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  • Desktop.ini files

    I want to show BOTH hidden files AND protected system files---BUT NOT on my desktop.

    Is this possible?

    Janet
    Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

  • #2
    Re: Desktop.ini files

    Sorry, but it is a global setting that applies (or does not apply) to all folders on all drives
    Tom Jones
    MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
    PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
    IT Trainer / Consultant
    Ossian Ltd
    Scotland

    ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Desktop.ini files

      But I thought there is a way to set the particular file's properties/attributes so that it is excluded from these two hide/show commands---so that it doesn't have an S or an H attribute (?).....

      Janet

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Desktop.ini files

        You can and it is as Tom said a global setting.

        It is done via the Folder Options/View screen.

        What exactly do you want to achieve??? Do you want to be able to view a remote machines system and hidden files but not your own???

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Desktop.ini files

          It's really quite simple....as I said, I want to see my hidden files and I want to see my system files. I want to see them in all folders, because I often want access to them, as I just upgraded from XP to Win 7 (having skipped Vista) and am used to knowing what is where and how to customize my system without being limited to Wizards. However, I DON'T want to see the new and unexpected two .ini files on my Desktop! They serve no purpose and just add clutter. This is a common request in many forums throughout the internet, but I have not been able to find a reasonable solution. It is my understanding (and I am wide open to being corrected on this!), that you can set individual file attributes to over-ride the two commands (Show hidden files, and Show hidden system files). IF this is true, it would allow you to do just what we want: you would be able to see all hidden files (system and otherwise) except the two annoying Desktop.ini icons which Win 7 has decided to put on our Desktops. This issue did not arise in XP. Do all you folks not find those two desktop icons annoying...?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Desktop.ini files

            I really do not think there is a way of doing this.
            "Show hidden files" does not change security settings on the files, just on whether files with those settings are visible, and this is on a global basis, as it has been since at least Win2K

            There may be 3rd party utilities that provide folder by folder settings, but I do not know of any off hand.

            You could also delete the two desktop.ini files safely:
            http://social.answers.microsoft.com/...e-a2aa0dd8b8dc
            Tom Jones
            MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
            PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
            IT Trainer / Consultant
            Ossian Ltd
            Scotland

            ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Desktop.ini files

              Yes, I had seen that thread. It is one of the better examples of how MVP Moderators sometimes 1) don't answer the question being asked, and 2) give incorrect information....MANY threads attest to many problems which have been caused by the deletion of these two icons/folders...!!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Desktop.ini files

                Originally posted by janetb View Post
                It's really quite simple....as I said, I want to see my hidden files and I want to see my system files. I want to see them in all folders, because I often want access to them, as I just upgraded from XP to Win 7 (having skipped Vista) and am used to knowing what is where and how to customize my system without being limited to Wizards. However, I DON'T want to see the new and unexpected two .ini files on my Desktop! They serve no purpose and just add clutter. This is a common request in many forums throughout the internet, but I have not been able to find a reasonable solution. It is my understanding (and I am wide open to being corrected on this!), that you can set individual file attributes to over-ride the two commands (Show hidden files, and Show hidden system files). IF this is true, it would allow you to do just what we want: you would be able to see all hidden files (system and otherwise) except the two annoying Desktop.ini icons which Win 7 has decided to put on our Desktops. This issue did not arise in XP. Do all you folks not find those two desktop icons annoying...?
                As has been mentioned there is no way of hiding these .ini files that we are aware of.

                I'm going to take a stab at ask what options you have set in the Folder options box.

                I think i deleted the desktop.ini file once and it has never returned to my desktop and i always set hidden folders and system files to show.

                Ohh and if i remember rightly desktop.ini files do show in XP. I don't have a system handy but they i'm sure they do.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Desktop.ini files

                  Originally posted by wullieb1 View Post
                  As has been mentioned there is no way of hiding these .ini files that we are aware of.
                  I'll take that as an "I don't know how to do this".....

                  Originally posted by wullieb1 View Post
                  I'm going to take a stab at ask what options you have set in the Folder options box.
                  If it is not clear by now that I have my folder options set to show BOTH hidden files AND protected system files, I think it is perhaps time to move to a different forum.......

                  Originally posted by wullieb1 View Post
                  I think i deleted the desktop.ini file once and it has never returned to my desktop and i always set hidden folders and system files to show.
                  If this is a file and not a shortcut, it is a needed file in that it contains info about your Desktop. If you have Win 7, you ought to have TWO such icons on your desktop...I don't think it is such a good idea, as a moderator, to tell forum readers that it is fine to delete system files which are hidden by default. The net is full of people who did this and reported problems afterwards.....

                  Originally posted by wullieb1 View Post
                  Ohh and if i remember rightly do show in XP. I don't have a system handy but they i'm sure they do.
                  I'm beginning to wonder if you read this whole thread....Of course desktop.ini files show in the desktop FOLDER in both XP and W7, but they do not show on the desktop in XP......that is what this thread is about. And that's why the net if full of people asking how to get rid of them...

                  Janet

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Desktop.ini files

                    Why don't you raise this with Microsoft PSS and get the authoritative answer?
                    (obviously you will need a credit card or other payment method)

                    Alternatively just accept there are the two icons on your desktop and ignore them.

                    As for removing the files, I pointed you to a reference, by an MVP, on an MS support group, accepted by an MS support engineer, saying it was safe to remove them. For me that is close enough to authoritative. I have yet to see a link (which the net is apparently "full of") reporting problems with doing this.

                    Criticising people who are trying to help you just because you do not like the answers you are getting is not very professional, nor is it likely to get you much more help (remember this is free, from everyone's spare time) in the future.

                    Remember that Win7 is a more or less complete re-write of the operating system compared with XP -- a lot of behaviour is different, so if MS decide to treat the display of the desktop folder differently, they can do so.

                    If you prefer to go to a different forum, please feel free. Shut the door on the way out.
                    Tom Jones
                    MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
                    PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
                    IT Trainer / Consultant
                    Ossian Ltd
                    Scotland

                    ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Desktop.ini files

                      Ossian:

                      Firstly, I would like to apologize if I in any way offended you. It certainly was not my intention. I also did not intend to criticize you. I have spent a great deal of time researching this issue, and hope to help others who likewise find it annoying by reporting what I have learned and what others have experienced. We are here to share and to help others through sharing, and it is only by putting together different posters' comments and different posters' experiences that we can hope to find a solution.....


                      Originally posted by Ossian View Post
                      Why don't you raise this with Microsoft PSS and get the authoritative answer?
                      (obviously you will need a credit card or other payment method)
                      I don't believe I would care to spend any money on this matter...

                      Originally posted by Ossian View Post
                      Alternatively just accept there are the two icons on your desktop and ignore them.
                      Not a helpful comment.....

                      Originally posted by Ossian View Post
                      As for removing the files, I pointed you to a reference, by an MVP, on an MS support group, accepted by an MS support engineer, saying it was safe to remove them. For me that is close enough to authoritative. I have yet to see a link (which the net is apparently "full of") reporting problems with doing this.
                      This is an extremely important point. As I mentioned, I had seen this thread in my searches and was very surprised to find an ostensibly authoritative comment that was contradicted by the experiences of so many people! That is why I felt it particularly important to point this out. All I can say is, I found very few cases where posters say they deleted the files and nothing happened, and a great deal of cases where posters were kicking themselves for having deleted the files and relating the horrors they went through as a result....I honestly have no reason to make this up. It is very easily checked out by googling. This experience has now made me wary of what I previously also would have thought of as authoratative sources. In any case, for people who customize their desktop, this is an important file.

                      Originally posted by Ossian View Post
                      Criticising people who are trying to help you just because you do not like the answers you are getting is not very professional, nor is it likely to get you much more help (remember this is free, from everyone's spare time) in the future.
                      Again, I can only say that I am sorry you felt my knowledge/experience-sharing as criticism. It certainly was not intended as such. I don't 'like' or 'dislike' answers. Some answers advance the discussion and some do not. In Win7, there are in fact two such icons visible on the desktop when Folder Options are set to show hidden files and protected system files; in XP there are in fact none showing on the desktop with the same settings.[/QUOTE]

                      Originally posted by Ossian View Post
                      Remember that Win7 is a more or less complete re-write of the operating system compared with XP -- a lot of behaviour is different, so if MS decide to treat the display of the desktop folder differently, they can do so.
                      Of course MS is free to do whatever they like....In this case, I think it highly unlikely that MS made a conscious decision to start showing the desktop.ini icon on the desktops of people who want to see system files.......... It is much more likely that this was an oversight. I think it is tacitly understood that people want to see the system files within folders and not on their desktops. A good number of the posts were from computer engineers, computer technicians, and developers who all made this point. All posters felt this was an unfortunate change, using many different epithets ranging from silly to stupid to etc., with a wide range of tones ranging from annoyance to downright anger......

                      Originally posted by Ossian View Post
                      If you prefer to go to a different forum, please feel free. Shut the door on the way out.
                      I'm going to post on MS's TechNet rather than the general forums which have not turned up answers thus far. But I shan't be shutting the door behind me....Rather I will report back with any interesting/helpful findings so that others may benefit from my efforts.....I still welcome other posts on this forum/thread that may shed light on a solution to remedying this unwanted side-effect.....
                      Last edited by janetb; 20th November 2010, 17:42.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Desktop.ini files

                        Janet,
                        I was actually objecting to your exlpicit criticisms of another mod -- I am thick skinned enough to ignore anything directed at me. However, taking your points above:

                        Accepting the status quo is perfectly reasonable -- 2 additional icons doesnt really make much of a difference (at least on my primary desktop, where I do have system and hidden files shown -- until I can be bothered to turn it off again).

                        I am still looking for a link to someone who has had problems with deleting the files -- you say there are many such, but have not posted any.

                        Comment re criticism is addressed to your response to Wullie's post, specifically your first and third points. Based on your posts in the entire thread it is clear you are not willing to accept "you can't do it" as an answer.

                        Re desktop folder, once again you say all comments were against this, but you do not back it up with references.

                        I suspect a technet post will result in the same answer as you have already received, but good luck. Thank you for offering to link back your findings.

                        Also note that the offensive icons are only visible when you choose to display protected OS files. This is rarely required so, for the vast majority of Windows 7 users, will never be an issue. Presumably you have a good reason to display them, but if not, I would strongly recommend you turn off the option as it does not display files you ever need to normally work with. My practice is (unless I forget to turn them off) to only enable protected files when I need to, so the desktop icons could actually give a useful reminder that I should change back to default settings.
                        Of course this could all change when SP1 comes out -- have you tried the RC? Alternatively a twitter campaign (#desktop.ini.must.die ) may attract enough worldwide followers to make MS change things
                        Tom Jones
                        MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
                        PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
                        IT Trainer / Consultant
                        Ossian Ltd
                        Scotland

                        ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Desktop.ini files

                          REFERENCES:
                          My last Google search on this mission was for :
                          desktop.ini icons on Desktop "Windows 7"
                          I read thru pretty much all the links and sublinks on the first several pages. I think this probably brought up the best results of my various searches. I had originally searched directly in MS forums and various Windows 7 forums and found that although the issue was raised often, no answer was provided...A lot of posts dealt with the issue of deleting the icons, which was of course not relevant for both myself and others who wanted to hide it but not to delete it. If you go through Windows forums, sevenforums.com forums, and the Google search mentioned above, you will find the posts about deletion problems. Actually, if problems encountered in virtue of deletion is of interest to you, you could probably get those links best by Googling [deleting desktop.ini icons on Desktop "Windows 7].

                          Regarding my mission, the response which I found most helpful brings me to the second point:

                          IMPOSSIBLE?
                          "You can't do it" is a perfecty good answer---if and only if it can't be done. The route I was pursuing was inspired by a post exerpted here:

                          "I like the way Joe Blow User explained the problem, I'm having it too. Simply put, I want to see all files. I’m a Systems & Network Admin / Engineer, and I want to see all files. I also want a pretty desktop (I mean, c’mon, this is Windows 7 Ultimate I’m using).

                          I'm not happy with the proposed solution because it’s just not accurate.

                          Recall from our DOS, Win3x, and Win95 days when files and folders had 6 attributes. The mneumonic was "VD Rash". Volume, Directory, Read-only, Archive, System, and Hidden.

                          On Windows 7, open a command prompt and go to C:\Users\your_user_name\Desktop and type DIR <enter>. You won’t see the Desktop.ini files. Now type SET DIRCMD=/A/O:GN <ENTER>. Now type DIR <enter> and you’ll see one of the two Desktop.ini files (FYI the other is in C:\Users\Public\Public Desktop). Now type ATTRIB DESKTOP.INI <enter> and you’ll see the file has the ASH attributes.

                          Now on your desktop create these files:

                          s.txt
                          sh.txt
                          h.txt

                          Again from C:\Users\your_user_name\Desktop run these commands:

                          ATTRIB S.TXT +S <enter>
                          ATTRIB SH.TXT +S +H <enter>
                          ATTRIB H.TXT +H <enter>

                          Again from C:\Users\your_user_name\Desktop run ATTRIB * <enter> and you can see how these three files have the attributes we want.

                          Now go to control panel, folder options, view tab:

                          “show hidden” with nothing else causes us to see all three of our test files
                          “show hidden” with “hide protected OS files” causes us to see only s.txt and h.txt (i.e. the sh file is invisible)
                          “don’t show hidden” with nothing else causes us to see only s.txt
                          “don’t show hidden” with “hide protected OS files” causes us to see only s.txt

                          Here’s the bottom line:
                          Hidden means files with H attribute
                          Protected OS means files with S and H attributes together
                          The “hide protected OS files” option is stronger than the “show hidden” option.

                          So the question remains, how do we keep the Desktop.ini files hidden on the desktop while allowing all files to be visible in Explorer?

                          According to KB article 812003, I quote: "Some folder options apply to all folders. For example, by default, both Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP hide protected operating system files, files or folders that have the hidden attribute, and file extensions (for known file types). To modify these settings and other advanced folder settings that apply to all folders, administrators can use the Folder Options item in Control Panel." Although the KB isn’t written for Windows 7, I expect the functionality hasn’t changed.

                          Thus it looks like we can't set the "hide" options on just the C:\Users\your_user_name\Desktop and C:\Users\Public\Public Desktop folders, while setting the "show" options on all other folders on the computer.

                          I’ll continue to ruminate on this… Anyone else with ideas?

                          Proposed As Answer by DanBenway Wednesday, January 27, 2010 12:16 AM


                          You can see the full thread here:
                          http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7desktop/thread/56dcd199-c95a-427a-acf6-4eea66debaa8

                          It seems to me that you should be able to set the attributes of the file to get it to not appear on the desktop. After all, XP did manage to show hidden and protected files in folders without showing them on the Desktop! So I figured I'd continue posting in other forums in the hopes that someone would refer to the matter of changing the attributes of the two desktop.ini files.....Since I've have always had my questions answered on this forum in the past, I started here. But, as I said, I think perhaps it is time to take this issue to other forums as well.....

                          Originally posted by Ossian View Post
                          Also note that the offensive icons are only visible when you choose to display protected OS files. This is rarely required so, for the vast majority of Windows 7 users, will never be an issue. Presumably you have a good reason to display them, but if not, I would strongly recommend you turn off the option as it does not display files you ever need to normally work with. My practice is (unless I forget to turn them off) to only enable protected files when I need to, so the desktop icons could actually give a useful reminder that I should change back to default settings.
                          Obviously this issue is not an issue for the majority of Win 7 users....But just as obviously, it is an issue for people such as Dan Benway and myself. I have just now 'upgraded' (?) from XP Pro to Win7 and was very disappointed with what appeared to be bugs but turned out to be changes annoying to many users....I have been spending the better part of the last two weeks trying to get back the functionality and efficiency that I had in XP...! That's why I want to see system files all the time. To customize my system. Also, it helps me to 'learn' the OS---you know---to know where things are.....

                          I have been dumbfounded by the large number of posts from people who feel that W7 was a step backwards and are desperately waiting for fixes.... It is amazing how many third-party solutions have come out to change W7 elements back to XP mode---e.g., the Start Menu.

                          Originally posted by Ossian View Post
                          Of course this could all change when SP1 comes out -- have you tried the RC? Alternatively a twitter campaign (#desktop.ini.must.die ) may attract enough worldwide followers to make MS change things
                          Sorry---what's the RC? I steer clear of Twitter and Facebook and all such things....I don't think it would help much anyway, given that so much time has passed and they still haven't come out with SP1 in spite of so many complaints about a couple or three issues....Besides, a much more important issue as far as I am concerned is the 'jumping' Folders Panel--how it autoscrolls to the top when you open a folder and then you have to go scrolling back to the folder you just opened....I actually set something somewhere that fixed this, but them it went back again....Now this issue is making me consider moving to Linux.....

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Desktop.ini files

                            Life is too short to bother following up things you cannot post live links to. Use the hyperlink button (globe + chain) and paste the link in the dialog.

                            The RC is the "release candidate" for Service Pack 1. The actual release will be fairly soon.

                            As for "still havent come out with SP1", Microsoft don't release them for a "couple or three issues", they offer major enhancements. The schedule is about right for the first SP for any OS -- about 18-24 months after release.

                            In general the world has accepted Win7 as a worthy successor to XP (unlike Vista ). If you don't like the Win7 interface (and many people do like it), you can use your downgrade rights, or look into XP Mode. There are always luddites who prefer things the way they were, hence the 3rd party add-ons, but this does not mean Microsoft made mistakes with their changes -- the IT world moves on.

                            I'm going to leave this discussion from now on as I feel it is no longer relevant to the original topic. Should you find a solution, you are welcome to post it back.
                            Tom Jones
                            MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
                            PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
                            IT Trainer / Consultant
                            Ossian Ltd
                            Scotland

                            ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Desktop.ini files

                              Originally posted by janetb View Post
                              I'll take that as an "I don't know how to do this".....
                              No its not an "I don't know how to do this". It was mearly a comment to state that i was in agreement with the other moderator that as has been mentioned there was no way, that we were aware of, to stop this happening.

                              Originally posted by janetb View Post
                              If it is not clear by now that I have my folder options set to show BOTH hidden files AND protected system files, I think it is perhaps time to move to a different forum.......
                              Have you actually had a look at the options in there. There are a few more to set than the 2 you have mentioned.

                              Originally posted by janetb View Post
                              If this is a file and not a shortcut, it is a needed file in that it contains info about your Desktop. If you have Win 7, you ought to have TWO such icons on your desktop...I don't think it is such a good idea, as a moderator, to tell forum readers that it is fine to delete system files which are hidden by default. The net is full of people who did this and reported problems afterwards.....
                              I have one desktop.ini file that is created when i add an item to my desktop.

                              Tell me where i said for you to delete the file??? I specifically stated "I think i deleted the desktop.ini file once and it has never returned to my desktop and i always set hidden folders and system files to show. which is not a recommendation to delete anything. On further testing however it does re-appear every time i added an icon to the desktop and only when i add an icon to the desktop.


                              Originally posted by janetb View Post
                              I'm beginning to wonder if you read this whole thread....Of course desktop.ini files show in the desktop FOLDER in both XP and W7, but they do not show on the desktop in XP......that is what this thread is about. And that's why the net if full of people asking how to get rid of them...

                              Janet
                              They do on my system. Each and every time i place an icon on my desktop i get the desktop.ini file showing. I delete it every time. It also shows in my dektop folder.

                              The file is a hidden system file and as such when you select "Show Hidden files, folers and drives" and uncheck "Hide protected operating system files" the system is doing exactly what you ask it too. It looks like it has been done by design by MS and is something that cannot be readily changed, as you have no doubt found by the posts on the net.

                              Also please be aware that i do not get any pay from trying to help people on the net with their issues. If you really fell strongly enough about this concern then reallt the only course for correction of it is via the MS forums or by calling MS directly and asking PSS for their assistance.

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