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Windows 7: Locked out of C drive through Permissions in Security tab

06 Dec 2015   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
Locked out of C drive through Permissions in Security tab

My girlfriend was having an issue with her Windows 7 Ultimate computer while I was out, so I told her how she could fix said issue, the day prior to this I had done some maintenance on it as she wanted to start using that computer again (it's a gaming computer she stopped using for about two weeks because it was running a little slower) and some scans found over 5,000 objects to be removed. It fixed a lot but there were a couple issues left and I didn't have enough time to finish tinkering with it, and there was one issue she could handle while I was gone. Or so I thought. She somehow wandered into the Security tab for her C drive and changed the permissions. Now nothing can be altered on the drive, and I've tried a few things to attempt to reverse this.

I would have simply backed it up and went ahead with a fresh install if not for the fact that she has So much on that computer (The scans went through over 400,000 files)

I've tried doing a system restore, tried a couple of things in Windows RE, tried using the hidden Admin account to change the permissions, etc. None of it has worked yet.

Are there any other possible commands to be tried in Windows RE? I've yet to attempt turning off UAC and attempting to take ownership again to change the permissions, but I'm not sure if that would even take hold given the state of the permissions.

Note: I am able to get a command prompt open in Safe mode as an administrator.

Would making a new partition on said machine, installing Windows 7 onto it and attempting to seize ownership using that partition or attempting a Repair install via the USB drive, or, really, anything else for that matter be viable? And to my knowledge taking ownership of the main C drive isn't the greatest of ideas, but it's the only thing I can think of right now that would allow me to regain control over the system. So if that's the case and I do somehow manage to seize ownership of the drive; what would be the original owner to revert ownership back to? SYSTEM, TrustedInstaller? I'm not sure, in my years of fixing computers I've never had to deal with this issue of the entire C drive having it's permissions messed up.

Any insights or fixes would be greatly appreciated. There's a lot on her computer she doesn't want to lose, and honestly would take ages to even attempt to back-up.

Edit: I also heard about this program or whatever while trying to figure this out after the windows RE failed me. Is this actually a thing (as in, is it legit) and does it work/would it work for the C drive via any method? It's called Permissions Time Machine on a website called AMYD Projects - Official WebSite

Again, thanks for any help - or attempted help

My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2015   #2

W7 home premium 32bit/W7HP 64bit/w10 tp insider ring

Hi Timo,

Firstly id say that whatever malware she had MORE than likely changed the permissions

I would certainly download and run Malwarebytes free,
(uncheck the 30day trial and in settings tick enable root kits detection).

What ever it finds look it up online to check what it has done, as well as the ones youve already cleared,.

Do not attempt any changes until you have sorted the malware issue, its no good rushing it, be patient one thing at a time.

There are only a couple of programmes that i would suggest to reset your permissions,
AFTER you post the results of the scan.

Could you also post her system specs, and list any optimiser progs installed.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2015   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

The scan I initially ran was Malwarebytes, will attempt to get a log of it when I'm back at her computer. She also doesn't have any optimizers that I'm aware of, but the c drive was okay until I got back to the computer the next day

Will post full specs of her computer when I'm back, though off the top of my head I know she has a Fx4100 cpu, believe a 4600 series Radeon gpu, and I'm not sure what motherboard she has but it's Asus, M5A97 or M5a78L I think; like I said I'll get the actual specs posted when I'm back on her computer

Thanks for taking the time to help

Edit: the scan I ran with Malwarebytes came back with over 5,000 detections when I ran it, thought I'd throw that in there
My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Dec 2015   #4

W7 home premium 32bit/W7HP 64bit/w10 tp insider ring

No worries,
The lappy make and model would be great thou
ie Samsung/Toshiba/lenovo AND the model no/name

i suspect a lot of those 5000 are probobly PUP's

My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2015   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

It's a custom built desktop
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2015   #6

Linux Lite 3.2 x64; Windows 7, 8.1

The problem, AISI, is that a simple change of ownership is not the solution. If all objects on the C drive have been changed, they have been changed from a number of original owners. Some objects are owned by the user, some by system, some perhaps by others. The trick is to know which is which.

There is a prog called that will reset permissions on files, registry keys and services. Run in Safe Mode it might work; I'm not sure. I don't think it can be run on a remote installation, unfortunately.

If that doesn't work your best bet would be a fresh install. Indeed, if the machine was slowing down before anyway, I would view this mess as an invitation to do so. The time to off/onload the data files will end up paling in significance to the time you spend trying to doctor this problem most probably, only to end up with a system that is still ailing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Dec 2015   #7

W7 home premium 32bit/W7HP 64bit/w10 tp insider ring

that was 1 of them, i believe there is a permissions rest option.
BUT if malware is/has caused the problem then until thats removed then we'll end up goin in circles.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Locked out of C drive through Permissions in Security tab

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