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Windows 7: How do I reset Permissions, Ownership and Sharing?

08 Jan 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home 64bit
How do I reset Permissions, Ownership and Sharing?

Hi - I just joined Sevenforums to see if you guys can help. I searched around and found some useful info but I want to make sure I don't screw up my rig any more than I have already done.

Is there a way I can change ALL my folders and files back to their default settings so that I may have full permissions and ownership without having to change each one individually?

Background: I am the only one who uses this computer and it's not networked. I have only one account - the administrator account.

Somehow some permissions got changed on files and folders. I searched around the internet for solutions and learned about changing permissions, ownership and sharing. I then mucked around and changed a whole bunch of folders so I could access them. I changed permissions on some, ownership on others, and sharing on still more. And every kind of combination of the three. And there's the parent/child rules on top of all that. I have tons of folders and it would take a lifetime to manually fix all these.

In addition, all but three programs disappeared from my start menu so now I have to start most of my programs by navigating to its .exe

After a period of frustration I thought it best to do a complete backup & reformat. After the format I transfered my backup files onto the fresh computer and STILL had the same problems. I guess the changes stick with the files/folders and get carried over to the fresh install.

Acer Aspire Laptop 7741Z-5731
Windows 7 Home Premium

My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Jan 2012   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
Windows 7 Permissions Default

I'm wondering the exact same thing..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home 64bit

Hiya Tony!

I searched everywhere for solutions but it just seemed easier to reformat than to keep on searching and finding nothing that would help.

I ended fixing the problem by doing a 2nd complete reinstall. Been 2 weeks and my comp is just like new. When I did my back-up I used WinRAR to compress all my files and then burned them to CD's. After the reformat I copied those files back onto my rig and the screwed-up permissions didn't hold and everything was cool again. There is a setting in WinRAR that is defaulted for this so if you didn't mess any of the settings it should be OK.

I got better prepared for this reformat though. I went out and got RollBack. It's like system restore but it works on NOT just the computers files but all your files too. Everything.


now if for any reason this reformat gets messed up by some corrupt software install or any other reason I can roll this baby back to just before I installed it.

You were prolly looking for a different solution other than a reformat - good luck. I found it easier to do that than waste all my time searching for answers and not finding any.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Jan 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit

Thanks for your response. That's unfortunate, but I was somewhat expecting to have to reformat. Let the fun begin..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2013   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit

Hi Roger,

I'm facing a possible format and reinstall because of file and folder ownership and permissions issues. I saw your post above about WinRAR and wanted to get some details from you. I have a lot of additional files and programs on my hard drive. If I read your post right, you used WinRAR to back them up and restore them. You mentioned a setting that prevented any "screwed up permissions" from transferring to the new installation. Did I understand that right? If so, can you please point me to it in WinRAR?

Also, I looked for the RollBack product and found RollBack RX - I presume that's the product you meant. I'm guessing RollBack RX is meant for installation and use AFTER the hard drive is fully operational again. It doesn't have the ability to backup the files and folders with the screwed up permissions and then restore them without the permissions, right?

Thanks for any guidance you can offer - regards! v/r, Jim in MD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Dec 2013   #6

Windows 7 Home 64bit


In WinRAR under the 'Advanced' tab should be a checkbox labeled 'Save File Security'. Make sure that is NOT checked. It is the default setting when you install WinRAR so you really shouldn't have to change anything.

Like I said I just archived any files that I wanted to save using that setting. It just strips off all the old screwed up sharing and permissions crap. Then I emailed all those files to myself, did a reinstall, and when I downloaded them they were back to the way they were were originally.

As for RollBack RX, yes it is the same program. I use it all the time now. And unfortunately you are correct; it can only roll back your comp or files to when RollBack is first installed.

Once it IS installed you would be able to do this from the install date forward. I have not had a single issue with permissions / sharing since my orig reinstall. I wish I knew what caused it but now I'm protected in case it happens again.

Good Luck
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Dec 2013   #7

Windows 7 Home 64bit

Clarification: The 'Advanced' tab in WinRAR is found by either creating a new archive or under the Add button. And you don't have to reformat or backup to see if it does what I say. Just archive some messed up folders or files and then extract them. Boom. Done.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Dec 2013   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit

Hi Roger,

Sorry for the delay in responding. Thanks also for the info regarding WinRAR and Rollback RX. I purchased both and have both running. I made a complete hard drive backup using WinRAR but haven't tried restoring anything from it yet. I ended up formatting my hard drive, then wiping the free space with another program to make certain I'd killed the ransomware remnants. Then, I reinstalled the OS and have been reloading my programs slowly.

I installed Rollback RX and use it to make a system snapshot after installing each program. I see how I also have the opportunity to roll back upon bootup and how it takes a system snapshot right before loading the OS. Thanks for sharing your research on Rollback RX with us who've read your postings! I equate using it to having auto insurance - it'll protect me and return me to the condition I was in before the accident.

I made a list of all the programs I had installed and I'm using it to weed out those that don't need to be reinstalled. (Example: TaxCut 2004-2008; I'm beyond the threat of audit for those tax years and I have PDF soft copies of the returns should I need them.)

I'll try extracting some of the stuff from my WinRAR archive this weekend and expect I'll see the same results you did. I saved my archive to another hard drive that was in my computer, so it should be an easy process.

Thanks again for your time and responses. I hope you and yours enjoy a safe and relaxing Holiday Season! Regards! JRD


Jim in MD
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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