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Windows 7: Can't access "Documents and Settings"

16 Oct 2009   #1
simlei

Windows 7
 
 
Can't access "Documents and Settings"

Hi there,
I downloaded Windows 7 from my university's MSDNAA program, installed it, and everything, and it works just fine. But when I try to access certain folders on my hard disk, like "Documents and settings", I am not allowed to. Even if I enter the Administrator account, it refuses to work.

Ho do I solve such problems with insufficient rights, altough being in administrator accounts? I'm not just searching a workaround for this specific problem.

Kind regards,
Simon


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Oct 2009   #2
pbcopter

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1, Windows 8.1 Pro x64, Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Hi,
Documents and Settings is not a real folder in Windows 7. It is called a "Junction" and is there to allow older programs to inteface with the Windows 7 folder structure.
The data is now contained in C:\Users\<your user name>\. There are other Junctions as well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Oct 2009   #3
simlei

Windows 7
 
 

Ah, thanks.
I entered %appdata%, and was led to C:\Users\Name\AppData\Roaming. Seems to be the right folder, as I found the Pidgin settings folder there I wanted to replace.

But in general - I should be allowed to enter every folder I want, no?
When i was trying to install firefox, I was in an Administrator account, and I had to execute the Installation process with Administrator rights---
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Oct 2009   #4
logicearth

Windows 10 Pro (x64)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by simlei View Post
But in general - I should be allowed to enter every folder I want, no?
When i was trying to install firefox, I was in an Administrator account, and I had to execute the Installation process with Administrator rights---
No, you are not running as Administrator. You are running as a user that is part of the Administrators group. However, you are not givin Administrators group privileges until you elevate. I know this is going to be hard to understand or accept, but DO NOT turn off or lower UAC! (I do advice raising it.) Now while you are running you have Standard User privileges, this keeps you or application (Number two cause of security compromises!) in adversely screwing up the system (even more so if you set UAC to a higher setting) by changing core system settings.

Now lets talk about the Document and Settings folder along with the rest of the HIDDEN files used for compatibility. You cannot enter these folder, NOT EVEN as the real Administrator, heck not even the SYSTEM account which is even more powerful then Administrator gets access. But there is a very good reason for this. Those folders are merely junctions to different parts of the system. Applications that have hardcoded that location will transparently be redirected. If you wanted to know, there is but a single permission that denies access to the folder: "Everyone; List folder / read data; DENY".

Do not change the permissions! They were put there for a reason. You do not want software to go into these junctions if or when they scan the computer, all you will get is a dozen different duplicate files or infinite loops.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Oct 2009   #5
pbcopter

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1, Windows 8.1 Pro x64, Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Both Vista and Windows 7 have a higher level of security than previous versions of Windows, As such even in the Administrator account some things require permmision elevation inorder to prevent malware from installing itself.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Oct 2009   #6
simlei

Windows 7
 
 

Okay, I understand this. By default, in a Account marked as "Administrator", I am still starting processes with (normal) user rights.

Is there a setting that would allow me to execute every application with admin rights? Such as a permanent "sudo"? (I think i won't do this even if it's possible.. Sounds kinda over the top..)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Oct 2009   #7
logicearth

Windows 10 Pro (x64)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by simlei View Post
Is there a setting that would allow me to execute every application with admin rights? Such as a permanent "sudo"? (I think i won't do this even if it's possible.. Sounds kinda over the top..)
Some tricks exist to get an application to launch without a UAC prompt, but I consider those more or less hacks. Aside from turning off UAC, you can right-click > run as Admin...or when using the startmenu search box to pull up an application, holding down CTRL + SHIFT then ENTER will run as Admin.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Can't access "Documents and Settings"




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