Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


TXT files: now you see them - now you don't

  1. #1

    TXT files: now you see them - now you don't


    I have basic Windows 8.

    I have a game that's a variation of Windows Freecell. If I want to load a previous game, I'm presented with a File Explorer window containing TXT files of all saved games.

    However if I simply use File Explorer to browse the folder contents, I can see only the EXE file, the CHM file, and a DLL. No TXT files are visible.

    (I use the same program on my other laptop that has Win XP Pro. I can see all the TXT files in Win Explorer.)

    As an experiment, I copied the CHM file, and changed the extension to TXT. I can see that file in File Explorer, but not the game TXT files.

    From within the game, when I want to open a TXT file, I can now also see the CHM file with the new TXT extension.

    I would be grateful if someone could explain what's going on here

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    They are probably there, but have an attribute set to make them Hidden, so you can't see them unless you change some settings in File Explorer.

    If you like, you can go into Folder Options and change the setting for "Hidden Files and Folders":
    Folder Options - Open in Windows 8
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Thanks for your response.

    Here are the three settings that I can find:

    1. In File Explorer, select the folder
    View > Show/hide
    Check "Hidden items"

    2. In File Explorer, right-click on folder
    Properties > General tab
    "Hidden" is unchecked.

    3. Control Panel > Folder Options > View tab
    Activate "Show hidden files, folders, or drives"
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    Quote Originally Posted by OldGrantonian View Post
    Here are the three settings that I can find:
    Hello there.

    It was Option 3 that I was thinking of. This would apply to all folders on the computer.

    I think Option 1 would do something similar, but just in that folder.

    What happens if you change the setting?
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  5. #5


    Here's the schedule. Hope you understand it

    Option 2 (right-click) determines whether visible files are greyed out or not greyed out.

    Option 3 (Control Panel) determines whether greyed out files are actually visible or not.

    Option 1 (View > Show/hide) overrides whatever is set in Control Panel, but only for the selected folder.

    So, there are no combinations of options that actually make the games TXT files visible.

    Remember that the renamed Help file, "Help.txt", is visible when the options allow it to be visible. It must be a peculiar setting that can cause one TXT file to be visible, but not all the others.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    Quote Originally Posted by OldGrantonian View Post
    Option 2 (right-click) determines whether visible files are greyed out or not greyed out.
    No - this one hides the entire folder. So if you had a folder called c:\games\freecell, and you set that option on the freecell folder, then the freecell wouldn't be visible within c:\games (or would be shown more faintly if you set the option to show hidden files).

    I think I was wrong about Option 1 as well - I think it's the same as changing the setting in Option 3.

    However it seems from this that I may have gone off on the wrong track when suggesting Hidden files.
    Quote Originally Posted by OldGrantonian View Post
    So, there are no combinations of options that actually make the games TXT files visible.
    What happens if you go into Option 3, make sure that "show hidden files, folders and drives" is selected and also untick the option to "Hide protected operating system files"? (It will complain and give you an "are you sure" message when you do this, and you may want to switch it back later if it doesn't work.)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Thanks for all your help so far

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidY View Post
    What happens if you go into Option 3, make sure that "show hidden files, folders and drives" is selected and also untick the option to "Hide protected operating system files"? (It will complain and give you an "are you sure" message when you do this, and you may want to switch it back later if it doesn't work.)
    I should probably be ashamed to say that the option "Hide protected operating system files" is always unchecked. I'm older than Bill Gates's grandmother, and from a Unix background, so I don't "accidentally" delete system files

    One of these days, I might even manage to figure out how to set up a root account and a normal user account in Windows. So I won't see system files as a normal user. Maybe I should look through Brink's tutorials.

    BTW: Just as an experiment, and on no sound basis, I checked the option "Hide protected operating system files". No effect on the games TXT files.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    Quote Originally Posted by OldGrantonian View Post
    I'm older than Bill Gates's grandmother, and from a Unix background, so I don't "accidentally" delete system files
    Well I guess the old-school command-line method would be this:

    * make sure the game is open

    * open an Elevated Command Prompt

    * type the following commands:
    Code:
    c:
    cd\
    dir /a-d /on /b /s *.txt >c:\temp\TextFiles.txt
    This assumes you have a folder called c:\temp - substitute it with another folder if you don't. Or use c:\TextFiles.txt but you may then get some error messages about needing permission to do things because Windows doesn't like you messing in its root folder.

    * Then have a look in the TextFiles.txt file and search for one of your text files.

    Also it might be helpful to post a screenshot of what you see in the game when those files are visible, and of the same folder in File Explorer, ideally at the same time.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    I ran your DOS command. First screenshot shows the results.

    Note that "FcPro - Copy.txt" is a copy of the Help file, with the extension changed to TXT - as a test. "FcPro - Copy2.txt" is a hidden version of the same file - also as a test.

    Second screenshot compares the Win Explorer directory with the FcPro loader directory. Note that "FcPro - Copy.txt" appears in both directories.

    Third screenshot shows partial results of the DOS command on my other laptop (WinXP Pro).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails FcProForum_01.png   FcProForum_02.png   FcProWinXp.png  
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    It's because the folder is "C:\Program Files" and weird things happen there.

    I think Microsoft's intention is that applications shouldn't store data in C:\Program Files; however because this is quite an old application, it's defaulting to trying to store its files in the same folder as the EXE file.

    However Windows (from Vista on) doesn't like this, and is secretly storing the files elsewhere.

    I reckon if you do a search for one of those file names in that DIR listing, you should find the files in a folder called something like:

    C:\Users\{YourUserName}\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\FCPro\FCPro64

    Must admit I didn't know any of this either until now so it's been interesting for me to delve into it.

    Here's a link I found which was helpful:
    Vista Program Files Hide and Seek (UAC Trouble)
    and another (way more technical) one here:
    Security: Inside Windows Vista User Account Control

    What I would consider is running the application in another folder away from Program Files; I suspect it would still work there.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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TXT files: now you see them - now you don't
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