Documents and Settings - lost Administrators group RRS feed

  • Question


    Hi, could do with some advice,


    New Vista Home pc - Documents & Settings directory


    I thought it would be helpful to see what was in the D&S dir so I changed the folder options to make it visible (logged in as the Administrator - actually it was the only account as the pc was new).

    I viewed the Properties>Security tab and chose Edit to edit the permissions

    I then went to the "group or user names" and selected Administrators ([PC]/Administrators) - there was also Everyone and SYSTEM in the list.

    I then selected Full permissions.

    However - the system partially disallowed this and said I should put it back to what it was to avoid inconsistencies in security permissions.

    Fine - so I unticked the Full permissions and the following permissions which had automatically become ticked and OK'd it

    However, when going back to check it was all ok I found the Administrators group had gone and just the Everyone and SYSTEM was left.


    I now realise that when I ticked the Full Permissions and all the checkboxes became ticked, in fact the very last one hidden from view "special permissions" became unticked and when I reversed my action I must have left it unticked so then applied no permissions at all for the Administrators (great that it lets you do that - so useful!)


    So - what can I do to get it back?

    Does it matter?

    Any thoughts?


    Many thanks


    Thursday, July 12, 2007 10:55 AM

All replies

  • Vista doesn't have a Documents and Settings folder, user profiles are instead located within the Users folder at the root of the system drive.


    There is, however, a junction point included for backwards compatability that s called Documents and Settings. I presume this is what you modified the permissions on. In which case the Permissions for the Administrators group on that junction is to allow Full Control, For This Folder Only, which you can configure in the Advanced permissions editor.


    If your original change was set to replace existing permissions on descendents, then you may also need to check that you haven't compromised the security/stability of individual user accounts profile folders.

    Thursday, July 12, 2007 12:38 PM
  • Hi Andy,


    Thanks for your reply (I've read someother threads by you too - very useful)


    I did go into the advanced settings with the intention of re-adding the "Administrators" so as to restore the D&S "directory" to its original state. However, I found it didn't want to add it back. This confused me and I tried a few things but it wasn't having it.


    Unfortunately I don't have my home PC in front of me to repeat the process and tell you exactly what it said. However I do have a test PC with Vista business installed which I've just checked and it did allow me to reinstate the [PC]\Administrators group for the D&S "directory" but like when trying on the home PC it couldn't reinstate the original permissions.


    I think once I take the Administrators away fromt he list I am then not in a position to add anything with higher permissions than the "Everyone". Does that sound about right?


    I also don't know about the descendants - I went to the D&S Properties>Security>Edit dialog rather than the >Advanced one. I see now the Advanced one (when you finally get to the dialog which allows you to make changes) clearly states to what the change will apply. Under the basic Edit dialog it does not tell you how it is going to apply it.


    I think the only way to get it back is to restore a previous system if there was a recent one made. Are there any issues with doing this?




    Thursday, July 12, 2007 1:51 PM


    ... to add a bit more


    I can take ownership, give "this folder only" full control and that seems to put everything back to as it was. I can then give the ownership back to SYSTEM which was the original owner. Seems around the houses but works.


    I presume when I changed the permissions originally under the basic "Edit" dialog it tried applying them to subdirectories and this was when Vista complained. Pity it didn't then just offer a cancel to undo everything rather than telling the user to undo things which only the OS knows has been done!


    Thursday, July 12, 2007 2:16 PM
  • No problem. It is a bit convoluted, but it sounds like you've sorted it.
    Thursday, July 12, 2007 6:57 PM

    ...In the end I decided to drop back to a previous point in time using the system restore option in Vista.


    I could do this because I hade a recent restore point and I'd not installed any software in between.

    Therefore the only system changes were probabyl down to my fiddling.

    I took precautions this time by manually creating restore points (& naming them something sensible) before playing about.

    Having taken it back to a previous point just before I altered the security settings I did find I needed to re-do some explorer potions (but this was easy)


    Before doing any of this I'd been lucky enough to test what this restore was doing using a test PC with a ghosted image. I'd tested deliberately messing with various directory settings and then using the restore point to put everything back.

    I have to say it worked well and was pretty quick. I wasn't sure exactly what would happen with other files - although the help says documents + pictures + Music is all left I wasn't totally sure about installed software. It did set the registry back so the software wasn't installed - but it seemed to me it didn't actually run an uninstall or remove the install dir - in my test that was still there along with all the files the install had put there. I would need to read and test some more to be certain what is meant to happen.



    Monday, July 16, 2007 10:45 AM