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Windows 7: annoying lock on portable programs


28 Dec 2009   #1

Windows 7
 
 
annoying lock on portable programs

On my new PC with Windows 7 I logged in as administrator, created a folder "Portable Programs", installed my portable programs and data into it, set up Synctoy 2.1 to synchronise it with whatever portable device I like to use (sometimes I need a portable harddisk, sometimes a USB stick is more practical).

When I connected my portable device to an XP Home computer (in desperate need of data) the "Portable Programs" folder was there but it looked empty. XP was not able to run chkdsk.

Back home I saw that there was a lock symbol on this folder. I looked into the security settings, saw System and Administrator with limited rights and no other user or guest rights. All files inside the folder looked still disappeared. After changing access rights they were back and fully accessible... but will they still be on any other computer. I'd like to be sure before any next unpleasant surprise.

BTW I get the impression that MS is using Windows 7 in a secret battle against portability. So far none of my thinstalled programs run on Windows 7, Sandboxie is a real struggle.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Dec 2009   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Maggy View Post
On my new PC with Windows 7 I logged in as administrator, created a folder "Portable Programs", installed my portable programs and data into it, set up Synctoy 2.1 to synchronise it with whatever portable device I like to use (sometimes I need a portable harddisk, sometimes a USB stick is more practical).

When I connected my portable device to an XP Home computer (in desperate need of data) the "Portable Programs" folder was there but it looked empty. XP was not able to run chkdsk.

Back home I saw that there was a lock symbol on this folder. I looked into the security settings, saw System and Administrator with limited rights and no other user or guest rights. All files inside the folder looked still disappeared. After changing access rights they were back and fully accessible... but will they still be on any other computer. I'd like to be sure before any next unpleasant surprise.

BTW I get the impression that MS is using Windows 7 in a secret battle against portability. So far none of my thinstalled programs run on Windows 7, Sandboxie is a real struggle.
It should be accessible,but if not do the same thing you done to get the privallages.
It depends on the files usally,and its really a security feature.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Dec 2009   #3

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Minotar View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Maggy View Post
. I'd like to be sure before any next unpleasant surprise.
It should be accessible,but if not do the same thing you done to get the privallages.
It depends on the files usally,and its really a security feature.
I've experimented a little more, not only using SyncToy, but simple copy to USB device as well. This security feature even makes those files disappear if I plug the USB device in another Windows 7 computer. If I'm able to log in on that computer as administrator I'm able to reclaim my permissions. If I plug it into a Windows XP machine, even XP Corp, even with full Administrator rights, it's not able to give me full access. I can see how this is a security feature with secret corporate/governmental data. But my data is totally not secret, not privacy sensitive and I should be able to access them on any computer of my choice where I want to access them. Most of these files are html, txt, doc, pdf, jpg, either created by me or saved from public sites on the Internet. So I want to be able to turn this feature off, for once and for all.

What's the use of USB storage devices if Windows 7 makes it so hard to use them?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Dec 2009   #4

Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)
 
 

It is just permissions, I assume your drive is formatted with NTFS if so then you only need to right-click on the drive, go to the Security Tab > Advance. You are then going to add a new user by clicking Add. You'll get a window popping which you are to type "Everyone" then OK. Click the Full Control check box, then OK. Now there is one more checkbox "Replace all child object permissions..." check that then OK. Should clear up the issue.

You have to understand, computers have different users even tho they might have the same name. When moving data from one computer to another, these permissions will cause grief because they are absolute. If the ACL has no permissions for the user on the second computer, then there is NO ACCESS. And that is the way it must be.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2009   #5

Windows 7
 
 

Thanks for the use of the full term "Access Control List". I had to look up ACL in Wikipedia.

If one SETs the ACL on purpose to No Access, yes indeed, that should be absolute, that's the way it should be.

But these USB devices in my posession have been travelling from one computer to another for months or even years, without ever having problems with ACL permissions. It's IMHO rude, weird and more a bug than a feature that Windows 7 decides to block my permissions on these devices in a way that I'm even not able to restore my rights on other computers with older versions of Windows, without asking me if I want that, without a warning. That can not be the intention of the developers, can it?

BTW Windows 7 does read all the files that were already on these devices written by previous versions of Windows (that AFAIK all work with similar ACL lists) without complaining and without expecting that I first grant me these rights... IMHO that's the way it should be. No limitations on simple data files unless set by the user.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2009   #6

Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)
 
 

Have your thumbdrives always been NTFS or have they been FAT?

Thumbdrives formatted using the FAT filesystem have no ACL or permissions. And I've not seen a thumbdrive sold that is not FAT by default. That is not to say you cannot later change it to NTFS. But it's obvious the previous versions of Windows are not automatically giving you permissions, or the account you are using on the others is not an administrator.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jan 2010   #7

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by logicearth View Post
Have your thumbdrives always been NTFS or have they been FAT?
Always NTFS, it are not standard thumbdrives. I have a large library of facsimile ebooks, I regularly download large portions of the Internet for offline reading, a. o. the entire Wikipedia.

Quote:
Thumbdrives formatted using the FAT filesystem have no ACL or permissions. And I've not seen a thumbdrive sold that is not FAT by default.
Thanks, that's a serious solution, I'll reformat to FAT32 and put my portable software and data back on. The max 4GB file size is less annoying than being locked out of my data.

Quote:
But it's obvious the previous versions of Windows are not automatically giving you permissions, or the account you are using on the others is not an administrator.
It is obvious that this is the case. It is not obvious WHY Windows 7 copies/syncs data from local hard disk that has never had user set privilege limitations to a USB device CREATING serious limitations. Windows 7 neither copies the ACL rights that the files have on my local hard disk (full access everyone) nor copies them using inherited rights (full rights everyone) of the target USB device.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 annoying lock on portable programs




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