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Windows 7: Hiding system folders on a shared computer

02 Mar 2014   #11

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by UsernameIssues View Post
The NTFS access and deny permissions should be unaffected by returning ownership to the TrustedInstaller. You can test it on one folder before fixing the other ones. Here is a tutorial on how to do that: TrustedInstaller - Restore as Owner (The steps are the same in Vista and W7.)

The reason for returning ownership is: "ownership" is part of the Windows security model. This helps to prevent changes to these protected folders by not allowing user accounts (even admins ones) to change/infect files.
First, I wan to say thank you and carwiz for you detailed help.

And second, in the thread you linked they say that not all files and folders should be owned by TrustedInstaller, and there was even one user that after doing that could not install or uninstall programs anymore. But I am a bit confused, because it seems in his case it was only Norton, and also in some posts they were talking about the windows folder, not program files.

So, is there any way to know if returning the ownership of Program Files folders and subfolders and files to Trustedinstaller will create a bigger mess than leaving it as it is now?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Mar 2014   #12

W7 Pro SP1 64bit

You are welcome. Helping in forums is an entertaining and educational hobby for me. Some people read a good book, I read a good forum or two

I would not worry too much about the member that had an issue with Norton, there is not enough detail to determine what else that forum member might have done to things. It is easy to forget to select the option to propagate changes to all files and sub-folders.

I seem to recall that you changed things in the Steam folder. I understand a tiny bit about Steam, but I'm not a gamer. (Okay, so I did waste hours trapping a stupid cat. But that is not the same thing

I have the luxury of using Virtual Machines (VM). I'm installing Steam into a VM and a free to play game - just to see what account should own those folders/files. I'll post back when I know more.

For the other folders/files, we may need to ask forum members that have the apps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Mar 2014   #13

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I changed 2 things:

1. Ownership on both Program Files folder, with subfolders and files, from Trustedinstaller to myself (and I am the first account that was created, and with administrator status, UAC deactivated)

2. Deny permissions to my son's account for Steam and Nvidia Geforce Experience folders.

What I am worried is that maybe when I changed the ownership not every file and folder inside the Program Files folder was owned by Trustedinstaller, and by changing it again and giving Trustedinstaller ownership of every single file and folder I break something.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

02 Mar 2014   #14

W7 Pro SP1 64bit

This was funny:

Hiding system folders on a shared computer-steam1.png

The top level folder for Steam is owned by:
Hiding system folders on a shared computer-steam2.png

Glancing thru the sub-folders (and some files)...
...shows them to be owned by the account that installed them.
Hiding system folders on a shared computer-steam3.png

Upon re-reading this thread, I noticed that you took ownership of the entire Programs Files folder structure (as opposed to just the folders that needed restrictions). So, let's follow the general rule that stuff that Windows installs should have TrustedInstaller as the owner and stuff that users installed can keep your account as the owner. This rule is very general because user installed apps can have the TrustedInstaller as the owner too.

Work thru each of the folders shown in the right hand pane and set the TrustedInstaller account as owner:

Hiding system folders on a shared computer-w7-1.png

Hiding system folders on a shared computer-w7-2.png

My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Mar 2014   #15

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Wow! That is so incredibly helpful! Thanks a lot!

By the way, I am a complete noob in all these permissions and accounts and group policies, so spending many hours during the weekend trying to achieve my objective, I could not help but wonder if it would have been easier in a different OS, like MAC OS or linux. I guess that given the name of this forum most users won't be specialists in other OS, but I am sure that there are also many that also know quite a bit about them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Mar 2014   #16

W7 Pro SP1 64bit

I know a tiny bit about the Linux/Unix file permissions setup and while Apple has changed a lot of things, the underlying OS is BSD. I think that the file permissions for Apple's iOSes and BSD are still the same. As I understand it, those OSes do not use inherited permissions.

In other words...
...if I setup a file server using Ubuntu
(the desktop version - 'cuz I need a GUI)
...and I shared a folder for all accounts to use
...then your account made a sub-folder in that shared folder
...your co-workers could not get to those files.

That does not work well in an office setting were the folder was meant to share files for all workers. In Windows, the sub-folder would have automatically picked up the permissions of the parent folder.

As far as restricting a child from using apps on Linux/Unix/Apple OSes... the saying goes, "There is an app for that."

Windows has an app for that too. It is called Parental Controls and it can get into a state were the Parent cannot change stuff. I don't suggest it to people.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Mar 2014   #17

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I took a look at parental controls, but what I did not like that if the monitored account would try to launch a forbidden program, they would get a message saying that they needed to contact their administrator. I do not want a whistle blower telling my son that I am hiding games from him. I want it to be as silent and invisible as possible.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Hiding system folders on a shared computer

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