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Windows 7: Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file.......

18 Dec 2015   #1
luciano991

64 bit Windows 7
 
 
Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file.......

Hello,

Working on an old Gateway laptop if you can believe that. I've been working on Windows machines for 20 years but I'm so stumped I don't even know where to start.

In a nutshell when I login with an Admin account I can't do anything. For example, I have a thumb drive with CCleaner on it and I'm blocked from installing it. I tried moving it to the desktop and it says C:\ is not accessible.

This is not the case, however, in Safe Mode. I have turned off the antivirus. I have used a Kaspersky Boot disk to remove a couple of malware problems. I have checked the Startup items for problems but don't see any.

This is an old computer someone gave to me to check out so I know little of it's history.

I cannot do anything with Users or Uninstalling programs.

Can you give me a place to start troubleshooting? I'm baffled.

All the best,

Luciano991


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Dec 2015   #2
mitchell65

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Hi and welcome to the Forum. A bit more info would be helpful like what version of Windows is installed?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2015   #3
luciano991

64 bit Windows 7
 
 

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

18 Dec 2015   #4
paul1149

Linux Lite 2.8 x64 (full-featured, fast, rock-solid)
 
 

Quote:
This is not the case, however, in Safe Mode
That would seem to point to an autorun doing something. Fire up MSCONFIG and go to the startup tab and see what's autostarting. If nothing is obvious, go to the first tab and choose "Diagnostic Boot", which is a step above Safe Mode.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2015   #5
luciano991

64 bit Windows 7
 
 

OK, tried the diagnostic boot. The C drive is still not accessible and when you right-click on the C drive in Explorer and select Properties it's showing the C drive as having 0 bytes. Is there a hidden drive somewhere? I'm baffled. Tried User account with Admin privileges and tried the Administrator account as well.

Thanks for your interest, your patience and your support. What's next?

All the best,

Mark
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2015   #6
paul1149

Linux Lite 2.8 x64 (full-featured, fast, rock-solid)
 
 

It sounds like it has to be something that fires up in standard mode, and even diagnostic mode, but not in safe mode. Two thoughts come to mind. Can you use a browser to download and then execute a prog? If so, I would run either Autoruns or tweaking.com. Autoruns will give you a better view than msconfig. If you use it, save the existing profile before changing anything, or take a system image, or at least a restore point, if there is anything on the drive you want to preserve. Tweaking offers many repairs, including resetting permissions and repairing leftover malware effects. Sometimes it has to be run twice, when the first run makes things worse, but that is rare. One other thing you could try is creating a new administrative account.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2015   #7
luciano991

64 bit Windows 7
 
 

Hello,

First of all, thanks very much for your help. I didn't have a direction to go in or a clue of how to proceed. I'm afraid my experiences will frustrate you as much as they have me.

I was able to get on another windows machine and download Tweaking.com. I could not get it to run on the troubled Gateway laptop. The error message was that I needed at least 2MB of free space in the C:\Temp folder. I cannot get at that folder.

I tried downloading Autoruns directly from the laptop on Majorgeeks but the IE browser is totally screwed. Just get ads and redirects, even had trouble getting Google to come up. So I may try to download Autoruns on the other Windows machine and go from there. At this point, I may have to pull the drive, copy as many files as I can from it, reformat it and start over. I hope there's some way those Gateway drivers are still on that hard drive and that I can find them.

I'm open to further suggestions.

All the best,

Mark
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2015   #8
mitchell65

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

If you have data files on the hard drive that need to be saved then try the Linux method. Download Ubutu from here and create the CD. With that you can run Ubuntu from the disc without installing. You should be able to gain access to the hard drive and download the files you need to save. These can be put straight onto an Ext HD or memory stick. Then I would suggest a clean install of Windows 7. Just try to save the LAN driver. Let Winows 7 find all the other necessary drivers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2015   #9
luciano991

64 bit Windows 7
 
 

That sounds like a plan. I'll let you know how I make out.

All the best,

Mark
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2015   #10
mitchell65

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by luciano991 View Post
That sounds like a plan. I'll let you know how I make out.

All the best,

Mark
I find the Ubuntu disc is a very useful tool to keep by you. The fact that it runs from the CD and not your hard drive is often a life saver. It's not that fast coming from a CD but that is a small price to pay when you find the advantages!
Keep us posted and come back here if you run into problems. If you get to a clean install follow this very good guide.
Clean Install Windows 7
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