New Locations of Backup Folder in Vista/7

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New Locations of Backup Folder in Vista/7

Post  SDreamer on Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:58 pm

Not sure if this has already been discuessed, but the information that's been available on the web is targeted mainly at XP users, that is, to backup character data, you simply backup the "Backup" folder in the Program Folder of PSO (%programfiles%\SEGA\Phantasy Star Online\Backup). This changes in Vista and 7 though due to security of not letting comptatible programs write directly to system files and program files. In Vista and 7, the Backup folder is relocated to a folder called VirtualStore. The location of this is Users\%user%\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Sega\Phantasy Star Online\Backup. To back up your characters, follow the usual protocol, (reinstall with the same serial, etc), and just back up that folder. If you back up the folder, "programfiles%\SEGA\Phantasy Star Online\Backup" it will be empty.

As a side note, some people might want to play on the road, and at home, so keeping characters synced up would be pretty nice. I personally use Microsoft SyncToy 2.1 to keep things synced over my network, but I can imagine services like Live Mesh and DropBox might work as well, just a thought I'd throw out there. Smile I can see people with laptops but no data connection all the time playing offline to level and grind, then hopping online when they can. Then when they get home, they can use a more comfortable setup, maybe a console controller or something, and everything would be synced to their other machine.

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Re: New Locations of Backup Folder in Vista/7

Post  aaron_yume on Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:17 am

What exactly are you talking about? I'm on Windows 7 and my PSO backup folder is in exactly the same place as for XP users. Can I assume you still have UAC enabled? Using syncing tools for game saves is a good idea though totally useless for me as a traveler apart from a just in case backup medium.

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Re: New Locations of Backup Folder in Vista/7

Post  Aleron Ives on Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:28 pm

Various strange things can happen if you try to play PSO on a Vista/7 machine without administrator rights. Since the save data is stored in a system folder, you can end up with an effect as though the save files were set to read-only, meaning that none of your game progress actually saves, because you don't have the write access to the Backup folder. I believe MuCast had this problem at one point. Perhaps whatever SDreamer is talking about is another possible outcome. My guess is that this other strange folder is some sort of system-created shortcut, because there's no way to change where PSO saves its data.

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Re: New Locations of Backup Folder in Vista/7

Post  SDreamer on Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:59 pm

Simple explanation can be found here: http://zone.ni.com/devzone/cda/tut/p/id/5538#toc4
It's something Microsoft implemented for legacy applications. It makes applications believe they're writing to the system, but if they are not running with admin privileges, they can't write to the system,and Windows itself redirects it to the VirtualStore folder. Yes I have UAC still on, it doesn't get in my way in normal day to day uses. I'm running on an administrator account, but I choose to leave it on, just my preference.

Yes the backup folder is still there, but unless you run PSO PC as admin or compatibility (which causes it to run admin), it will remain empty, and Windows will redirect it to VirtualStore. At least that's what's happened to me on a couple computers.

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Re: New Locations of Backup Folder in Vista/7

Post  Aleron Ives on Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:09 pm

It's possible there's a certain setting you must enable to cause it to do that, as I've talked with other people who had no choice but to run PSO as an administrator, or they couldn't save at all. For some reason, the redirect didn't happen.

IMO, if you're going to use Vista/7, you should never use the "Program Files" directory at all, for any program. Since M$ tried to finally eliminate the habit of having you always running as an administrator, it would be much better to create a "bin" or "programs" directory in your home directory and store every program you install in that location. Since you created the directory as a normal user in a location where you have write access, any program you install there will be able to write to its own folder without the need of administrator access. M$ had the right idea to start making Winblows more secure, but making the "Program Files" directory owned by the operating system was a stupid move that makes the folder pretty much useless if you want to be able to operate the computer without being an administrator.

Of course, in PSO's case, the game must be able to write to the registry in order to function, so you probably need to run it as an administrator to be able to do that, anyway. Laughing

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Re: New Locations of Backup Folder in Vista/7

Post  SDreamer on Wed Jul 13, 2011 5:06 pm

Weird, I've never had to run them as admin, in fact I tried settting compatibility to run as admin to just toy with things to make it do that. Not sure if it was because I was using your loader or something, it would make sense to run as admin when making changes to the Registry. I just went along with the default to keep things all in one place. I think it's possible to change %ProgramFiles% environmental varible in the registry to make default installs, if using variables, install to your desired location, not sure though.

I think it would be easier to just allow users to have the ability to choose where to save things like backups, or at least just default it to the user folder. I'm sure not many users would venture into the Program Files to look for backups. PSU keeps theirs in the My Documents, helps me keep my PSU offline characters syned (weird how PSU works on my laptops, but PSOBB runs like crap).

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