If you are anything like me, you want to tear your hair out and smash your head on a concrete wall with embedded rusty nails everytime you need to use Explorer (and any file-open dialog box) on the c:\windows\assembly directory.
While I am still working with my therapist on these issues, I decided to be a bit more proactive and see how many system files I need to delete for me to be able to see the assembly directory properly in explorer. I decided to go about it in a systematic way and only stop after deleting boot.ini. Luckily, I didn’t get that far.
There is only one file that needs a'mucking.
Do the following:
1. In console, type "cd /d %windows%\assembly
2. Type: "attrib -r -h -s desktop.ini"
3. Type "ren desktop.ini desktop.bak"
Voila, explorer will allow you to go through the REAL directory structure.
Note that sometimes it's useful to just have it in the original view, such as when you are a masochist or if you just want to drag&drop assemblies and let the GAC figure out where they belong. For that, simply do step 3 in reverse (ren desktop.bak desktop.ini).
Hope you find that as helpful and as soothing as I did.
P.S. This will work for other folders as well, such as the c:\windows\fonts directory etc.