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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Question LOCKED Documents and Settings Folder

    There's a little gold lock next to my Documents and Settings Folder and when I try to open it I get an error message that it is shared with No One.

    If I right-click and then click share, even though there appears to be permissions for Owner, me personally (though I am also the owner), Homegroup and even Everyone -- when I click the 'share' button I get a message saying: "This folder cannot be shared."

    How do I unlock this folder????

    Thanks in advance for any help. I'm totally stymied.

    Lisa
    Win 7/32-bit

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  3. #2
    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
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    Hi Lisa,

    Attachment 28910

    Could you post an image of your folder. Attachment 28911
    George's PC Specs. / Laptop. Desktop.

  4. #3
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Please don't touch "Documents and Settings"! In Windows 7 it is kept for historical/compatibility reasons, and the real data is held in other folders, such as C:\Users\<yourname>

    Have a look at the attached document...

    User Profiles - where Documents and Settings folders are now located in Win7 and WS2008.doc
    BATcher

    Dear Diary, today the Hundred Years War started ...

  5. #4
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    On a Windows 7 PC, "Documents and Settings" is not a real folder. It is used for compatability purposes so legacy programs that do not know about the Windows 7 folder structure will still work. See NTFS junction point for an explanation of the technique being used.

    You should just leave it alone.

    Joe

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP517 View Post
    On a Windows 7 PC, "Documents and Settings" is not a real folder. It is used for compatability purposes so legacy programs that do not know about the Windows 7 folder structure will still work. See NTFS junction point for an explanation of the technique being used.

    You should just leave it alone.
    Uh-oh. The first reply I got (from Ted, though I don't see that reply now) emailed to me said:

    Have you tried to right click and choose Take Ownership? How To Geek (http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/add-take-ownership-to-explorer-right-click-menu-in-vista/)shows how to add Take Ownership to the Right Click Menu.
    ==============

    So.... I downloaded and used it and now am having a ton of other problems. Will they all be reversed if I do a system restore .... or have I messed things up permanently?

    Lisa

  7. #6
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    When I chose Take Ownership of the specified Junction Point, nothing happens. The Documents and Settings folder remains unchanged and inaccessible. I suspect your other problems are related to something else. Take Ownership is a very accepted method to, in many cases, allow opening of normally inaccessible files and folders. All the How To Geek method does is add Take Ownership to your right click context menu as shown:

    TakeOwnership.jpg

    I misread your original post and thought you wrote My Documents, not Documents and Settings. So I deleted that post.

    System Restore may fix other problems that have cropped up, but as I state adding Take Ownership to the Right Click menu should have no effect on other things on your PC.
    Last edited by Medico; 2011-08-18 at 13:12.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Myers View Post
    When I chose Take Ownership of the specified Junction Point, nothing happens. The Documents and Settings folder remains unchanged and inaccessible. I misread your original post and thought you wrote My Documents, not Documents and Settings.
    I wish. It did indeed become accessible -- and my desktop, other folders and installing a program to C:// became impossible. Error messages everywhere now.

    I wish you had read my query more carefully but since you didn't -- I ask again -- will system restore undo this mess?

    > I suspect your other problems are related to something else.

    My computer has worked perfectly for every single day of the last year -- until after "Take Ownership" of Documents and Settings.

    I don't want to do a system restore until I hear back since I don't want to make things worse.

    Lisa

  9. #8
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I did indeed read you last query, and you will see in my last post that System Restore may solve your problems. System Restore is much less than 100 % effective. Thats why everyone in these forums suggest using Images to backup your entire HD and restore after a problem. I stand by my statement that adding Take Ownership does not cause the type of problems you are experiencing. And I have indeed tried to Take Ownership 3 times on the Documents and Settings folder with absolutely NO ILL EFFECTS!

    If System restore does not solve the problem perhaps a Win 7 Repair Install would solve the problems. Fred Langa has posted a No Format Non-destructive Reinstall.
    Last edited by Medico; 2011-08-18 at 13:36.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  10. #9
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    There is a decent chance that a system restore to a point prior to having the issue will fix your PC. If it doesn't, you can always restore back to your current system settings. Ted is a real evangelist for image restores in all cases but he doesn't speak for the entire board. Some of us use both images and system restore as a quicker recovery from system problems. Just realize it isn't perfect (but has many fewer problems than Ted would lead you to believe.) and doesn't back up user data.

    Jerry

  11. #10
    Lounger rlg118's Avatar
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    I don't mean to step on any toes here, but I have clean-installed Windows 7 three times, and every time, I have deleted this folder (Documents and Settings) with absolutely no ill effects whatsoever.

    Tread carefully. Your mileage may vary.
    Rob G

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  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwitalka View Post
    There is a decent chance that a system restore to a point prior to having the issue will fix your PC. If it doesn't, you can always restore back to your current system settings. Ted is a real evangelist for image restores in all cases but he doesn't speak for the entire board. Some of us use both images and system restore as a quicker recovery from system problems. Just realize it isn't perfect (but has many fewer problems than Ted would lead you to believe.) and doesn't back up user data.
    Jerry,

    Thanks for reply. I went ahead yesterday and did a system restore, which took 2 entire hours (normally, about 15-30 minutes), and worked.

    But then I did more. I wanted to find out once and for all if Take Ownership can cause serious problems on some PCs, and indeed it can -- Ted's defensive yelling at me to the contrary notwithstanding. After all, all anyone can say is whether or not a program worked for them, especially if they do not know anything about another person's system. This turned out to be the case here, so to anyone thinking about installing and using this program, I suggest that reading through this thread first might be a good idea.

    This is how I did the tests:

    1: After the successful 2-hr restore, I did another restore, to an even earlier point. Took 20 minutes.

    2: Did a full back-up.

    3: Removed X-lite (a soft phone program that has worked perfectly on my computer).

    3: Reinstalled Take Ownership and took ownership of Docs and Settings.

    4: Tried to install X-lite. No go. Kept getting "Access Denied" messages when the program tried to install to C://

    5: Tried to create a PDF from a DOC to my Desktop. No go. Kept getting "Access Denied" messages to Desktop, though I could create that PDF to any other folder on the PC.

    6: Did a System Restore. Took 90 minutes.

    7: Tried to install X-lite. No problem.

    8: Tried to create a PDF from a DOC to my Desktop. No problem.

    9: Did a System Restore. Took 15 minutes.

    10: Removed X-lite and started all over again.

    I did this 2 more times, and each time the results were identical. That is, Take Ownership of Docs and Settings DID screw up other parts of my system. Didn't finish the tests until late last night.

    Was the problem just with the Docs and Settings folder, and would T.O. work fine on other folders? Can't say.

    Is it just my PC? Who knows?

    And who cares? Because what I do know is that since everyone's PC set-up is different -- different people may have results that are different than Ted's or yours or mine.

    Best of all, I learned something. A number of somethings, actually, which is always a good thing. And it appears that no permanent harm was done. Next time I'll read through ALL the replies before even touching the mouse.

    Lisa

  13. #12
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Lisa, you are one dedicated lady to go through all that to prove a point. I suspect that the program you used to take ownership of Docs and Settings locked out system access to it. When I need to take ownership of files and/or folders, I prefer to do it myself using the security tab under properties. It can get a little complicated with options for child and inherited folders but I can see exactly which permissions result for System, administrators and users. Anyhow, since its just a junction point as Joe said. There should be no reason to mess with it. I suspect the real folder(s) you want to share are located at C:\users\youruserid\My documents, My Pictures , etc.

    Anyway good luck in accomplishing your goal.

    Jerry

  14. #13
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Jerry and Lisa,

    You know, no one is 100% in these forums. I wish that my guesses on someone else's problems while trying to figure out what their problems are from hundreds or thousands of miles away could always be 100% correct, but you know, that is not possible. The article I originally quoted for adding Take Ownership works in the VAST majority of times for various computer configurations. Yes, in speaking from my experience, I have used and continue to use this method many times, and did use this method on several occasions on the junction point in question with nothing untoward happening. I'm sorry that this one time something unexpected happened. This could not have been anticipated.

    Please understand that we make our best guesses to answer people's questions. As others would say we don't have your PC sitting on our bench to T/S problems, we have to sometimes make educated guesses while working with little information to go on. Please keep your personal comments to yourselves or use personal messages to send these type of comments.
    Last edited by Medico; 2011-08-21 at 03:34.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  15. #14
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    Please understand that we make our best guesses to answer people's questions. As others would say we don't have your PC sitting on our bench to T/S problems, we have to sometimes make educated guesses while working with little information to go on. Please keep your personal comments to yourselves or use personal messages to send these type of comments.
    I've been saying this, since before the internet was even invented, clear back to the old BBS days. Yes, I've been a computer tech that long. (actually a little bit longer)
    And then when some jerkwad tries to build himself up by tearing someone else down, it's time for that person to take a "Time Out". Eh?

    All that kind of action does is prove to the OP that he's on the wrong forum, because all he/she sees is someone being nasty and wanting to pick a fight and not fixing his computer.

    If the back-biting and oneupsmanship on this forum doesn't stop, I won't be wasting my time here. Take that to the bank and to the head admin to boot.

    There may be a good reason why "Take Ownership" has been upgraded to the new and improved "Grant Full Admin Control".
    Oh, by the way, there is a "Disable Take Ownership" script too, for anyone who wants to use it.

    Because of the screwed up way that some people set up and operate their computer, it's impossible to write any program that's going to work properly on every PC. As a working computer tech, I see this stuff every day.

    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

  16. #15
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Ted, I'm sorry if you feel that your reputation is trashed by this thread. I just take offense at your continual trashing of System Restore as evidenced by the following comment
    System Restore is much less than 100 % effective. Thats why everyone in these forums suggest using Images to backup your entire HD and restore after a problem
    Everyone does not include me and I just pointed that out. Yes system restore is not 100% effective but I take issue with the much less than 100%. I have personally used system restore on my own computer and on many of the computers I service and have never seen it fail. Just point out to me one item in my replies in this thread that is not accurate. If you go over your replies carefully, I think you will find that this quote
    And I have indeed tried to Take Ownership 3 times on the Documents and Settings folder with absolutely NO ILL EFFECTS!
    was not trashing Lisa and implying she did not do the procedure correctly, especially by the use of capitalization which implies shouting.. I can see why she might have felt hurt. You are entitled to your opinions. just recognize that we are too. I don't wish to turn this into a flame war so I don't plan on carrying this any further.

    Jerry

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