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Windows 7: "Windows Explorer stopped working" whenever trying to move a file

19 Jan 2015   #1
s1x6x1s

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit
 
 
"Windows Explorer stopped working" whenever trying to move a file

Hi All,

Let me get right to the point...

Background:
I just changed my hard disk because my old one's integrity is at 2% to a point where I couldn't even load Windows. So, I reinstalled everything: Win 7 Ultimate x32 and all other third-party software that I use. All the installation process worked smoothly... no error or warning of any kind. I always have 2 users set up on my computer: one is the (system's predefined) Administrator; and another is a user with near-admin privileges (a power user) that I use for daily operations and it has almost all access to my data partition drive (I set up the security permission for this user on the data drive).

Problem:
The problem started after I created the second user and set up the security permission for this user. I can read, write, modify, even delete a file on the data partition, but I cannot move that same file to another folder still within the data partition to which this user has access. The error was always: "Windows Explorer stopped working" and it had to refresh/restart.

Solutions tried (based on my browsing similar "Windows Explorer stopped working" problems in this forum):
- First, I tried giving the user group(s) (the groups that this user belong to: Users, Power Users, etc.) the permissions that I wanted -- same problem.
- Second, I tried giving the actual user, instead of just the user group, the permissions that I wanted -- same problem.
- I tried giving the user full control/permission -- problem remained.
- I tried changing this user's account type to administrator, so that it has the same admin privileges as the system's Administrator -- didn't work, also.
- I ran sfc /scannow -- no error found.
- I tried the repair install that you have posted in the tutorial thread -- unable to continue because my OS version is already the latest version (I had gone through the Windows Update process for days after I installed the OS).

So, now I'm frustrated. I deleted the second user, and now I just have Administrator. I'm quite knowledgeable with setting up security permissions. And I never had this problem before, be it with my old hard disk or even my old computers. I guess it's okay to operate my computer using only Administrator, but I just don't feel "safe." Even though I'm protected, I don't want to someday accidentally installed something unsafe using an admin user.

Any help you can give me is appreciated. Thanks!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Jan 2015   #2
doctore

Windows 7 Pro
 
 

Does this happen with just one particular file or for any file on the data drive?

Did you try taking ownership of the file with the non-admin account?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2015   #3
s1x6x1s

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by doctore View Post
Does this happen with just one particular file or for any file on the data drive?

Did you try taking ownership of the file with the non-admin account?
It happens with any file on the data drive.

I didn't try to take ownership one file at a time, I mean that would suck and takes too much time, would it? But on the permissions list one of the things I tried was checking full control which includes taking ownership.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Jan 2015   #4
doctore

Windows 7 Pro
 
 

Checking Full Control only gives you the option to take ownership.

One easy thing you can try is to cut the files and paste them on another partition. Then verify that they open and copy them back to the original one. Verify they open, then delete the old ones.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2015   #5
s1x6x1s

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by doctore View Post
Checking Full Control only gives you the option to take ownership.

One easy thing you can try is to cut the files and paste them on another partition. Then verify that they open and copy them back to the original one. Verify they open, then delete the old ones.
That didn't work either. I couldn't copy-paste or cut-paste or drag-drop any file to another folder or partition using any user I created with either full permission or admin privileges. I also tried taking ownership of the test file I wanted to move around, didn't work as well

So far, the only user that works is the Administrator.

A friend of mine who's an IT administrator told me that it might be a procedural problem; that I might've missed a step or two during the OS installation. But I don't feel like I skipped anything, I did everything step by step as per Windows instruction.

Since I couldn't go through the repair install process, I feel like the only step left is to do a clean reinstall (which I really like to avoid because it takes a week to install everything and get everything up to date ).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2015   #6
doctore

Windows 7 Pro
 
 

Did you try the cut-paste-etc using the administrator account?

The reason I was going with that is that old permissions disappear when you move files to a different partition. So it's a quick way to "reset" permissions on a large number of files. Keep in mind that when you cut-paste to a new partition, the files get the permissions of the new partition.

I also got the impression that you did a reinstall of Win? If it was not a clean install, there is always a chance for things to go awry. You may also want to check the registry for errors.

For what is worth, sec permissions are kept here: %WINDIR%\security\Database\secedit.sdb

Sorry I can't help you more, permissions are (usually) pretty straight-forward so I never ran into any issues before. If you do figure it out - please, post back to let us know the solution.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2015   #7
s1x6x1s

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by doctore View Post
Did you try the cut-paste-etc using the administrator account?

The reason I was going with that is that old permissions disappear when you move files to a different partition. So it's a quick way to "reset" permissions on a large number of files. Keep in mind that when you cut-paste to a new partition, the files get the permissions of the new partition.
I just tried cut-paste a file using Administrator account, as you suggested, to a folder in system partition to which a regular user have universal access in order to "reset" the permissions. The file moved as expected using Admin account, but then I logged in as a regular user and tried to move it again, same problem.

The clear problem I'm having is that no user, other than Administrator account, can move any file from any folder or partition... doesn't matter if that other user is a regular user or power user or user with admin privileges. I can still create, edit, delete, download a file, but I cannot move it.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by doctore View Post
I also got the impression that you did a reinstall of Win? If it was not a clean install, there is always a chance for things to go awry. You may also want to check the registry for errors.

For what is worth, sec permissions are kept here: %WINDIR%\security\Database\secedit.sdb
No, it was a clean install. Like I said before, I just replaced my hard disk, so the new one was blank when I installed Win 7.

I'm not a systems technician, I only know enough to set up the computer to do/behave the way I want. Opening up an .sdb file would require someone more knowledgeable than me. And I already scanned SFC as I mentioned earlier and found no error.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by doctore View Post
Sorry I can't help you more, permissions are (usually) pretty straight-forward so I never ran into any issues before. If you do figure it out - please, post back to let us know the solution.
And I never encountered an issue like this either, until now.

I am more and more convinced that the only thing left to do is wipe out everything, every partition, and reinstall from scratch. Problem is I would have to find the time (and the will) to do so. But as I only have one laptop, it is highly unlikely I can do so without skipping work

Thanks for your help, Doctore. I welcome any other suggestions from other members. I'll be sure to update this thread IF somehow I got a solution.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2015   #8
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

I'm no expert but I did find one.

I would recommend taking a slow read through this tutorial by Brink.

User Accounts - Add or Remove from Groups
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2015   #9
doctore

Windows 7 Pro
 
 

I'm surprised I didn't think of this earlier, but did you try moving a file from the Command Line?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 "Windows Explorer stopped working" whenever trying to move a file




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