TechSpot

XP permissions fiasco

By jackmccarron
Oct 23, 2010
Post New Reply
  1. A few days ago I was having trouble deleting a non-working file (Zonealarm exe file) because it had the attribute "read-only". This attribute was "grayed out" so I couldn't change it. I then noticed that ALL the files and folders in my C drive were the same way (don't know how that happened).

    I went to the C drive folder (toshiba satellite laptop running XP pro, SP3+) and looked in properties/security and after trying a few things that didn't work, I changed the user permissions to full control thinking this could undo the read only status. Then in the advanced panel I checked the box called "Inherit from parent the permission entries that apply to child objects. Include these with entries explicitly defined here", expecting that to propagate the new full contrrol permissions to all files/folders in C drive.

    After the system "searched" (and changed) many files, it stopped. I checked the file I wanted to delete - and it was STILL grayed out read-only.

    Thought maybe I needed to reboot, so I did that -- then everything got worse! My XP wouldn't even boot. BSOD saying "autochk program not found... STOP: fatal sys error 0xC0000022". From web searches on that code, looks like the crash is caused by a permission problem. (That figures)

    Next I'll pull the HD from my XP machine, and using an HD to USB adapter (ordered one which should arrive on Monday), plug it into my Vista laptop. From there I should be able to explore the XP drive and HOPEFULLY fix the screwed up permissions.

    That's what I need help with. I don't understand why what I did before with the permissions screwed things up. Anyone understand what happened?? And I'm not sure if adding the XP HD to the vista machine will even allow me to play with the permissions.

    How should I proceed?? (I need to get my XP machine out of its endless boot loop, and to get my files out of read only status.)

    Thnaks,
    Jack

    PS - Booting the XP machine in DOS shows me that the directory structure on the HD is still intact. So I assume there's nothing really wrong with the drive itself. I have no idea if I can change permissions from DOS.
     
  2. Macboatmaster

    Macboatmaster TS Member Posts: 75

    MAYBE from there you can right click the HDD, click Properties, click Security and reset the full permissions. This will be the EASY way.
    If that does not work and I am not certain it will below is Microsoft`s procedure.



    DO THIS - install XP on a parallel installation.
    It is no use doing a repair install, as this does not rewrite the registry.
    Perform a new installation of Windows XP onto a separate partition or drive., using the XP CD and if necessary changing the BIOS to boot from CD

    Warning If you install a new installation of Windows XP in the same folder as the existing installation, you will delete the existing installation, including all the existing accounts.

    During the parallel installation of Windows, you may receive a message that is similar to the following:
    NTLDR, ARCLDR, and NTDETECT.COM could not be copied to drive C.
    You can safely ignore this message.



    When the installation process has completed, log on to the new installation of Windows XP.
    After you log on to the new installation of Windows XP, take ownership of the original system root folder, and then assign the appropriate permissions.
    To do this, follow these steps:
    Click Start, click Run, type Explorer.exe, and then click OK.
    Expand My Computer, expand the drive that contains the original system files, right-click the drive that contains the original system files, and then click Properties.
    On the Security tab, click Advanced.
    On the Owner tab under Change owner to, click the account that you want to grant ownership to, and then click OK two times.
    Expand My Computer, expand the drive that contains the original system files, right-click the drive that contains the original system files, and then click Properties.
    On the Security tab, click Add, type Everyone, click Check Names, and then click OK.
    On the Security tab, click Everyone, click Full Control, and then click OK.
    Restart your computer, log on to the original installation of Windows XP, and then reset the Windows permissions. To reset the Windows permissions, follow these steps:
    Click Start, click Run, type Explorer.exe, and then click OK.
    Expand My Computer, expand the drive that contains the original system files, right-click the folder that contains the original system files, and then click Properties.
    On the Security tab, click Administrators, click Full Control under Allow, and then click Apply.
    On the Security tab, click System, click Full Control under Allow, and then click Apply.
    On the Security tab, click Everyone, click Remove, and then click OK.



    Alternatively you may be able to do a system restore from the recovery console.
    If you wish to try that post back and I will send you the instructions for system restore from recovery console.
     
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,311   +617

    Xp,Vista,&Win/7 HOME systems make it difficult to access the Security Tab


    BOOT into Safe Mode and log into the Admin id

    open My Computer->right click on your C:\ disk -> Properties ->Security tab
    in the bottom right is the Advanced Botton; click
    click on the Owner Tab
    use the Administrator ID or the Administrators GROUP
    (if missing, click the Permission Tab and Add Administrators
    on the Owner Tab, select the ID and [x] the Replace owner
    click OK ; it will take some time to fix it

    click Permissions tab
    make sure that
    • SYSTEM has Full Control
    • Creator Owner has full control
    • Everyone has Traverse, List, Read Attr, Read Extended, Read perms

    This will allow everyone to read everything

    you then need to fix the perms in the
    \documents and settings\*
    (or \users\*)​
    for each user; set that ID as OWNER, give Admin, Owner, & System full control,

    and each user login should NOT have the everyone listed

    Thus: Every owner will be able to set/reset R/O
     
  4. jackmccarron

    jackmccarron TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Macboatmaster - Thanks for the great suggestions. Hopefully the EASY way will work, but I won't know til tomorrow when my HD/USB adapter arrives so I can try it. If not, I may have to try your alternate method of installing XP on a separate partition or drive - if I can. My xp recovery disks (I don't think they're full installation disks) may not let me do that.

    jobeard - Thank you. However, I can't even boot into safe mode, so that won't work. But if I can access the xp's HD from my vista machine perhaps I could do the rest of the permission changes as you suggest.


    Someone else suggested that the xp's permission-change software may be unreliable in that when permissions are propagated downward to child objects, OTHER PARENT's child objects SOMETIMES get changed also. That may explain why when I originally changed the USER permissions to full control and propagated that down (see my original problem description at the top of this thread), the SYSTEM permissions were somehow changed to be more restrictive - causing the crash.

    For this hypothesized reason, once I get the xp machine running again, I'm a little reluctant to make lots of permission changes in multiple parent (system, user, everyone...) lines . Any thoughts on this?
     
  5. Macboatmaster

    Macboatmaster TS Member Posts: 75

    Do as recommended in the first place.
    Then once it is working#
    Set full permissions for YOU and the System account, just in case you cannot get into yours.
    THe system acount is acessed via Safe Mode. THat is the account - administrator, automatically set up when windows is loaded.
    Then set permissions as you wish for other users. You can of course make this very restrictive so that they cannot install anything.
    If you click the advanced tab and then click the acount you will then see the options available including to which file, folders etc it applies.
     

Similar Topics

Add New Comment

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...