I am hoping that someone who watches this forum might know the answer to something that is plaguing me. I am working on Windows 10 install kits and have discovered along the way that the Windows\System32 folder can be pretty special in a mystical way. First let's ignore the fact that on 64-bit Windows 10 a folder named System32 is used for 64-bit applications, thank you Microsoft. Let's move on to the fact that sometimes files stored within that folder are inaccessible to some processes. If I start a command shell, especially as administrator, I can find and copy pretty much any file from that folder to some other folder. But when I run a Python script, or a C++ application that I wrote myself, or an InstallShield installer (still as admin), I get a strange mix of "some files are not really there" to "okay you can find the file, but not open it".



Let's start with Python3 since it is the easiest to detail.
import glob
glob.glob('c:\windows\system32\*')

Why doesn't that find everything? My mileage seems to vary slightly when using 64-bit Windows 7. But I can see the problem there sometimes as well.

Here's a new twist I just discovered. While running in a 64-bit Windows 7 cmd shell as admin I tried using my CRC32.exe program on "\windows\system32\irftp.exe". It could not find that file. But when I use "c:\windows\system32\irftp.exe" it could find it, but not open it.

Any clues or suggestions are appreciated.