Special Folders and Custom Folders
Special folders are folders in the File System Editor that represent predefined Windows folders. The physical location of Windows folders can vary from one computer to another. For example, the system folder may be located in C:\Windows on one computer, D:\Windows on another, and C:\Winnt on a third. Regardless of the physical location, Windows recognizes the folder as the system folder by reading special attributes.
Use special folders in a deployment project to specify a destination folder on a target computer without knowing the actual path of that folder.
Custom folders are special folders that represent folders on a target computer. Unlike special folders, custom folders do not necessarily depend on specified folders on the target computer. You can create new folders at installation time. You can also create custom folders that target predefined Windows folders other than those defined as special folders. For more information, see How to: Add a Custom Folder to Target a Predefined Windows Folder.
The types of special and custom folders available to a deployment project differ according to the project type. The following special folders might be available.
An application folder under the Program Files folder. Typically C:\Program Files\Company Name\App Name.
Common Application Data Folder
A hidden folder in Windows Vista and Windows 7 that is used to store program data that applies to all users of the system. The folder is located in %systemdrive%\ProgramData.
Common Files Folder
A folder for components that are shared across applications. Typically C:\Program Files\Common.
Common Files Folder (64-bit)
Same as the Common Files Folder, but for use only with 64-bit installers. For more information, see How to: Create a Windows Installer for a 64-bit Platform.
A folder that you create on a target computer, or a predefined Windows folder that is not a special folder. Defaults to same location as the Application folder.
A virtual folder that contains fonts. Typically C:\Winnt\Fonts.
Module Retargetable Folder
A custom folder that you can use to specify an alternative location for a merge module.
Program Files Folder
The root node for program files. Typically C:\Program Files.
Program Files Folder (64-bit)
Same as the Program Files Folder, but for use only with 64-bit installers. For more information, see How to: Create a Windows Installer for a 64-bit Platform.
The Windows System folder for shared system files. Typically C:\Winnt\System32.
System Folder (64-bit)
Same as the System Folder, but for use only with 64-bit installers. For more information, see How to: Create a Windows Installer for a 64-bit Platform.
User's Application Data Folder
A folder that serves as a repository for application-specific data on a per-user basis. Typically C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data.
A folder that contains files and folders that appear on the desktop on a per-user basis. Typically C:\Documents and Settings\username\Desktop.
User's Favorites Folder
A folder that serves as a repository for the user's favorite items. Typically C:\Documents and Settings\username\Favorites.
User's Personal Data Folder
A folder that serves as a per-user repository for documents. Typically C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents.
User's Programs Menu
A folder that contains a user's program groups. Typically C:\Documents and Settings\username\Start Menu\Programs.
User's Send To Menu
A folder that contains a user's Send To menu items. Typically C:\Documents and Settings\username\SendTo.
User's Start Menu
A folder that contains a user's Start menu items. Typically C:\Documents and Settings\username\Start Menu.
User's Template Folder
A folder that contains document templates on a per-user basis. Typically C:\Documents and Settings\username\Templates.
Windows or system root directory. Typically C:\Winnt.
Web Custom Folder
A custom folder on a Web server, identified by an HTTP address.
The typical paths shown represent a standard installation of Windows 2000 Professional. Locations may differ on other operating systems or non-standard installations.