%systemroot%/system32/drivers/etc/ not found

  • I try to modify the hosts file on Windows. However, if I use Notepad++, it will not show the hosts in etc directory.Either adminstration mode. It happens in about serveral versions and I am stranged that it still exists in the newest version. It brings a lot of inconvence to me. I change to sublime. Please fix this problem.

  • I’m on Notepad++ 7.3.3 32-bit. And I am betting your “several versions” were all 32bit Notepad++ as well.

    When I do File > Open, then type %systemroot%\system32\drivers\etc into the top location bar, or into the “File Name” bar at the bottom, it correctly changes into that directory. If, instead, I type %systemroot%\system32\drivers into one of those boxes, I just see the en-US\ and UMDF\ subdirectories, and a couple of files.

    I figured out the “problem” using a normal Explorer window: When I browse to %systemroot%\system32\drivers, it shows all the subdirs, including the etc\ subdir. But if I browse to %systemroot%\SysWOW64\drivers, it doesn’t have the etc\ subdir.

    The “problem” is that 64-bit Windows lies to 32-bit applications, by way of the “File System Redirector” (see MSDN 🔗). If a 32-bit application requests %systemroot%\system32\, Windows actually silently redirects them to %systemroot%\SysWOW64\ (where “SysWOW64” is short for “SYStem32 for 32-bit Windows On Windows64”). There’s a “special” alias %systemroot%\SysNative\, which will allow a 32-bit application to access the native 64-bit system32 directory… but it’s “specialness” comes in the fact that a directory listing won’t show it: if you look in %systemroot%, you will not see a sysnative subdirectory; but if you manually type in the %systemroot%\sysnative, it will go where you mean.

    I’m actually now surprised that typing %systemroot%\system32\drivers\etc did what I meant. I’m surprised I didn’t have to type %systemroot%\sysnative\drivers\etc. But I won’t complain. ☺

    update: Footnote: the %systemroot%\sysnative alias is “special” in another way: from a 64-bit application, it won’t exist at all. So from the normal Explorer file browser in windows, even typing it will give you a not-found error.

  • I did’t type it. I just use file explorer to navigate to C:\Windows\system32\drivers\etc\ directory by directory. Sublime is 64bit. It may the reason that you mentioned.

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