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Many Folders and Files not accessible - "Access Denied" even after trying to change security settings RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello, I purchased a new machine with Vista Ultimate on it. I am trying to do a few things and can't figure them out. 1) I can't access several of my own directories, all of which I could access in windows XP. I can not navigate into several C:\Users\ and C:\Documents and Settings folders. Windows says it isn't accessible and access is denied. If I check the properties I am told that I own the folder and have full rights to it. I CAN access the folder through the command prompt; however, through explorer I get the error message. And 2) I would like to access the "normal.dot" and the "MSO1033.acl" file that I use for Microsoft Word (in my case, version 2000), the "favorites" file in Internet Explorer and also the "organize" file which contains my America Online email archives, so that I can synchronize the word, explorer and aol versions I run in four separate computers using Windows XP, but I can't. I cannot even FIND these files in my new Vista computer!!!! To me these are very critical problems; they seriously impede my productivity; they are enough reason to abandon the Vista operating system (if I cannot access all of the files in my Vista machine as I could with Microsoft XP) and possibly to do the unimaginable -- ask Microsoft for my money back for putting out a product which is unfit for its intended use (as shown by its easy use for the purpose in the past). Thanks to anyone who can tell me how to "fix" access, permissions and all of this stuff that maybe network oriented computer experts are familiar with (I consider myself a fairly savvy single computer user, but not a network guru) so that I can be free to use my computer with Vista as I always could do before. Any ideas? Thanks in advance.
    Sunday, February 18, 2007 5:05 PM

Answers

  •  

    thank you  Santhi, you have it right, Vista security protect the user from themselves. You have access to your \user\your name and then the system, locks down other things. For example c:\program files\ you must be an administrator to Install software here, But the os will not allow the saving of data in this directory, It will push the data to a redirect location \user\your name\Appdata\... VISTA certified app do this by default. Old apps vista redirects on the fly. The same happens for some registry entries.

    When you login to Vista as an Administrator you are really a stand user ,and when you need to run a PROCESS as admin you get prompted this is called split token.

    please review

    http://forums.microsoft.com/TechNet/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=1285927&SiteID=17

    for more info


    Tuesday, March 6, 2007 11:27 AM

All replies

  • Same problem here, very puzzling and VERY annoying ...

    If anyone has any suggestions, they would be most gratefully received!

    Thanks
    Christopher

    Wednesday, February 21, 2007 12:13 AM
  • Same Problem

    I uploaded many files to a networked PC - upgraded to Vista and then copied folders back to MyDocuments, MyPictures and so on and I get "access is denied".

    Well, it's just great!

    Saturday, February 24, 2007 1:11 PM
  • It seems that Vista has a number of strangely protected shortcuts to the old Windows folders. Apparently these exist in order to allow programs which are trying to access the old file paths. They function as a kind of re-direct to the new folder structure. Normally the "protected" shortcuts are hidden files, so they will only appear to those of us pseudo-techies who unhide such things ... thereby causing us all kinds of frustration by showing us things that MS did not intend mere mortals to see!

    Although we humans cannot use these tempting special shortcuts, the system apparently can.

    Most of the "missing" files can be found by navigating into C:\Users\[your user id]\ and locating them in the new folder structure there. If that fails, try setting the system back to not showing hidden files -- then only the "real" folders and shortcuts will be visible, not the protected ones.

    Sorry I don't have time to explain in more detail, but hope this helps some. MS ought perhaps to document this better somewhere; if they have, I haven't found it.

    C.
    Saturday, February 24, 2007 4:02 PM
  • I am in the process of make a article on what has changed in the file system and why. this should be done end of this week
    Sunday, February 25, 2007 3:51 AM
  • what you need to do is log in as administrator or with an administrative user do the following steps,
    click start menu, click computer, right click C:\ or local drive, click properties, on the pop up windows click on the security tab, select the user and click on advance button, on the new pop up window click on the owner tab, click edit, if you get a window asking permission click ok, on the pop up window select a user and select the check box - Replace owner on sucontainers and objects- click ok. from there on you'll get pop up boxes telling you that you don't own or have access , confirm or click ok about a couple of minutes you have taken over the whole drive.

    Sunday, March 4, 2007 1:31 AM
  • If you are an administrator you can able to access the any folder in C:\users.

    For example if you are loggin name is "EdLuria", you can able to access c:\users\EdLuria.

    And if you want to access other folders in Users, each Login-user has a folder here in c:\users, even you can access these folders, when you login as a EdLuria, only difference is you see a Consent UI which asks you You don't have permission -> "Click to Continue", you can click continue, and UAC prompt to continue.

    This is just because, all administrators are by default standard users, whenever you do an action which requires administrator priviliges, you will prompted for (UAC dialog) to continue with Admin access. This is security feature.

    And in Vista C:\Documents and Settings is not used. You can find everything in C:\users\EdLuria(current loging name).

    c:\%username%\contacts,

    c:\%username%\desktop

    c:\%username%\documents

    c:\%username%\downloads

    c:\%username%\favorites

    c:\%username%\Links

    c:\%username%\Music

    c:\%username%\Pictures

    c:\%username%\Saved Games

    c:\%username%\Searches

    c:\%username%\Videos.

    You can find more information about UAC from here. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsvista/aa906022.aspx

    Please let me know if you have any question.

    regards

    Santhi

     

    Tuesday, March 6, 2007 4:31 AM
  •  

    thank you  Santhi, you have it right, Vista security protect the user from themselves. You have access to your \user\your name and then the system, locks down other things. For example c:\program files\ you must be an administrator to Install software here, But the os will not allow the saving of data in this directory, It will push the data to a redirect location \user\your name\Appdata\... VISTA certified app do this by default. Old apps vista redirects on the fly. The same happens for some registry entries.

    When you login to Vista as an Administrator you are really a stand user ,and when you need to run a PROCESS as admin you get prompted this is called split token.

    please review

    http://forums.microsoft.com/TechNet/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=1285927&SiteID=17

    for more info


    Tuesday, March 6, 2007 11:27 AM
  • Thank you for the instructions. I was about ten minutes away from wiping the disk and reinstalling XP.
    Wednesday, March 21, 2007 6:58 PM
  • I am going slightly crazy using the windows transfer wizard to update a new PC.  I attempted to transfer my personal files from Outlook from one PC (with Vista) to a new PC (also with Vista).  Then, when the transfer is complete, I can't read or even find the files because Vista hasn't granted me the requisite permissions.  In XP, I used to be able to go find all of my old e-mail files and then copy and paste to the appropriate subdirectory in the new PC.  Doesn't work with Vista.

     

    Microsoft has created a monster in their attempt to protect us from ourselves.  Had I realized the problems Vista creates when I am the only user and administrator of my system, I never would have bought Vista. 

     

    Since i do control new PC purchasing for a good sized firm, you can bet we will not transition for a couple of years.  We were going to buy Vista based PC's but have started ordering XP SP2 operating systems for all new equipment.

     

    Good job, Microsoft.

    Thursday, March 29, 2007 4:50 PM
  • I am not a Microsoft trained person.  Can you help me with terms that I can understand?  WHat is this &username% stuff mean?
    I have several files in C:\documents and settings\all users\documents for they were there when I migrated over to Vista from an older XP SP2 machine.  I cannot access the files, even from an application.  Since I am the only user of this PC, how do I log in to access all of the files?  Can I move them somewhere so I don't need to go through this action everytime?

    Can you provide us with instructions that are clear to those of us who are not trained in your terminology?

    Thursday, March 29, 2007 6:52 PM
  • Brilliant: thanks, this solved a lot of problems accessing and backing up individual parts my system.

    Sunday, November 18, 2007 8:14 AM
  • Did anyone notice that if you turn off the security interruptor - it won't allow you to touch or change file permissions.  Hides it from you completely, as if you're being punished for not allowing the security interruptions.

     

    My solution was to "Upgrade to an older, more familiar experience".  I wasted sufficient time with Vista. I had enough.

     

    I turned off the transparent window stuff and the security interruptor thing - so it was basically just a slow version of XP anyway. 

     

    Now it's a faster version of XP.  I might try it again after SP1.  Dunno.  I'll wait and see what the consensus says.

     

    Monday, February 11, 2008 4:23 PM
  • Like others on this thread, I have been wrangling with Vista Home Premium and the message that "Location is not available. C:\ is not accessible. Access is denied." I have done most if not all the things suggested in the posts above--including the taking "ownership" process with a check mark about subfolders and objects--and I STILL am not allowed access to anything on Drive C:\ with UAC turned on. Although I can open and create files in programs--Word, for example--I am prohibited, among other things, from deleting icons from my desktop, from transferring a file from drive c:\ to my external hard drive, things, that is, that one has to do all day long.

    I do not understand what "elevated" means. I do not know what a "security interruptor" is. Can anyone help???

    Thank you!!!

    Jacqui
    Saturday, February 23, 2008 1:38 PM
  •  

    Thanks for the information...I fixe the problem with outlook...but now I can t save any webpage to my PC...I receive everytime the messaje "the webpage could not be saved to the selected location" I don t know if you have any idea...thanks again
    Wednesday, April 2, 2008 2:22 AM
  • buy a mac?     How stupid can you be?   I want to access a folder on my own machine and some fool at MS thinks I should not be able to see or delete or remove a folder on my own machine.   Just totally bizarre. 
    Friday, January 8, 2010 10:32 PM
  • okay first off ____ buying an overly expensive mac. second premissions are put in place so the average jackass doesnt screw their pc up. third if u really feel like u need to access the folder then simply right click the folder go to properties, click the security tab, (you may need to click continue, UAC pops up and continue again, take ownership if needed. exit and go back into propeties and the security tab) click edit then highlight the everyone group. (this group has denied access to the folder) simply change the permissions to access OR delete the group all together. (remake the everyone group when done). now click okay you may have to remove the everyone group through the advanced properties dialog box instead.....im just doing this off the top of my head......now you should have access to screw up your computer lol.
    • Proposed as answer by Rich Nash Sunday, June 17, 2012 5:47 AM
    • Unproposed as answer by Rich Nash Sunday, June 17, 2012 5:47 AM
    Friday, January 15, 2010 9:32 PM
  • okay first off ____ buying an overly expensive mac. second premissions are put in place so the average jackass doesnt screw their pc up. third if u really feel like u need to access the folder then simply right click the folder go to properties, click the security tab, (you may need to click continue, UAC pops up and continue again, take ownership if needed. exit and go back into propeties and the security tab) click edit then highlight the everyone group. (this group has denied access to the folder) simply change the permissions to access OR delete the group all together. (remake the everyone group when done). now click okay you may have to remove the everyone group through the advanced properties dialog box instead.....im just doing this off the top of my head......now you should have access to screw up your computer lol.


    The real problem is that Microsoft has jackasses like you designing their operating systems. Same mentality. "We're smart but the users of our machines are dumb jackasses so let's make sure to dumb things down so much that they can't be productive".

     

    I guarantee you that Vista and Windows 7 have caused far more support cries for help than any ostensible "benefits" these folder lockdowns bring. There's a lot to like about Vista/Win7, but the security features are pure garbage designed by bozos who never crept out of their mom's basement.

     

    Like others, I've been tempted to dump Windows 7 and go back to XP, which was actually designed by humans apparently, just for the stupidity and lost productivity of these "security" features.

    Sunday, May 9, 2010 5:56 PM
  • hey man i can't help it if you cant figure out "the dumb down version" of things. its made purely for security reasons. don't start to think im taking microsofts side to things cause they r far from perfect. all im saying is that its gonna take time to learn new features and y they may or may not work. even though microsoft deems XP as fully patched there are still may security flaws in it. this is all just a matter of security vs. user friendliness and productivity. don't get me wrong XP is a good user friendly operating system, but give anyone who knows what they r doing 30 minutes or less and thats all it takes to break into it. its just a game of security, one person breaks through it and the otherside patches it.

    Sunday, May 9, 2010 8:53 PM
  • I had the same access denied problem on Win 7 64-bit ultimate. I resolved it by taking ownership in the security settings of the folder properties.

    However, I could not do it for a folder called "Programme" (it's a German Win 7, where I'm now using English language). The totally weird thing is that even I'm Admin and even I'm Owner of the folder, I can't even see what's in it. I always get an "Access denied". However, I could see it with McAfee Virus Scanner and saw some of the structure in it.

    Wednesday, June 9, 2010 12:14 PM
  • UAC has problems accessing certain folders using windows explorer. you can get an access denied even though you have access to the folder. This article I found explains why this occurs and how to fix it http://think-like-a-computer.com/2011/05/11/uac-access-denied-on-folders-for-administrators-windows-2008/
    Friday, May 27, 2011 10:55 AM
  • okay first off ____ buying an overly expensive mac. second premissions are put in place so the average jackass doesnt screw their pc up. third if u really feel like u need to access the folder then simply right click the folder go to properties, click the security tab, (you may need to click continue, UAC pops up and continue again, take ownership if needed. exit and go back into propeties and the security tab) click edit then highlight the everyone group. (this group has denied access to the folder) simply change the permissions to access OR delete the group all together. (remake the everyone group when done). now click okay you may have to remove the everyone group through the advanced properties dialog box instead.....im just doing this off the top of my head......now you should have access to screw up your computer lol.

    If you work for MS sham on you.  Both Vista and Windows 7 will not allow a user to view/change/delete anything in any of the sub-folders of "Temporary Internet Files" Folder.  The reason?  If you can't see them, you certianly don't know the address (path) to get there.   Oh any MS was clever enough to not let you delete any of those files by using Delete in Browsing History under IE tools/Internet Options.  So the files grow and grow and grow.

    Content.IE5 is only one of many [as many as 116+ sub-folders and 28,834 files in those folders] of the sub-folders under C:\Users\[your user name]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\.  How do you see them?  You don't, and, about 3 and 1/2 hours with Microsoft's paid help desk won't get that answer for you either (Ask Teejay Abadilla at AnswerDesk.com).  If you notice, when you click on "properties" the "Hidden" box is checked and is grayed out so you can't change it.  As you work with Vista (and this is true for Windows 7 too) the amount of data builds and builds and will eventually fill your C:\ drive.  Following any of the instructions above will not revele any of the sub-folders or there files, plus using the internet option 'gear' will not clean those temporary files in those sub-folders.

    A few of the known sub-folders are:  AntiPhising; Content MSO; Content.Outlook; Low; Sqm; Virtualized (and that has 60+more sub-folders and those folders have as much as 27,000 files in them); Desktop; and Downloads.  To see them manually type in: "C:\Users\[your user name]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.MSO (or any of the other names listed) - poof, presto, more unknown invisible folders and files under Temporary Internet Files.

    If your curious and really want to know how many files and folders lurk beneath the Temporary Internet Files Folder do this: 1) Open Windows Explorer; 2) On the left side window pane, under "Folders" make sure this opened with ‘Desktop’ and Your User Name showing.  Then click on AppData; 3) Use the scroll bar - scroll down to Microsoft - click on Microsoft; 4) Again scroll down to Windows - click on Windows; 5) There you should see "Temporary Internet Files".  Right Click - go down to "Properties" (at the bottom).  A window will pop up and if you look in the body of that window you will see the number of Sub-Folders and Files that are hidden from you and can’t be seen.  What are they?  Who knows.  The short answer?  Non One is supposed to know.  It's a Microsoft Secret.  shhhhhh!

    Sunday, June 17, 2012 5:55 AM