating system and provides a common programming interface to devices of the same type (such as video adapters). Hiberfil.sys %HOMEDRIVE% The Windows Vista hibernation file, which Windows Vista uses to hibernate the system. Lsass.exe %systemroot%System32 Local Security Authentication Server process is called by the Logon Process when authenticating users, and is a required component of Windows Vista. Ntoskrnl.exe %systemroot%System32 The core (also called the kernel) of the Windows Vista operating system. Code that runs as part of the kernel does so in privileged processor mode and has direct access to system data and hardware. Pagefile.sys %HOMEDRIVE% The Windows Vista paging file, which Windows Vista uses to store virtual memory. Services.exe %systemroot%System32 The Service Control Manager is responsible for starting and stopping services, and is a required component of Windows Vista. Smss.exe %systemroot%System32 The Session Manager file. Session Manager is a user-mode process created by the kernel during startup that handles critical startup tasks including creating page files and performing delayed file rename and delete operations. System %systemroot% The file that contains data used to create the registry key registry file System32Config HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEM. This key contains System information that the operating system requires to start devices and system services. Winlogon.exe %systemroot%System32 The Logon Process file, which handles user logon requests and intercepts the Ctrl+Alt+Delete logon key sequence. The Logon Process is launched by Session Manager. This is a required component of Windows Vista. Author’s Please Note: If you have any more information please send those to me on blog. Thank You -5- © 2004-2010, bcdalai

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