Permissions in Windows Vista

Toshiba / Satellite l355d
February 2, 2009 at 08:57:50
Specs: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium, 2 GHz / 2940 MB
Summary/Abstract of Problem: Windows Vista tells me I "do not have permission" to access certain files and folders (photos, in this case) which I created/downloaded from other sources (attachments to e-mails, my own camera, etc.) under a Windows XP environment. Obviously, I need to re-obtain access to them.

Last fall I archived a huge number of photos (mostly .jpg files, plus some .gif & miscellaneous others) onto an external hard drive, in order to free up disk space on my laptop, which was a 5-year old Toshiba Satellite running Windows XP (Service Pack 2). This was in preparation for upgrading XP to SP3, and I was already having problems with low free hard disk space. I copied the "My Photos" folder (sub-folder within "My Documents" in XP) entirely, to preserve my existing sub-folder structure. Then I kept on my hard drive only those photos I thought I might need on a day-to-day basis, or when I was traveling (without the external hard drive). BTW, I also did an analogous process with "My Music."

At Christmas, I received a new Toshiba Satellite laptop with Windows Vista (Home Premium edition) pre-installed. I decided to use the same system (all of my photos and music archived on the external drive; selected portions of both collections on my hard drive; periodic review of the external drive/hard drive allocation with import to/export from the hard drive as needed). This seemed to be working fine, up until Saturday night.

I'm a non-techie user, with some expertise I have picked up along the way. Mostly, the upgrade to Vista has not given me major problems (yet), but Saturday night threw up something which has me totally stumped. I was reviewing my external drive/hard drive allocation (as above), and discovered that Windows Vista thinks I "do not have permission" to access certain photo files (and in some cases, whole sub-folders of photos) on my external drive. In Windows Explorer (large icon view), most photo files and folders had a recognizable thumbnail as an icon, but some had a "generic" icon--these are the ones I'm denied access to.

After doing a little reading at Microsoft's Help website, I decided to try right-clicking the file in question, selecting "Properties," selecting the "Security" tab, and changing the properties on it. I really was blundering around, since I didn't know the meaning of all the choices I was presented with, but I "accidentally" made the file accessible this way (i.e., now I don't think I can reproduce what I did). This was at about midnight Saturday night.

I should have quit while I was ahead, leaving further research until Sunday, when my brain would be in better shape. But I was contemplating with dismay the idea of reviewing 1000's of files to find the 100's that had a problem with their permissibility, and fixing them one-by-one. I decided that, before I went to bed, I should try to apply the change I had just discovered "globally" (to the whole folder of archived photos). Well, you guessed it--I did something wrong, and now I am denied "permission" to open the folder at all, as well as permission to try to change the properties back to where I had them before. Obviously, this proves I can't reproduce the steps I took just before (see last paragraph), even though I thought I could.

Well, I was up until about 4 AM trying to find answers, on MS's discussion groups and through Google! on the internet. I infer from some theoretical discussions I've read that, as a single-user/owner in an XP environment, I was accustomed to certain privileges which MS's engineers decided to deny to users (even to "administrators") under Vista. Why this should affect my own data, in a situation like this, is totally beyond me, but hey, I guess that's just the Microsoft Way. I also gather that it is possible to make some sort of change in my user status that will make me some sort of "super-administrator" who won't get denied permission for anything (and, coincidentally, will never have to see that annoying "are you sure?" pop-up dialog box that us mere mortals have to look at dozens of times per day). I also gather that this course is fraught with the peril of unintended consequence. Invoking this change involves command-line directions, and the comments on that subject were confusing (and contradictory), so I wasn't brave enough at 3 AM to try it.

I may find all of this fasciniating some other time when I'm not sleep-deprived, but meanwhile I'm hoping to find practical (something step-by-step that I can follow) advice, intelligible to a non-techie, that will help me to a) access the whole folder again in Windows Explorerer, and then b) address the issue of access to the photos, hopefully in a way more efficient than changing the attributes on hundreds of jpg files individually.

I could really use a hand from someone who has dealt with this personally, knows how to handle it (I don't need guesses), and is patient enough to explain it to me. I know I made a big mistake changing the folder attributes without knowing what I was doing, and would really appreciate a non-judgmental answer on how to fix it (I've already scolded myself, thank you; you don't need to do it again).

Saturday night reading posts at the MS discussion groups--several of whom seemed to have my exact problem--I felt torched, even second-hand, from all the flames in the response threads. Plus any posts from a non-techie female bring all the misogynists out of the woodwork (I guess no one is moderating these groups). I had to take a shower last night before I could fall asleep--that's how unclean it made me feel to read all of them. So I'm scared to post this on one of the Microsoft groups. This seems like a kindler, gentler group. Hope someone can help. Thanks in advance.

christopher paul brown


See More: Permissions in Windows Vista

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#1
February 2, 2009 at 11:18:37
Frankly speaking I have trouble digesting your 992 words abstract. Is the problem related to your being denied access?

i_Xp/VistaUser


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#2
February 2, 2009 at 11:38:25
My abstract is only 42 words; the rest is a narration about the problem.

My initial problem is that I was denied access. There is a further problem in that, in attempting to change attributes (via the "security" tab in the "properties" of the folder), I lost even the access I did have.

I tried to document everything I saw and how it came about, and the steps I have already taken. This was to avoid covering ground already covered.

However, if you have any insights on solving problems with permissions, I'd appreciate hearing them.


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#3
February 2, 2009 at 12:36:11
Did you also tried THIS, too?

i_Xp/VistaUser


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Related Solutions

#4
February 2, 2009 at 20:28:13
Not sure what this is. No, I haven't tried it. Is it a link to a website or what?

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#5
February 3, 2009 at 11:43:13
It's called a hyperlink (to a website yes) - you click on it.
I assume XpUser thinks it might be worth a try.

some other bloke...


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#6
February 3, 2009 at 12:49:17
Well, it doesn't work as a hyperlink in XP's message (that's the first thing I tried).

So, XPUser, can you give me a URL?

Thanks.


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#7
February 3, 2009 at 13:21:42
Did you actually CLICK on the red link "this" in Post 3 above? It works just fine for me. The URL in the link is the same as below.

http://www.winvistaclub.com/forum/w...

i_Xp/VistaUser


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#8
February 3, 2009 at 16:58:35
Worked fine for me too, by just clicking the red THIS on response #3.

some other bloke...


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#9
February 6, 2009 at 17:26:36
Christopher, we understand you're concerned about your computer issues. HOWEVER, people who come here are all volunteers and we're all busy. Your post should simply state what the problem is, what changed inbetween the time things worked and when they didn't. In essence, provide technically relevant information. The narratives, opinions, etc. are not necessary. And, speaking for myself, when I see a post that long, I don't even take the time to read it.

XP User's answer is right on the money. You need to take ownership of the files. And, did you bother clicking on the link in his Response 3?

"So won’t you give this man his wings
What a shame
To have to beg you to see
We’re not all the same
What a shame" - Shinedown


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