Wondering Where Your Program Installed On Windows Vista?

I recently installed Jar Ajar 0.3.1 on my new Windows Vista system. The program launched fine from the installer, and after using it I closed it down. Supposing that I could find it again where I installed it.

Well that didn't turn out to be the case. Scratching my head, I reinstalled the software, and to my surprise, during the installation it said that the file was already there! Sure enough, the Java file dialog showed the jarajar-0.3.1 folder...but in Windows Explorer, I couldn't find it there at all.

Maybe you've run across this as well. After a quick search on java.sun.com, I came across a few forum articles and bug reports describing what's known as Vista data redirection. It's a handy security feature that can cause just a bit of confusion for the moment.

I was trying to install Jar Ajar to the Program Files direction in Vista. It turns out that writing to this folder requires elevated privileges, such as running the installer as an Administrator. Since I didn't run Jar Ajar with such privileges, Vista automatically redirected the file installation to a virtual folder located in my user profile.

Wondering where your file went? You can find it in your user directory, such as C:\Users\David\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files. Why is this so difficult to find? Hopefully Sun will release a Java fix soon.

In the meantime, your program's still there, waiting for your use! Of course, you could also install it elsewhere, such as your desktop, which is your sole domain and doesn't require elevated privileges.


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