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Windows 7: C:\Documents and Settings has become in-accessible


11 Jan 2011   #1

 
C:\Documents and Settings has become in-accessible

All:

My C:\Documents and Settings folder has become inaccessible. I would appreciate some help in finding out what is going on and correcting the situation.
When I click on it, a Location Not Available Message Box is displayed with the message: C:\Documents and Settings is not available. Access is Denied.
Its Windows Explorer Icon has an arrow on it like that for a shortcut.
The Properties and Settings, General Tab displayed after right clicking on it contains the following information:

Documents and Settings
Type: File Folder
Target:
Created: Tuesday July 14, 2009, 1:08:56 AM
Comment:

The Security Tab indicates that everyone has permission to do everything.

I have tried to access the folder in Safe Mode. This didn't work. I also tried a system restore, and it didn't work either.
I have been using my personal account which has Administrator Privileges.
If I am unable fix this I will have to re-format the drive and re-install Windows 7. I really don't want to do that.

Any help would be most appreciated

Sincerely,
Bill Bos


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

11 Jan 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Bill,

That's because that location is a junction point and not a real folder. These junction points are used for backwards compatibility for older programs that still reference the old location in XP and prior instead of the new location in Vista and Windows 7.

Your My Documents folder, without the shortcut arrow on it, is actually located at this location instead:

C:\Users\(user-name)\My Documents

Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2011   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1, Windows 8.1 Pro x64
 
 

Hi Bill,

Documents and Settings is not a real folder in both Vista and Windows 7. It is a junction that is there to provide an interface for legacy programs to the new folder structure.

Windows 7 uses C:\Users\<your user name>\Documents and C:\Users\<your user name>\AppData instead.

Edit: Just a little late.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


11 Jan 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate RTM (Technet)
 
 

If you made any changes to the permissions on documents and settings trying to "fix" the "problem"....you need to immediately use System Restore to undo those changes. It will cause you more grief down the road.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2011   #5

windows 7 pro 64 bit
 
 

Yep, i screwed my install up by changing some folder permissions within the folder properties. I have a question about this tho....will it also screw things up if you use that "take ownership" tweak thats added via a reg file?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2011   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate RTM (Technet)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dazco View Post
Yep, i screwed my install up by changing some folder permissions within the folder properties. I have a question about this tho....will it also screw things up if you use that "take ownership" tweak thats added via a reg file?
Yes
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2011   #7
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dazco View Post
Yep, i screwed my install up by changing some folder permissions within the folder properties. I have a question about this tho....will it also screw things up if you use that "take ownership" tweak thats added via a reg file?
Yes, if used inproperly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2011   #8

 

Shawn and all:

Thank you very much. This solves my problem.
I have not changed any permissions, so I don't have to worry about any of the associiated problems.

I am setting up VirtualBox 4.0.0. I am not happy with what I have, so I am about to uninstall it and start over. According to the VirtualBox Manual, the files for the virtual machines are supposed to be stored in C:\Documents and Settings\Username\. I was trying to check to see if they really were there before they are removed. I checked and they are right where you said they were, in C:\Users\Bill Bos\My Documents. Now I can check after the removal to see that they are really gone.

There is no indication at the Documents and Settings Icon as to what it actually is. It would be niece if the Properties drop down window indicated that this is a redirection folder and that the target is C:\Users\<user name>\My documents. This would be similar to what is done for desktop icons.

If anyone sees Mr. Microsort they should tell him about this so he can correct it. In the mean time, anyone who has this problem will just have to ask you guys.

Thank you so much,
Bill Bos
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2011   #9
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

You're most welcome Bill. I'm glad that we were able to help you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2012   #10

Windows 7 64bit
 
 
C:\Documents and Settings inaccessible

May be an old problem but I just got it :-(

Windows 7 64bit. I could not dig into my C:\Documents and Settings folder (was looking for Skype snapshot directory).

I stupidly thought I could change the access so I did properties > permissions and tried to give myself access. I got an error message and thought nothing had happened.

But I noticed that the folder now has a little shortcut icon by it. (And other too now as well I think).

And I have no restore points.

Bearing in mind the warnings above, does anyone have any advice about how I can undo what I stupidly did please?

many thanks, Dave
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 C:\Documents and Settings has become in-accessible




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