When I try to open C:\Windows\system32\inetsrv\config\schema\IIS_schema.xml for example on Windows 10 Pro, build 20H2, I can always open it in notepad, but if I open it in gvim (a real editor) it pretends like the file doesn't exist.

I've even run gvim as a domain administrator and it still makes like it doesn't exist. I've never seen this sort of behavior before, it's really strange.


The cause is probably simpler than you thought,

  1. You installed a 32 bit version of gvim.
  2. You tried to access a 64 bit only Windows path (like C:\Windows\system32).

Then the mechanism called WOW64 redirects that file access to C:\Windows\sysWOW64) and of course nothing is there. The default Notepad you opened is 64 bit, so it definitely can access anywhere.

This is one of the classic problems introduced by 64 bit Windows (Windows Server 2003).


  • Wow so it redirects it, just like a profile redirection used to? – leeand00 Apr 8 at 19:25
  • 1
    @leeand00 similar to profile redirection, but done at Windows API call level. – Lex Li Apr 8 at 22:14

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