Help! New to Vista - Folder access issue

psbecker

New Member
Hi,

I am new to Vista having just purchased a laptop with Vista Home Premium running on it. As a long time user of Windows XP, I have encounterd a Vista issue that perpelexes me.

From my days with XP, I am quite used to access files in most system folders, to check on them or occasionly even modify them - for example changing the Startup layout.

However, in Vista, I am unable to access such directories as "Application data" or "Local Settings" even while using my administrator account. These aand other inaccessible directories have a unique icon with an arrow running through it, as if they were shortcut files. This suggests that they are somehow special to Vista.

My question is whether these files are really unacessable to all users with even the highest security privleges, or have I configured something wrong in Vista's rather "curious" security system?

Any suggestions or commnts are most welcome.

Thanks,

psbecker
 

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Brink

Staff member
mvp

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psbecker

New Member
Thanks for the quick response.

Using the referenced article, I checked the ownership of the directories I was interested in and found that the current owner is "system." If I take ownership of these directories, will that somehow confuse Vista? The reason I ask is that since I cannot touch files owned by "system" will taking ownership prevent Vista from doing what it needs to do with files in those directories? What I really don't want to do is mess up the OS.

Thanks again,

psbecker
 

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Brink

Staff member
mvp
psbecker,

No, it will just also allow you to have full control over that file too.

Shawn
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy Y0F94AV
    CPU
    i7-7500U @ 2.70 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB DDR4-2133
    Graphics card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
    Sound Card
    Conexant ISST Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17.3" UHD IPS touch
    Screen Resolution
    3480 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB M.2 SSD

cpemma

Power User
The folders you can't access are "Virtual folders" to keep compatibility with 9x/XP programs; they're a sort of shortcut or alias for System only. They're all matched by folders you can access (for example, 'Application Data' = 'appdata'), best thing is to ignore them. If you have 'Show Hidden files' off they disappear; it's a great pity you can't just hide the 'access denied' folders.

For the Start menu, right-click on the Start Button & Explore - takes you straight there, you can create a proper menu system with some folders in it. ;).
 

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psbecker

New Member
Thanks for all the feedback. Looks like I just need to learn where Vista hides all the files I used to play with in XP.

By the way, I did try the suggestion of taking ownership of the blocked directories. I gave them to my admin account but still cannot access them. Very annoying. :(
 

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cpemma

Power User
There's a number listed here along with a better explanation.
Although these look like folders, they are actually what is known as a junction. Junctions behave like shortcuts, but look just like regular folders.

Their purpose is to silently redirect programs that access them to their Windows Vista equivalent.

Since junctions aren't really folders, it is not possible to access them, and any attempt to do so will give you an "Access Denied" error.
And something for you to play with,
Curious about your own particular system? While replacing my name with your own will likely do the trick, you can see just what your system thinks of these junction points by opening a command prompt as administrator and using the /al switch provided by the DIR command. Navigate you way to the folder in which you want to look and run "dir /al" or from the root run "dir /al /s" to dig through all the directories on your system.
Access Denied to Documents and Settings - Vista
 
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