Access denied viewing Windows 7 system files

Microsoft Windows 7 ultimate 32-bit
October 23, 2010 at 19:34:56
Specs: Windows 7, xeon 2gig
as administrator, I cannot access many files on c:\ as "access denied". It is my pc and I want to look everywhere, as I did on XP. I believe I switched off User access control soI expect to be able to see all ofthe files, especially non windows, on the drive. where am I going wrong. no other users.


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October 24, 2010 at 09:45:52
Who created the files you can't access?

Were they created under the same installation of Windows 7?

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October 24, 2010 at 10:28:57
I created all files, but I accept some may be under a different user name. Surely as admin I can access everything? My current annoyance is that so many of the inbuilt windows directories on the c: drive are blocked to me, the admin person. c:\programdata\application data is "not accessible", nor is c:\programdata\documents.
I now see they have a padlock on the folder icon.
If I go into the properties and edit permissions, the box gets ticked, I click apply and it says "an ERROR applied while applying security information", "access is denied"

thanks for helping.

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October 24, 2010 at 11:37:34
Just because you are the administrator doesn't give you access to any and all files on the drives. If you created files under a different user profile you may need to attempt taking ownership of the files/folders. You can Google the term "taking ownership of files in Windows 7". The link below is one hit from that.

If the files were previously encrypted then you may not ever be able to access them.

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Related Solutions

October 24, 2010 at 12:08:44
I have never encryped any files. I cannot even get into the folders, which I guess were created by windows7 or the programmes I installed. Some folders/files seem to be owned by the "system". If I take ownership of these, will the system still be able to control and use them, or will the files within these folders cease performing as expected by the installed software.?

I do appreciate your time. Within XP I could always see everything.

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October 24, 2010 at 12:35:55
You never need to take ownership of program or system files. Only personal files.

When you browse the OS partition are Windows system files even listed? You can elect to show Windows system files. When using explorer to view the partition click
Tools> folder options>View. Reset values as desired and then click on Apply to folders and then yes.

Then go to Control panel> BitLocker Drive Encryption and verify you have not enabled encryption on any drives.

Then while still in Control panel choose User accounts> Change your account type. Is Administrator ticked?

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October 24, 2010 at 14:12:11
Thanks again, all your suggestions had been done ok.All of the Windows folders can be seen and investigated. Under Users I have All Users and Default User folders, with padlock and no access. I have John (me) with padlock and full access. I have Default and Public folders, with no padlock and good access.

Also under program data, folders such as Sun or Google and other softwares have no padlock and are fine. BUT Start menu, Templates, Documents folders all have padlocks and no access. I have not found a way to get into them. Editing anything has no effect so far.

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October 24, 2010 at 16:03:11
You also checked bitlocker?

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October 24, 2010 at 16:04:29
yes to bitlocker, never been near it so not enforced.

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