Solved: takeown changed start menu, corrupted system restore

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Zeke_R

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Oct 29, 2010
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Hi folks,

I recently ran into frustration trying to save or make new any files in the root C:\ directory, with Windows7 Home Premium being set by default, of course, to not allow this. I did a cursory skim of some information online about changing these settings, and made some changes a bit hastily. Specifically, for the C:\ drive I took ownership of every subdirectory and gave my account full permissions under security. Annoyingly, this didn't fix the original issue of saving to that drive (which I no longer care about anyway), and it caused (at least) two new problems. Now my start menu has far fewer listings than it used to have; I imagine some programs were listed in it based on the previous permissions. I tried to do a system recovery, both through the OS and with a recovery disc, and that does not work either. It lists restore points, but after restarting it says that the restore was unable to complete.

So, my questions are thus:

Can I fix the permissions and ownership of just the restore directory and program components, enough to run one, and revert?

Or, failing that, is there a way to undo recent ownership changes made? I poked around in the Event Viewer, but it's not laid out very clearly.

It's ok if it's not possible or easy to do it this way; I can grab just my vital files and completely reinstall Windows if it's absolutely necessary, but it seems excessive. I doubt the system restore files are corrupted. More, let's say, confused.

Let me know if you need any of the error message codes. Somehow they never seem useful. Screenshots forthcoming.
 
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I wonder if it might not be sufficient to go to the Propeties of the root of C: and hand ownership back to System and apply it to all the sub folders in the systemroot.
 

Zeke_R

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I did just try system restore in safe mode, to similar end. What's odd is that the start menu is laid out the way it should be in safe mode, with all my programs still listed in it. As soon as I switch back to normal boot, the menu goes back to the shorter wrong list.

Saga, I am hesitant to do that since I would think it would just apply that permission to every file on my computer, and mightn't that be just as bad, or worse? My sense is that usually file permissions vary based on what the file is, and handing everything over to system could cause different problems farther down the road.
 
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Personaly, I would give Saga Lout's suggestion and if it works, then from there, you can "Remove permission" on a Folder (incl. Sub folders) by Folder basis.
 
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Personaly, I would give Saga Lout's suggestion and if it works, then from there, you can "Remove permission" on a Folder (incl. Sub folders) by Folder basis.

Agreed - probably the only to bother with would be Users although leaving that under System's control might prevent some malware issues if files can't be created in the AppData>Temp folders where they usually hide.
 

Zeke_R

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I set the ownership and permissions to match that of the settings in Safe Mode, with still no change; system restore is still unable to function, as well. Is there a specific file or location to the system restore files, such that I can apply the correct permissions to just that folder?
 

DaveA

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Specifically, for the C:\ drive I took ownership of every subdirectory and gave my account full permissions under security.
Once this has been changed, there is NO way one is going to reset ALL of the different folders and files back to the setting that they were at. The only way to do this is back up your data and rebuild the OS with a clean install of Windows.
 
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Found this article about resetting security:

http://www.thewindowsclub.com/how-to-reset-windows-security-settings-to-its-defaults

It says it works for Vista and Win 7. But I remember reading somewhere on Microsoft that this no longer works for Win 7. But I can't find the same Microsoft web page anymore. ( stupid bing search in Microsoft is lousy ). There is a Fixit link at the bottom of the page, but it links directly to the download of the Fixit, and not the page which describes it. Try the fixit as a last option. Changing the permissions on drive root is a no no. Many things will break.
 

Zeke_R

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Oct 29, 2010
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Hi all,

Finally had some time to set aside and work on this. What eventually ended up working was doing a reinstall of Windows, but as an "upgrade" instead of a clean install (even though it was the same version). For whatever reason this fixed the list on the start menu and also made it so that System Restore could function again. Thanks for looking into it as much as you did.

-Zeke
 
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