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Windows 7: Permission issues. Fed up with "You do not have permission to....."


08 Jan 2012   #1

Win7 64bit
 
 
Permission issues. Fed up with "You do not have permission to....."

First, the important intro: I'm running two Windows 7 systems: my desktop runs 64bit Windows 7 Ultimate, the laptop is Windows 7 64bit home version. Both were clean installs, are routinely scanned for viruses, malware, hardware problems, regularly defragged, etc. I run lean machines; the only TSR (for all you DOS gurus!!) I run is Antivir (running in the background).

The problems

Most of us have seen these error msgs from time to time: "you need permission to perform this action", or "you require permission from the computer's administrator...", and less often "you cannot delete file as it is open in another....".

Every now and then, my computers tell me I cannot rename, delete, move, or open a particular folder or file. The folders//files in question are NOT system, hidden, page, shared, locked, etc. They could be something I've installed yesterday, a game for my wife for example, mp3s, whatever. For the love of Pete I can't figure out WHY this is happening!!!! But wait, there's more! This does NOT occur all of the time, but seems to be a hit and miss event...joy!

Example: A folder contains a bunch of files, plus one or two sub-folders. I click on the folder, tap the delete key, or use the context menu delete command, then one of the above errors pop up. OK, I open the folder, select all, tap the delete key, and poof, everything IS deleted. Back up one level, delete the folder. WTF is going on ? I may have to drill down to the lowest sub-folder level before I can start deleting their contents; sometimes I can delete files and sub-folders in one go, other times I cannot.

Another scenario: Let's use the same ordinary folder setup we just discussed. I'll try to delete the folder...nope, error. If I then wait....say 4-5 minutes, then try again, guess what ? It works now!!! Nothing is done during that 4-5 minute period that would influence the outcome, e.g. no other software is open or closed. Please note that the delay in deletion is not universal, i.e. it does not work every time, not is the time interval between the original unsucessful 'delete' request and the second, now successful attempt consistent. Seems almost 'random'...the worst bugs.


Now, a little personal info: I have a deep background in programming, beginning in the early 80's. I've built numerous systems, worked on private and government software projects, and have a thorough knowledge of Windows. I am saying this in an effort to avoid the usual responses doled out to newbs - 'have you tried running in safe mode', or 'check for a virus'... please! This sort of this did not happen under XP, 98, 95, even 3.1! I am convinced it has something to do with permissions and/or Windows 7's biggest drawback: treating users like we are all morons. I had hoped that foolishness dies with Vista.... sadly, it did not.

PLEASE do not tell me to:

- try changing the permissions for each file I cannot delete
- reboot each time this happens
- do a clean re-install on both systems
- check for viruses, hard drive issues, defrag, etc.
- buy the whole UAC crap.

Lastly, I AM the system admin on both machines, I have UAC disabled (duh!). I do not want nor need 'protection' from myself. I simply want Windows 7 to work at least as well as 98, which means let me make the decisions.


I am looking for a solution to this constant source of irritation. The only idea I could come up with was to run my systems using the hidden Admin account, but alas my attempts at copying my user profiles to this account has so far been unsuccessful
I am not asking to have access to rewrite the kernel, just to perform basic file manipulation without calling down the wrath of the gods on the MS coders who created this ...mess!

Thanks so much for taking the time to read and respond to my thread.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

08 Jan 2012   #2

win 7 ultimate32bit, Win8.1pro wmc 32bit
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2012   #3
Microsoft MVP

 

You can Enable the (Hidden) built-in Administrator account on Windows 7 or Vista. It requires setting up a new User Account desktop so it's best done after a clean reinstall unless you want to copy over your files and create new settings - always a nice fresh start that leaves behind much corruption.

This is not recommended except for those who know what they're doing (you know who you are) but it gives back full control and i do not get prompted for permissions at all.

The risk is that rogue elements from the internet will get in and take enough control to install themselves, which UAC is supposed to guard against. Running as hidden Admin is pretty much the same as turning off UAC.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


09 Jan 2012   #4

Win7 64bit
 
 

Thanks for the reply Greg, but as I did mention, I had thought of this alternative, but do not wish to wipe 2 terabytes of installs and start over with a clean install!

What I am describing has nothing whatsoever to do with normal OS file management, which is why this problem is so frustrating. This issue is so intrusive, it affects other software's file manipulations. E.G. Visual Studio cannot open a newly created exe file, as it does not have the proper permissions!!! Give me a break! This is complete nonsense, nothing less.

Oh, to the person who recommended I 'take ownership', has anyone actually found that this does anything at all ? Personally, I've found that particular Windows 7 function to be a waste of context menu space, as it (seems) to do nothing whatsoever.

Surely someone has an answer to this ? I've spent a lot of time scouring the net for an answer, so I know how prevalent this is. I'd hoped by now someone has come across an actual solution, and not a work-around or band-aid fix. I apologize if I sound irritated, it's probably because I am
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2012   #5
Microsoft MVP

 

I use Take Ownership to root out Windows files when forced to delete an OS manually. Even then it's cantankerous and not fully reliable.

You can enable Hidden Admin to run on that account for awhile as a test. If it's relieved then I'd either migrate over to that account or clean reinstall as something in your current account settings is on your back - could even be malware or its residue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2012   #6

Win7 64bit
 
 

Hey Greg, once again a big thanks for the reply.

I have to ask: is this issue faced by all Windows 7 users, or is it a sporadic problem ? I can almost understand MS not letting users delete specific system files, but cannot fathom why this would apply to non-system, non-critical files or folders. In my opinion the worst of these problems is the apparent lag between trying to delete a folder and being denied permission, then if I wait long enough, I am then able to delete it after all!!!!

As it happens, my laptop was corrupted by a freeware partition program: tried to reduce the size of an empty partition: ended up with a dead boot sector. So, after reinstalling Windows 7, I am now using the hidden admin account as my account, i.e. I took your advice.

My desktop, now two years old, has nearly three terabytes of files, programs etc. It would be less than a fun experience to have to reinstall everything from scratch just to change user accounts to admin.

If you know of a way to copy a 'regular' user account to the hidden admin, please let me know: I have tried without success.

Well, looks like this problem will not be solved. Let's hope Win8 does a better job!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2012   #7
Microsoft MVP

 

You don't really want to copy the account since hidden AppData settings files are a corruption path, so it's best to start fresh with settings. Just move the files over to their respective folders by opening the old folder, click Select All on Organize tab, then carefully drag the group to the corresponding folder in Explorer bar at left. Don't release the group until the bar stops expanding which is another annoyance.

Once you're sure your files are all moved over and any Programs reinstalled to all accounts if necessary, you can delete the old account although if it is the original owner's Account it will remain listed in Explorer until reinstall due to another annoying security policy. You can have it save the old account files on the desktop if you have any doubt.

It sounds like you had a file system problem - did Disk Check repair it for you? Shrinking or resizing a partition in Disk Mgmt or using free Partition Wizard bootable CD will always check the file system as it works.

I'd also run SFC -SCANNOW Command to make sure you don't have a damaged System file.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2012   #8
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello CShark,

Have you already tried using the free program Unlocker to delete these items. It's a great option for this type of situation when access is denied for whatever reason.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2012   #9

Win7 64bit
 
 

Hey Greg, Brink, thanks for the posts.

Brink, up to now I have not tried Unlocker, but have recently installed it, just in case. Although clearly not a direct answer to this problem, it probably will, however, 'fix things'.

Greg, for fun I did a clean install on my other machine, a laptop. Once completed, I enabled the hidden admin account, and have used it as my logon, i.e. I am now supreme leader on that system Your suggestion regarding moving the user data is a good one, something I will have to try asap. Thanks for the help guys, I will post back when and if anything works.

Cheers
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2012   #10

Win7 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Hello CShark,

Have you already tried using the free program Unlocker to delete these items. It's a great option for this type of situation when access is denied for whatever reason.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
Shawn, thanks for the response. Yes, I took your advice and gave Unlocker a try. So far, it has not helped, i.e. 'unlocking' a file or folder does not change anything: still cannot delete the offending file.

I'm beginning to realize the best idea may be to (gulp) start over with a fresh install. I just wish there was a way to hang onto all my installs, and not spend hours reinstalling everything
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Permission issues. Fed up with "You do not have permission to....."




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