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"Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file" stops me from running ANY exe on Win2k3 Server

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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Hello everyone!

I am running a Windows Server 2003 SP1 R2.  I cannot run ANY .exes files from this server, whether I try from RDP or a mapped drive, or from a UNC name.  I get the error "Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file.  You may not have appropriate permissions to access the file."  In regards to a specific folder, I know for a fact I have the proper security, because I've gone into the Security tab of the folder, into Advanced, and forced it to replicate the changes to all child objects.  I put in Domain Admins (which I'm a part of).  I also forced the owner of the objects as the local administrators group, which contains Domain Admins.  I've also tried the same with Everyone, and Domain Users, to no avail.  I've tried stopped the AV services (CA EZ Trust - don't get me started), as well as Diskeeper... my thoughts being to stop anything that might be locking these files.

I'd appreciate any help on this, it's causing a serious problem on this production server.  Thank you all very much.
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Commented:
Hi tscd,

Are you trying to run this exe from a share? If so, have you checked the share rights? These will set the maximum rights you have to files on that share. Even if you have full control on the file, if the share only allows you read rights, you can't change anything.

Good Luck,

Chris
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Top Expert 2007

Commented:

Author

Commented:
@ InteraX, I answered both your questions in my original question.

@ sirbounty, could you please explain to me what this file is?  As I said, this is a production server, and I can't just run a file without knowing what it is, and what it does.

Thank you.
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Top Expert 2007

Commented:
It's a reg file - contents below - that restores any references to exefiles - though it would be advisable to compare rather than just run the reg file...locate the following items in the registry and see if you find anything out of sorts...


[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe]
@="exefile"
"Content Type"="application/x-msdownload"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe\PersistentHandler]
@="{098f2470-bae0-11cd-b579-08002b30bfeb}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile]
@="Application"
"EditFlags"=hex:38,07,00,00
"TileInfo"="prop:FileDescription;Company;FileVersion"
"InfoTip"="prop:FileDescription;Company;FileVersion;Create;Size"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\DefaultIcon]
@="%1"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open]
"EditFlags"=hex:00,00,00,00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open\command]
@="\"%1\" %*"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\runas]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\runas\command]
@="\"%1\" %*"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\DropHandler]
@="{86C86720-42A0-1069-A2E8-08002B30309D}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers\PEAnalyser]
@="{09A63660-16F9-11d0-B1DF-004F56001CA7}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers\PifProps]
@="{86F19A00-42A0-1069-A2E9-08002B30309D}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers\ShimLayer Property Page]
@="{513D916F-2A8E-4F51-AEAB-0CBC76FB1AF8}"

Author

Commented:
Perhaps I should have worded my response a little clearer, and that is my fault.  I know it's a reg file, but I don't recognize the entries that it corrects, and I don't feel comfortable making those types of changes.  Even if I do a stare and compare and fine it different, it would take an enourmous amount of time for me to figure out what those registry entries correspond to, and I simply don't have the time nor desire to do that.
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Top Expert 2007

Commented:
Try this - it's a quick sript that will export the results...no modifications will happen...
Save as CheckEXE.bat and run it - it'll bring up a report - post that here (or at www.ee-stuff.com)

@echo off
reg query HKCR\.exe > C:\Results.txt
reg query HKCR\.exe\PersistentHandler >> C:\Results.txt
reg query HKCR\exefile >> C:\Results.txt
reg query HKCR\exefile\DefaultIcon  >> C:\Results.txt
reg query HKCR\exefile\shell  >> C:\Results.txt
reg query HKCR\exefile\shell\open  >> C:\Results.txt
reg query HKCR\exefile\shell\open\command  >> C:\Results.txt
reg query HKCR\exefile\shell\runas  >> C:\Results.txt
reg query HKCR\exefile\shell\runas\command  >> C:\Results.txt
reg query HKCR\exefile\shellex  >> C:\Results.txt
reg query HKCR\exefile\shellex\DropHandler  >> C:\Results.txt
reg query HKCR\exefile\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers  >> C:\Results.txt
reg query HKCR\exefile\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers\PEAnalyser  >> C:\Results.txt
reg query HKCR\exefile\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers\PifProps  >> C:\Results.txt
reg query HKCR\exefile\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers\ShimLayer Property Page  >> C:\Results.txt
start c:\results.txt

Author

Commented:
Sirbounty, I hope you understood my comment and didn't take it personally, I am just nervous about making any registry changes without knowing exactly what they do.  That being said, here are the results.  I thank you once again.


HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe
    (Default)    REG_SZ    exefile
    Content Type    REG_SZ    application/x-msdownload

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe\PersistentHandler

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe\PersistentHandler
    (Default)    REG_SZ    {098f2470-bae0-11cd-b579-08002b30bfeb}


HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile
    (Default)    REG_SZ    Application
    EditFlags    REG_BINARY    38070000
    TileInfo    REG_SZ    prop:FileDescription;Company;FileVersion
    InfoTip    REG_SZ    prop:FileDescription;Company;FileVersion;Create;Size

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\DefaultIcon
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\DefaultIcon
    (Default)    REG_SZ    %1


HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\runas

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open
    EditFlags    REG_BINARY    00000000

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open\command

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open\command
    (Default)    REG_SZ    "%1" %*


HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\runas\command

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\runas\command
    (Default)    REG_SZ    "%1" %*


HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\DropHandler
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\DropHandler
    (Default)    REG_SZ    {86C86720-42A0-1069-A2E8-08002B30309D}


HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers\PifProps
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers\ShimLayer Property Page

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers\PifProps
    (Default)    REG_SZ    {86F19A00-42A0-1069-A2E9-08002B30309D}
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Top Expert 2007

Commented:
No - I completely understand - I have 200+ production servers under my realm - I wouldn't run anything against 'most' of them :^ ) - without knowing what was going on...

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Top Expert 2007

Commented:
Look like you're missing these two...for your open and runas commands...notice the \ on either side in this as opposed to yours...

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open\command]
@="\"%1\" %*"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\runas\command]
@="\"%1\" %*"

If you want to try it - or wait till after hours - navigate to those in the registry (Start->Run->Regedit)

and you want to alter the Default value (that's what the @ points to).

I'm 99% certain it wouldn't effect anything (thus I'll leave it up to you to decide on that last 1% :).

Basically this is necessary to encapsulate the path\file of your executables in quotes so that it can take into account the paths/files with spaces in the name.

Can you do
Start->Run->%systemroot%\notepad.exe
or copy an exe to the root of the drive and run it?  That would confirm the above is the problem..

Author

Commented:
I ran this on the server hosting the files, but I still cannot run exe files remotely.  Any other ideas?

Author

Commented:
Ok, I have narrowed down the issue a bit further.  I can run exe files hosted on the server from my workstation, and another server, so at least that's a win there.  However, from another server it is not work.  Now, that server is a terminal services server, and it did have a group policy assigned to it.  So I temporarily disabled it, and I'm just waiting to see if that makes a difference.

How long does this take, and where can I check the settings?  Thanks!!!
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Top Expert 2005
Commented:
This one is on us!
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Author

Commented:
It's not just one workstation, it's any workstation, and even the server itself.  I remote into the server that hosts the files, and I cannot run ANY .exe file.  I'm talking anything at all.  HELP!
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Top Expert 2007

Commented:
Can you or have you taken time to reboot the server?

Author

Commented:
No, I cannot reboot this server, at least right now.  I found the issue with the EXE files, but getting back to the original problem...

I have a particular file that users are attempting to access from their desktops.  It's an .exe to run a program, and it's located on a Windows Server 2003 server.  I've verified the share and the security rights both.  I've drilled down to the exe itself, and verified rights there, and they do have the proper rights.  Domain admins, domain users, and system all have full rights to the file.

I'm continuing to research this, but I wanted to post this up in case anyone had a suggestion.  Thank you guys.

Author

Commented:
Oh, one other thing I wanted to add, and I'm not sure if this has any bearing on the situation.  There was a group policy on the OU that contained the server itself.  I had it disabled, but just to be safe I moved the server to another OU that contained all of our servers, and no group policy.

How long do GPs take to refresh, or can I manually kick off the process?
CERTIFIED EXPERT

Commented:
gpupdate /force from a command line will force the policies to re-apply.
I think gpupdate is an exe though. Plus, any machine based policies will require a reboot to take effect.

Author

Commented:
Problem further defined...

I can run the exe from anyone's desktop, but if they attempt to terminal services into a server, and run it from there, they get the "Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file" error.  So, this isn't a rights issue for the user, this seems to be a GP problem now for the particular server they are logging into.

What's my next step?

P.S. Thank you all for expending so much time and effort helping me.
CERTIFIED EXPERT

Commented:
Run GP Modelling on the server.
This is available in Group Policy Management Console. If you haven't installed this, I think it's referred to as Resultant set of policies.

Remember that with loopback settings, this can cause user based settings applying to users ONLY when they log onto a specific server.

Author

Commented:
I resolved this issue myself.  It was an IE7 security issue.  Thank you all for your help.
What security setting did you change to resolve this?

Author

Commented:
On the terminal services server itself, go into Add/Remove Programs, Windows Components, and remove "Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration".
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Top Expert 2005

Commented:
Sounds like what I said.

Author

Commented:
It wasn't a workstation problem, it was a server problem.
It sure help me!!!
Thanks tscd!!
I have 2 new servers that could not run exe's from a shared or mapped drive, even if the share was on the same server. All the share rights and user rights were correct. I un-installed the Enhanced Security and that fixed it.

thanks also tscd

Commented:
indeed, simple but very effective solution.
thx a lot!
cheers, geert

Commented:
If your an administrator, you can just uninstall the For administrato groups in details. Just restart, and it works !!

Commented:
Wow.. what a rip. Here I was with a clean install wondering why I couldn't install apps unless i was "Administrator". All from an update in IE 7.

Thanks for this discussion.

Commented:
I can't tell you how long this thing was Pissing me off, thanks for the solution.

Commented:
any way to configure without removing the security pack for IE7?

Commented:
I also had the issue and the IE7 crap removal fixed it. Oddly enough though, running the file from a network path via command with a set path = statement works as well. This is good for those production servers that cannot reboot, as this fix would not work until I rebooted.

Commented:
Any way to get this to work without a reboot?

Commented:
I also experienced this problem with new users ona 64 W2003 server that the terminal server users were accessing. Something must have occured in the Windows update  service to change things? Anyone know what? I did not have to reboot for the fix to be effective!
lerlnz
Thanks for the good solution! FYI: It didn't require me to reboot after I removed the Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration.

Commented:
or, login locally as the admin.  For some reason the domain security can prevent you from running exe's locally and remotely.
Even easier solution:

Run from the command prompt instead of d-clicking the icon.

db

Commented:
Worked great for me! Thanks!

Commented:
Where does this thing come from?  Is it auto-installed with IE7?  It's been nothing but a pain.
 That said, this solution TOTALLY WORKED.  I got a ton of accountants crying the blues that they couldn't access tax software from home last night (as if they're working at home!  ;-)  ), and this fixed the issue in a few clicks.
This was the best $12.95 I ever spent!

Commented:
Maybe : On the Windows 2003 server, go to add/remove windows components, then uninstall the Internet Explorer Enhanced Security component

Commented:
Hi sirbounty,

I run this batch file in my system and getting this result.



HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe
    (Default)    REG_SZ    exefile
    Content Type    REG_SZ    application/x-msdownload

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe\PersistentHandler

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe\PersistentHandler
    (Default)    REG_SZ    {098f2470-bae0-11cd-b579-08002b30bfeb}


HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile
    (Default)    REG_SZ    Application
    EditFlags    REG_BINARY    38070000
    TileInfo    REG_SZ    prop:FileDescription;Company;FileVersion
    InfoTip    REG_SZ    prop:FileDescription;Company;FileVersion;Create;Size
    default    REG_SZ    Application

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\DefaultIcon
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\DefaultIcon
    (Default)    REG_SZ    %1


HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\runas

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open
    EditFlags    REG_BINARY    00000000

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open\command

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open\command
    (Default)    REG_SZ    "%1" %*


HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\runas\command

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\runas\command
    (Default)    REG_SZ    "%1" %*


HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\DropHandler
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\DropHandler
    (Default)    REG_SZ    {86C86720-42A0-1069-A2E8-08002B30309D}


HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers\PifProps
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers\ShimLayer Property Page
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers\{B41DB860-8EE4-11D2-9906-E49FADC173CA}

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers\PifProps
Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independent Technology Professional
CERTIFIED EXPERT

Commented:
I had the same problem and just to be clear, removing the IE security settings worked, but only after I rebooted.

Commented:
Resolved this by right clicking on the Exe select properties.
in the General tab look at the bottom of the window and find
Security   This file came from another computer and might be blocked to help protect this computer.
Click on Unblock button.
"Do this at your own risk"
My file was safe so i did it and it worked.
thanks..wierdly this fixedit forme on a terminal server - that couldnt run an exe from the fileserver - never needed to do this ever before.

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