The magic of the SysNative Folder

Posted: May 25, 2010 in General

Working with 64 bit operating systems, especially on client operating systems, still presents some challenges. One recent interesting effect I’ve run into is the redirection of the %windir%\System32 folder. When a 32 bit application attempts to access the folder, it is redirected to %windir%\SysWOW64, this allows those applications to use the correct version of various tools.

The difficulty comes in when trying to use certain tools, like bcdedit.exe, do not exist in the %windir%\SysWow64 directory and error out. The solution is to access the tools under the %windir%\SysNative folder which bypasses the redirection.

More information can be found here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa384187(VS.85).aspx

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