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Program Files(x86) inside Program Files(x86) ad infinitum

Last response: in Windows 7
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April 16, 2014 12:45:06 AM

Several programs I've attempted to install in the last year or so are suddenly attempting to install into a Program Files(x86) folder inside a Program Files(x86) folder inside a Program Files(x86) folder. It's going down several levels.

Even if I manually set the programs to install into Program Files(x86) it still installs it several layers down.

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April 16, 2014 2:39:46 AM

Not good, this means the format is corrupted.
If you run error checking it will fix the drive but many files will be dumped into numbered folders and as numbered files, while others will be lost. In other words the format might be fixed but everything else is not working.

Most likely a power failure or surge/dip caused this. The file links are corrupted causing a loop.

You need to backup your user files before doing anything else. I'm guessing these folders are OK.
Returning to a restore point will not work in this case.
A full disk image from before this might work but no guarantees, as we don't know when this started and being old many newer files might no exist.

Do you have backup SW that backs up your user files to an external disk? Make sure you check the backup log files for any errors before relying on the backup.


Be prepared to re-install all your programs, including windows, that means having a hard copy of all SW keys.
If you DLed SW in digital form then copy those downloaded installs.


If you have a second physical disk to make your copies that is good as long as you verify it is OK by checking all of it's folders. Do not try to copy the Program Files folders that won't work.

You may be in over your head here so consider pro help, inhouse, not drop off, as I think you need to be there to make sure all important files are backed up if possible.

This is not something that will just go away or fix itself.

If you have a second physical drive you could try installing SW (like backup SW to backup user files) to that drive in a Program Files folder but lots of install related writes are still going to the system disk also.
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