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Access is denied to many items.

    Question

  • This morning when I opened my computer, I found many items with a blue shortcut arrow and a message similar to the following. "C:\Users\Robert\Local Settings is not accessible. Access is denied." To my knowledge, I haven't changed any settings. The user in most cases is "Everyone". Although a few (e.g. My Pictures) has "System" as the user. The only thing I did of any consequence was run the Geekstogo "Malware and Spyware Cleaning Guide" program which I don't believe would have caused the problem.  I am also being denied accesss to "Documents and Settings"  and System Volume Infomation"  My OS is Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit. I have run MBAM, SAS, Avast, Vipre, and Norton virus. Note, I  did not have two virus programs running on at the same time in any of those instances.  I also posted this on Annoyances.org.

    Friday, January 08, 2010 5:01 AM

Answers

  • This morning when I opened my computer, I found many items with a blue shortcut arrow and a message similar to the following. "C:\Users\Robert\Local Settings is not accessible. Access is denied." To my knowledge, I haven't changed any settings. The user in most cases is "Everyone". Although a few (e.g. My Pictures) has "System" as the user. The only thing I did of any consequence was run the Geekstogo "Malware and Spyware Cleaning Guide" program which I don't believe would have caused the problem.  I am also being denied accesss to "Documents and Settings"  and System Volume Infomation"  My OS is Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit. I have run MBAM, SAS, Avast, Vipre, and Norton virus. Note, I  did not have two virus programs running on at the same time in any of those instances.  I also posted this on Annoyances.org.

    Hi Robert

    The behavior of the folders you mentioned:

    Local Settings, and Documents and Settings, is by design. These folders are Symbolic Links or Junctions (soft links) and cannot be used like a normal folder, which is why you are getting the access denied error when you try to open them. The only reason these folders are present are for backward compatibility.

    These folder names were used in Windows XP and when a software program that was designed for Windows XP is installed or used, and it is hard coded to look for one of these folders, the soft link will silently redirect the software program to the new location in Windows 7. This is why you see a blue shortcut arrow on these folders. There are many other similar soft link folders which are easy to identify by the shortcut arrow.

    Local Settings redirects to:  C:\Users\user name\AppData\Local
    Documents and Settings redirects to:  C:\Users

    These folders are normally hidden and the reason you are seeing them is because someone changed the option to show hidden files and folders in the Folder Options/View Tab.

    All of these soft link folders have the 'Everyone - Access Denied' attributes. You should not try to make changes to the permissions on any of these folders, because this may negatively affect some programs that are currently installed, or may be installed in the future.

    The System Volume Infomation folder is where all of the System Restore Points, and other Shadow Copies, are stored and these files are just raw code. There is no human readable content in that folder.

    Hope this helps.

    Thank You for using Windows 7

    Ronnie Vernon MVP
    Saturday, January 09, 2010 6:21 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • just a note, but please remove all that space after your text ;)  Run sfc /scannow to fix corrupted files. Which version of Norton AV do you have?

    It seems that some background programs is the root cause. The folder AppData stores program settings for your profile. I suggest that you follow the steps below to enter Clean Boot Mode by disableing all startup items and third party services when booting. This method will help us determine if this issue is caused by a loading program or service. Please perform the following steps:

    1. Click the Start Button type "msconfig" (without quotation marks) in the Start Search box, and then press Enter.

    Note: If prompted, please click Continue on the User Account Control (UAC) window.
     
    2. Click the "Services" tab, check the "Hide All Microsoft Services" box and click "Disable All" (if it is not gray).
    3. Click the "Startup" tab, click "Disable All" and click "OK".

    Then, restart the computer. When the "System Configuration Utility" window appears, please check the "Don't show this message or launch the System Configuration Utility when Windows starts" box and click OK.

    Please test this issue in the Clean Boot environment, if the issue disappears in the Clean Boot environment, we can use a 50/50 approach to quickly narrow down which entry is causing the issue.

    If the issue persists, please let us know after you copy the AppData folder from the old profile to the new one, if the issue reoccurred promptly or after you rebooted.


    MCSE, MCSA, MCDST [If this post helps to resolve your issue, please click the "Mark as Answer" or "Helpful" button at the top of this message. By marking a post as Answered, or Helpful you help others find the answer faster.]
    Friday, January 08, 2010 7:13 AM
  • In response to your request. I run NIS but turned off the AV program when I installed Vipre. The sfc /scannow scan showed no problems. After hiding the MS services, I disabled the rest of the startup services, booted the computer but the problems still existed.  One problem, I did not get "System Configuration Utility" window  upon that bootup and subsequent bootup attempts, although the startup items were disabled.  So, the problem still persists and I really can't tell if the problem is still there until I can open a folder and check. I still suspect that I, or something changed a security setting but haven't been able to figure out where. Thanks for your help.







    Saturday, January 09, 2010 12:24 AM
  • My suggestion at this point is to just do a restore to before this problem occurred.
    MCSE, MCSA, MCDST [If this post helps to resolve your issue, please click the "Mark as Answer" or "Helpful" button at the top of this message. By marking a post as Answered, or Helpful you help others find the answer faster.]
    Saturday, January 09, 2010 5:20 AM
  • Please edit your post and remove the white space ;-)

    PS.  Documents and Settings isn't a folder on Windows 7.





    If this was helpful, please vote by clicking the green triangle. If it solves the issue, click Propose as Answer. Thanks!
    Saturday, January 09, 2010 5:34 AM
  • That's strange because I am loooking at a "Documents and Settings" folder in Windows 7.  System Volume is also on the same folder. I have a jpeg of the folder if you are interested.  Unfortunately, I can't post it here.




    Saturday, January 09, 2010 8:51 AM
  • This morning when I opened my computer, I found many items with a blue shortcut arrow and a message similar to the following. "C:\Users\Robert\Local Settings is not accessible. Access is denied." To my knowledge, I haven't changed any settings. The user in most cases is "Everyone". Although a few (e.g. My Pictures) has "System" as the user. The only thing I did of any consequence was run the Geekstogo "Malware and Spyware Cleaning Guide" program which I don't believe would have caused the problem.  I am also being denied accesss to "Documents and Settings"  and System Volume Infomation"  My OS is Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit. I have run MBAM, SAS, Avast, Vipre, and Norton virus. Note, I  did not have two virus programs running on at the same time in any of those instances.  I also posted this on Annoyances.org.
    brbrbrbrbr
    (Is it cold in here?) Um, System volume information is always "access Forbidden" and needs many permits. "Documents and settings" is a special kind of shortcut called a junction, and it's off-limits as well. Something turned off a crucial service, looks like. If you can enable everything in msconfig/undo the virus program/do a system restore.
    Saturday, January 09, 2010 12:51 PM
  • This morning when I opened my computer, I found many items with a blue shortcut arrow and a message similar to the following. "C:\Users\Robert\Local Settings is not accessible. Access is denied." To my knowledge, I haven't changed any settings. The user in most cases is "Everyone". Although a few (e.g. My Pictures) has "System" as the user. The only thing I did of any consequence was run the Geekstogo "Malware and Spyware Cleaning Guide" program which I don't believe would have caused the problem.  I am also being denied accesss to "Documents and Settings"  and System Volume Infomation"  My OS is Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit. I have run MBAM, SAS, Avast, Vipre, and Norton virus. Note, I  did not have two virus programs running on at the same time in any of those instances.  I also posted this on Annoyances.org.

    Hi Robert

    The behavior of the folders you mentioned:

    Local Settings, and Documents and Settings, is by design. These folders are Symbolic Links or Junctions (soft links) and cannot be used like a normal folder, which is why you are getting the access denied error when you try to open them. The only reason these folders are present are for backward compatibility.

    These folder names were used in Windows XP and when a software program that was designed for Windows XP is installed or used, and it is hard coded to look for one of these folders, the soft link will silently redirect the software program to the new location in Windows 7. This is why you see a blue shortcut arrow on these folders. There are many other similar soft link folders which are easy to identify by the shortcut arrow.

    Local Settings redirects to:  C:\Users\user name\AppData\Local
    Documents and Settings redirects to:  C:\Users

    These folders are normally hidden and the reason you are seeing them is because someone changed the option to show hidden files and folders in the Folder Options/View Tab.

    All of these soft link folders have the 'Everyone - Access Denied' attributes. You should not try to make changes to the permissions on any of these folders, because this may negatively affect some programs that are currently installed, or may be installed in the future.

    The System Volume Infomation folder is where all of the System Restore Points, and other Shadow Copies, are stored and these files are just raw code. There is no human readable content in that folder.

    Hope this helps.

    Thank You for using Windows 7

    Ronnie Vernon MVP
    Saturday, January 09, 2010 6:21 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Ronnie

    Thank you for this.  It is very informative and helpful to my understanding of some of the workings of Windows 7.

    Robert
    Saturday, January 09, 2010 7:59 PM
  • Hi Robert

    Glad this helped.

    Thank You for using Windows 7

    Ronnie Vernon MVP
    Sunday, January 10, 2010 11:04 PM
    Moderator
  • Ah thanks Ronnie, I thought we were talking about an actual folder with personal files stuck inside yet rendered unaccessible.  The links didn't occur to me.  Sorry Robert for just denying you like that.
    Monday, January 11, 2010 7:10 AM