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Windows 7: Workaround for files that cannot be accessed ("Access is Denied")


11 Mar 2012   #1

windows 7
 
 
Workaround for files that cannot be accessed ("Access is Denied")

A few thousand of my pictures could not be accessed anymore after I had to re-install my whole computer after a crash. They all got the error message: "Access is Denied".
Also copying and deleting is impossible.
With the great free tool UNLOCKER I could still delete them.

Then, searching for an explanation, I found forum posts trying to explain that the error message had to do with older Windows versions, different folder systems, links instead of real files. I didnt understand at all, but wanted to follow up the advice 'take ownership an change permissions'. So I went to the Reccle Bin and restored the unaccessible files.
Surprise!
After restoring their behavior was completely normal.

Can other people let me know if the following steps work well for them too? Or if they have a different/better solution?
1. Install UNLOCKER
2. Rightclick on the unaccessible files (group selection possible) and select DELETE.
3. Go to the recycle bin, select the same files, right click and select RESTORE.
4. Files should be accessible now.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Mar 2012   #2

win 7 ultimate32bit, Win8.1pro wmc 32bit
 
 

Hi WimYogya , You could always try this Take Ownership Shortcut
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2012   #3

windows 7
 
 

No, I can't try that: right clicking shows no menu options about taking ownerships
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


12 Mar 2012   #4

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

The process of taking ownership of files can be confusing - so Mark made a file that you can download, unzip and merge with your registry so that the "take ownership" option will appear in the context menu.

I have Unlocker and have used it for years. Like you said, it moved the files that you were working with to the recycle bin. My guess is that when the undelete process put them back, they inherited the security settings of the parent folder - so you could get to them. That is pure conjecture on my part because I have no way of knowing just what part of the security descriptors were messed up on the original set of files... so I cannot duplicate/test to see if the steps that you took will always work.

It does not sound all that safe. For instance, Unlocker could be deleting more files than the recycle bin can hold... then some would be lost. People are better off learning the take ownership steps.

Edit: I tested one situation on a folder that I had removed all but the system access to. Unlocker deleted the folder (and a subfolder with the same restrictions) but I could not restore them from the recycle bin. I tested this stuff in a Virtual Machine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2012   #5

windows 7
 
 

For me it works well with Unlocker > Delete > Restore.
I do it step by step: I locate the unaccessible files (they have no thumbnail, just an icon), select a bunch and delete them, select a few more etc, then after max 250-300 I undelete them and... Voilą! All ok.
I have never understood the whole ownership stuff well - especially in these abnormal conditions where I seem to be owner but am not.
I take your warning seriously and will not delete complete folders through unlocker if I want to restore them.
Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2012   #6

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

That is an interesting work around you have found :-)

Yes, the whole ownership/permissions thing can be a bit much.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Workaround for files that cannot be accessed ("Access is Denied")




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