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Unable to remove read-only attribute from files and folders

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  #1  
Old 26-07-2006
Colin Hume
 
Posts: n/a
Unable to remove read-only attribute from files and folders

It's probably a symptom of me not understanding permissions completely, but I
can't remove read-only from any files or folders that came with Vista or that
a third-party app installs.

I bring up the Properties window for a folder, uncheck read-only and apply
it to the folder and all sub-items. A message box warns me that I don't have
permission to change the attributes, but I hit Continue and it shows me a
message box that appears to show some kind of activity anyway. I then close
the Properties window and bring it up again to find the read-only box checked
again and all the sub-files and sub-folders likewise read-only.

For the record, I'm running build 5384 on my home PC and with the default
administrator account that Vista prompts you to create on first boot. Please
let me know how to get this permission, and thanks in advance.

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  #2  
Old 26-07-2006
Peter M
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Unable to remove read-only attribute from files and folders

You have to add your sefl to the list of those that can access. The admin
account you get installing Vista is really a semi-admin acct. So if your
user name is chuckles, you have to add chuckles to the offending folders in
properties/security and take "full control" of the folder. I'm far from an
expert and have been kicked in the rear by Vista on the permission stuff. If
it's a system acct (ie it tells you you need permission from so and so... )
then i'm as clueless as any newbie here. <G>

"Colin Hume" <ColinHume@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:FC06A60B-D1B6-42C5-AF88-7B24471E237E@microsoft.com...
> It's probably a symptom of me not understanding permissions completely,
> but I
> can't remove read-only from any files or folders that came with Vista or
> that
> a third-party app installs.
>
> I bring up the Properties window for a folder, uncheck read-only and apply
> it to the folder and all sub-items. A message box warns me that I don't
> have
> permission to change the attributes, but I hit Continue and it shows me a
> message box that appears to show some kind of activity anyway. I then
> close
> the Properties window and bring it up again to find the read-only box
> checked
> again and all the sub-files and sub-folders likewise read-only.
>
> For the record, I'm running build 5384 on my home PC and with the default
> administrator account that Vista prompts you to create on first boot.
> Please
> let me know how to get this permission, and thanks in advance.


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  #3  
Old 27-07-2006
Jimmy Brush
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Unable to remove read-only attribute from files and folders

Hello,

By default, you only have write access to folders and files that are inside
your user directory (c:\users\yourname), some hidden folders, and any folder
that you have created.

The only time you should need write access to any folders outside of this
area is when doing system administration or installing a program.

This can be done easily by running whatever tool or install program you are
using "As Administrator" by right-clicking it and clicking Run As
Administrator, which will allow the tool to access the system.

This is the new way of doing things in Windows Vista - the system is locked
down, and only programs that you Run As Administrator or that automatically
ask you for permission are allowed access to your computer. This will
prevent programs from gaining access to your computer without your
knowledge.

This "Run As Administrator" command is great to run on Windows Explorer,
command prompt, and control.exe (control panel).

It is *NOT* recommended that you change the security settings to allow write
access to the operating-system created files and folders, as this will
greatly reduce the security of your system.

- JB

Vista Support FAQ
http://www.jimmah.com/vista/

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  #4  
Old 28-07-2006
Colin Hume
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Unable to remove read-only attribute from files and folders

Thanks guys, it's all sorted out now. I didn't specify the precise problem in
my last post because I didn't see any benefit to doing so.

The problem involved installing a certain game (Baldur's Gate II), which
needs to edit its own .ini file after installation for configuration reasons
(and for fixing graphic issues, one of which I experienced). I couldn't fix
the graphic issue because BGII was installed in Program Files and Vista
locked all its files down (like you said, Jimmy), including the .ini file.
It's working now that I reinstalled it in my user directory.

Good to know that behavior for the future, all my programs are going in the
user directory from now on and I'm leaving Program Files to Vista itself.

Thanks again for your help, both of you.
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  #5  
Old 28-07-2006
Jimmy Brush
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Unable to remove read-only attribute from files and folders

Just a guess ... are you running the 64-bit version of Windows?

I believe in the 32-bit version windows notices this kind of thing, where a
program has opened a file and then tries to save it, but it does not have
permission to save it, so windows will instead save it to the location it
was supposed to be at in the first place (a special folder in your user
folder). Then, when the program next opens that file, it gets the new copy
instead of the file from the old location.

This behavior should save alot of pain, but can be a cause of confusion in
certain circumstances.

However, it will be nice when programs finally start putting stuff in the
places that MS has told them to put stuff for the last 6 years, so we don't
have to deal with problems like this.

- JB

Vista Support FAQ
http://www.jimmah.com/vista/

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  #6  
Old 03-02-2007
Derek
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Unable to remove read-only attribute from files and folders



"Jimmy Brush" wrote:

> Hello,
>
> By default, you only have write access to folders and files that are inside
> your user directory (c:\users\yourname), some hidden folders, and any folder
> that you have created.
>
> The only time you should need write access to any folders outside of this
> area is when doing system administration or installing a program.
>
> This can be done easily by running whatever tool or install program you are
> using "As Administrator" by right-clicking it and clicking Run As
> Administrator, which will allow the tool to access the system.



Thanks a lot for that info JB. I've been super frustrated with Vista, as
once I upgraded, all of my old files (like mp3s, jpgs, etc) were made
read-only and I was about to pull my hair out by going in to security and
adding myself and giving myself full access to the files. Just a couple of
questions for you though.

1) Do we have to do the 'run as administrator' each time we open Explorer?
2) I just opened explorer with the 'run as administrator' option and tried
to deselect the read-only on files in my C: drive and it got pretty far into
the process but then I got that menacing error message about needing admin
access. when I click continue, I get an error message saying 'access denied'.
(this is the point where I was going into the security preferences, adding
myself and giving myself full access) Is there a better way of doing this?
3) Would there be any advantage in creating a 2nd user account and just
using that acct all of the time?

Thanks for your help!
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  #7  
Old 03-02-2007
Kerry Brown
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Unable to remove read-only attribute from files and folders

Where you trying to change the whole C: drive in one go? If you did then it
won't work. You should only change the permissions and/or attributes on the
files that need changing. Don't try to change the permissions on system
files.

--
Kerry Brown
Microsoft MVP - Shell/User
http://www.vistahelp.ca


"Derek" <Derek@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:69C60865-27ED-4A24-92A9-697BB1F269D0@microsoft.com...
>
>
> "Jimmy Brush" wrote:
>
>> Hello,
>>
>> By default, you only have write access to folders and files that are
>> inside
>> your user directory (c:\users\yourname), some hidden folders, and any
>> folder
>> that you have created.
>>
>> The only time you should need write access to any folders outside of this
>> area is when doing system administration or installing a program.
>>
>> This can be done easily by running whatever tool or install program you
>> are
>> using "As Administrator" by right-clicking it and clicking Run As
>> Administrator, which will allow the tool to access the system.

>
>
> Thanks a lot for that info JB. I've been super frustrated with Vista, as
> once I upgraded, all of my old files (like mp3s, jpgs, etc) were made
> read-only and I was about to pull my hair out by going in to security and
> adding myself and giving myself full access to the files. Just a couple of
> questions for you though.
>
> 1) Do we have to do the 'run as administrator' each time we open Explorer?
> 2) I just opened explorer with the 'run as administrator' option and tried
> to deselect the read-only on files in my C: drive and it got pretty far
> into
> the process but then I got that menacing error message about needing admin
> access. when I click continue, I get an error message saying 'access
> denied'.
> (this is the point where I was going into the security preferences, adding
> myself and giving myself full access) Is there a better way of doing this?
> 3) Would there be any advantage in creating a 2nd user account and just
> using that acct all of the time?
>
> Thanks for your help!


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  #8  
Old 04-02-2007
Jimmy Brush
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Unable to remove read-only attribute from files and folders

Hello,

> 1) Do we have to do the 'run as administrator' each time we open Explorer?


No. Actually, this doesn't do anything anymore - explorer cannot be ran as
administrator. I strongly disagree with Microsoft's decision to do this ...
however, as far as I know, this is the only exception.

> 2) I just opened explorer with the 'run as administrator' option and tried
> to deselect the read-only on files in my C: drive and it got pretty far
> into
> the process but then I got that menacing error message about needing admin
> access. when I click continue, I get an error message saying 'access
> denied'.
> (this is the point where I was going into the security preferences, adding
> myself and giving myself full access) Is there a better way of doing this?


Like Kerry said, you should not change default permissions on your drive C.

The permissions are in place to protect your system from malicious programs.
Changing them removes this protection.

You should only change permissions on files you created.

> 3) Would there be any advantage in creating a 2nd user account and just
> using that acct all of the time?


Many people consider using a standard user account to be better than using
the default prompt-protected administrator account provided by Vista.

Although this is debatable, there are differences: If you run as a standard
user, you will receive less prompts asking for your permission. Also,
instead of just being prompted for permission, you will have to enter the
password for your administrative account in order to run a program that
requests permission.

It's up to you on this one :)

> Thanks for your help!


You're welcome :)


--
- JB
Microsoft MVP - Windows Shell/User

Windows Vista Support Faq
http://www.jimmah.com/vista/

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  #9  
Old 04-02-2007
Kerry Brown
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Unable to remove read-only attribute from files and folders

"Jimmy Brush" <JimmyBrush@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:27AA7885-362E-4212-8418-58210AFD1C4D@microsoft.com...
>
> No. Actually, this doesn't do anything anymore - explorer cannot be ran as
> administrator. I strongly disagree with Microsoft's decision to do this
> ... however, as far as I know, this is the only exception.
>


I use Run as administrator with Windows Explorer quite often. Are you saying
it doesn't do anything or it isn't possible? I do get a uac prompt when I do
this and it has allowed me to rename folders and change NTFS permissions I
couldn't do without using Run as administrator. Both of my computers
(Ultimate and Business) are joined to a domain, I'm not running as a domain
admin, I am running as a local admin, if that makes any difference.

--
Kerry Brown
Microsoft MVP - Shell/User
http://www.vistahelp.ca


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  #10  
Old 05-02-2007
Jimmy Brush
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Unable to remove read-only attribute from files and folders

Have you changed your explorer settings to Run explorer windows in seperate
processes? If you have this setting, this should allow you to use Run As
Administrator on explorer as long as you are logged in as an administrator.
I guess I should have said, with the default configuration, it is not
possible to elevate explorer when logged in as an admin :).

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  #11  
Old 05-02-2007
Kerry Brown
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Unable to remove read-only attribute from files and folders

"Jimmy Brush" <JimmyBrush@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:957A0F31-09DB-4501-BBF8-7D2CCE0D7EE3@microsoft.com...
> Have you changed your explorer settings to Run explorer windows in
> seperate processes? If you have this setting, this should allow you to use
> Run As Administrator on explorer as long as you are logged in as an
> administrator. I guess I should have said, with the default configuration,
> it is not possible to elevate explorer when logged in as an admin :).



I haven't changed anything on the notebook. That's my work machine. I
installed Vista, joined my SBS domain, and installed programs. I may have on
my other Vista machine. That's the one I experiment on. Where is the setting
to do this. I'll see what it is on both machines.

--
Kerry Brown
Microsoft MVP - Shell/User
http://www.vistahelp.ca


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  #12  
Old 06-02-2007
Jimmy Brush
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Unable to remove read-only attribute from files and folders

Here's what I have discovered thru testing:

In explorer,

Organize -> Folder and Search Options -> View tab -> "Launch folder windows
in a seperate process"

* If this option is disabled (default):

right-clicking explorer.exe and clicking Run As Administrator should have no
effect. You will still get the UAC prompt, but the resulting explorer Window
will not actually be running with administrator privileges.

* If this option is enabled

running explorer.exe "as administrator" will actually get you an admin
explorer window, IF and ONLY if you have no other explorer windows open.

If you DO have another explorer window open, this will have no effect.

If you do end up with an "admin" explorer window, *ALL* further windows
explorer windows that you open will ALSO be "admin" windows (even if you
don't run them "as administrator"), until you close all open explorer
windows.


--
- JB
Microsoft MVP - Windows Shell/User

Windows Vista Support Faq
http://www.jimmah.com/vista/

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  #13  
Old 06-02-2007
Kerry Brown
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Unable to remove read-only attribute from files and folders

Thank you. I didn't know that. I must have changed that setting at some
point in experimenting on the desktop. On the notebook because I was seeing
the uac prompt I assumed it was elevated because I had done stuff that
required elevation on the desktop and it worked. Testing it now on the
notebook it is working exactly as you say. I get the uac prompt but not
elevated privileges. I wonder if this is a bug or by design?

--
Kerry Brown
Microsoft MVP - Shell/User
http://www.vistahelp.ca


"Jimmy Brush" <JimmyBrush@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:44A40DE5-0DF1-4AF3-BBC2-EF9DE8FA4939@microsoft.com...
> Here's what I have discovered thru testing:
>
> In explorer,
>
> Organize -> Folder and Search Options -> View tab -> "Launch folder
> windows in a seperate process"
>
> * If this option is disabled (default):
>
> right-clicking explorer.exe and clicking Run As Administrator should have
> no effect. You will still get the UAC prompt, but the resulting explorer
> Window will not actually be running with administrator privileges.
>
> * If this option is enabled
>
> running explorer.exe "as administrator" will actually get you an admin
> explorer window, IF and ONLY if you have no other explorer windows open.
>
> If you DO have another explorer window open, this will have no effect.
>
> If you do end up with an "admin" explorer window, *ALL* further windows
> explorer windows that you open will ALSO be "admin" windows (even if you
> don't run them "as administrator"), until you close all open explorer
> windows.
>
>
> --
> - JB
> Microsoft MVP - Windows Shell/User
>
> Windows Vista Support Faq
> http://www.jimmah.com/vista/


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  #14  
Old 06-02-2007
Jimmy Brush
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Unable to remove read-only attribute from files and folders

The elevation was working just fine until around RC1 when it starting
behaving as it is now - I bugged it, then around RC2 it came back as by
design.

I think the reasoning behind the change was something very technical, as I
seem to remember reading a MSie's blog about it, but I can't remember much
about it now. Something to do with a higher privileged process consisiting
of lower privileged chunks breaks the security model, I believe.

Still, I think the current behavior is misleading and very inconsistant...
something else should have been done.


--
- JB
Microsoft MVP - Windows Shell/User

Windows Vista Support Faq
http://www.jimmah.com/vista/

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  #15  
Old 13-03-2007
Jacci Eubank
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Unable to remove read-only attribute from files and folders

I've read your reply and PETER M's reply. I think you are answering the area
I need help in but the answers aren't quite working. I'm trying to backup
Quicken and it just won't work. When I try to BACKUP to C: , it tells me C
is READ ONLY. I have tried creating new folders in the root of C, C:
Users:Jacci Eubank and C:Desktop and none will allow me to perform this
backup. All say that C is READ ONLY. I' getting NO WHERE! Please advise.

Jacci

"Jimmy Brush" wrote:

> Hello,
>
> By default, you only have write access to folders and files that are inside
> your user directory (c:\users\yourname), some hidden folders, and any folder
> that you have created.
>
> The only time you should need write access to any folders outside of this
> area is when doing system administration or installing a program.
>
> This can be done easily by running whatever tool or install program you are
> using "As Administrator" by right-clicking it and clicking Run As
> Administrator, which will allow the tool to access the system.
>
> This is the new way of doing things in Windows Vista - the system is locked
> down, and only programs that you Run As Administrator or that automatically
> ask you for permission are allowed access to your computer. This will
> prevent programs from gaining access to your computer without your
> knowledge.
>
> This "Run As Administrator" command is great to run on Windows Explorer,
> command prompt, and control.exe (control panel).
>
> It is *NOT* recommended that you change the security settings to allow write
> access to the operating-system created files and folders, as this will
> greatly reduce the security of your system.
>
> - JB
>
> Vista Support FAQ
> http://www.jimmah.com/vista/
>

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