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The solution was to define $HOME as a Windows environment variable. Once I did that and restarted gVim, it read my ~\_vimrc and also sourced my native Vim 8.1 packages correctly. Source: this answer at Stack Overflow.


That “buffer” is netrw. It notoriously has this issue, although in practice it’s not a huge deal. I tend to swap files by name or argument list (:args) more often than cycling through buffers. In other words, don’t worry about deleting it, and don’t let it bother your workflow.

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