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[Fixed] Documents, PortableApps folders and sub-folders invisible to PocketSearch and other apps

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dodi
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[Fixed] Documents, PortableApps folders and sub-folders invisible to PocketSearch and other apps

The PortableApps Platform gives the folders Documents and PortableApps special qualities that make them differ from any other folder you create yourself on a flash drive. These special qualities can cause problems for other portable programs, e.g. PocketSearch (see my post http://portableapps.com/node/29630), which is a handy program to index and search the content of your flash drive. The folders Documents and PortableApps are invisible for PocketSearch.

It is not only the icon that gives these 2 folders a different appearance. It goes beyond that. For a test I removed the folder icons by deleting the folder X:\PortableApps\PortableApps.com\App\Graphics\WindowsFolderIcons. After doing that the folders look the same as any other folder but they are still invisible to PocketSearch. The only way to make them visible to PocketSearch is to delete them and then create folders with the same names (and move your data and apps back there).

What is the reason for this strange behavior of the preset folders Documents and PortableApps (and also of Music, Pictures, Videos)? Is there a way to fix it without deleting and recreating them?

Aluísio A. S. G.
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Marked as System folders

For the icon trick to work, these folders need to be marked with the System bit, what in turn makes them invisible for some programs.

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dodi
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Can you explain in more

Can you explain in more detail please? Is it possible to get around deleting and recreating the folders? This would save me quite some time because I could avoid coping Gigabytes of data back and forth.

John T. Haller
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Platform Update

We're going to be ditching the custom icons and the setting on those folders due to some incompatibilities like you mentioned in an update within the next 7 days.

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3D1T0R
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Could it possibly be an option in the installer?

I'd like to keep the Icons myself, but since they're causing trouble for some people and you're considering them for removal, could it instead be turned into an option in the Platform's installer? (I have no preference regarding which is the default behavior).

I personally like the customised folder icons, I do that to my own folders, and I've been wondering for a while now whether we could add a similar option to the standard PA.c Installer to add the App's Icon to it's folder.

~3D1T0R

John T. Haller
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Possibly

I could disable it by default and make it an advanced option, letting folks who want it turn it on. The issue is that it requires setting the system flag to true on the folders. Turning this off normally requires the command line for an end-user (which is non-trivial). It breaks the ability for many non-standard file open windows to find it (since they ignore system files) as well as things like the app referenced in this thread. It also apparently makes the folders invisible by default on some Linux OSes, which is an even bigger issue. Thus, I'm inclined to disable it entirely so folks don't encounter random problems later. If we do have it available as an option, we'd likely need a warning explaining this.

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Simeon
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Oh

I never had any problems seeing these folders on my Ubuntu box. And I like the custom folders so I would like an optional setting.

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Chris Morgan
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Incompetence

That's nasty. But it's entirely their fault. We're doing something which is perfectly acceptable and shouldn't cause any trouble, but they are misinterpreting it. John: my feeling on this is that unless there are quite a few more such things we should not remove it but rather just report it as a bug to them and try to get them to fix it. Our directories appearing with the special icons and labels is just like the standard user profile directories, and I think that they are good for usability.

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kirbylover4000
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Easier way

You can fix this without moving GBs of data by right clicking the documents, photos, videos, music and PortableApps folders, choosing properties and unchecking system. Delete desktop.ini inside the folders if this still doesn't work.

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John T. Haller
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Wont Help

It's the system flag on the folder that causes the problems

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dodi
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Read-only flag instead?

What if you use the read-only flag instead of the system flag to keep the icons for Documents, etc. to avoid the problems with "invisible" folders for some programs?

For a test I removed the system flag and instead added the read-only flag. PocketSearch sees folders with read-only flag.

Chris Morgan
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..?

That wouldn't achieve the desired result and it would cause trouble. We don't want the directory read-only.

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“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1

John T. Haller
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Why not?

Setting a directory as read-only via flags (not via Windows Explorer) only sets the flag on the actual directory. You can still create, edit, delete files and folders within that directory without issue. And it does seem to accomplish the goal of maintaining the special folder icons. Maybe I'll try it in the next beta and see if it works for folks.

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3D1T0R
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Yeah,

Now that I've taken the time to look, Changing the Icon of a folder via the "Customize" tab of the "Properties" window sets the ReadOnly flag, not the System flag, and I've got tons of folders that I now see are set to be ReadOnly, but since their contents is not, it still works normally, and I've never even noticed.

I think it'd work fine.
(Though you'll have to remove the System flag as well as add the ReadOnly flag to achieve the desired result on upgrade. ☺)

~3D1T0R

John T. Haller
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Fixed in 10.1

PocketSearch will now find all your folders in the new release.

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