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Documents and Settings Folder is being set to "read only" ... why?

Posted on 2007-12-02
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
Each Time I restart my machine, my documents and settings folder and all subfolders and files becomes "read only" I can select to turn this off, but When I restart its back on again.

This means I have no history in firefox or system restore points and loads of other lost functionality in programs.

I have run the latest versions of spybot, adware, crap cleaner, AVG it hasnt corrected the problem, I suspect ive installed somthing thats setting up the folder in this manor for some reason.

Does anyone know of any program that might do this or have another solution?
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Question by:tommyboyd
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Andrej Pirman
ID: 20390888
Are you sure your "documents and settings" folder is Read Only? Or is it just a shadded & checked checkbox of Rad-only Attribute under Properties of that folder what concerns you?
It is normal that "Documents and Settings" folder have Read-Only Attrribute checkbox selected and shadowed. Actually, all Windows folders have the same attribute partially set, because somewhere deep in the folder structure there is at least one Read-Only file.

So I think your problem is elsewhere.
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Expert Comment

by:Jason Watkins
ID: 20391083
Hi,

If the property sheet is grayed-out, then the doc & settings folder is inheriting settings from the root of the drive, C:\

/F
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Author Comment

by:tommyboyd
ID: 20391909
Propety sheet is not greyed out.

The reason why I know its related to this file being 'read only' is that once i turn off 'Read only' my firefox history comes back and I can create restore points

However reading more I think you are right that the "documents and settings" folder should always be 'read only' I think one of the sub folders within that needs to be unlocked.

I was playing around with how my Users Login into windows a while back, basicly I turned auto login on for the single user. I think this could be related to the problem some how.

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LVL 18

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by:Andrej Pirman
ID: 20391918
Hi Firebar,
sorry for misunderstanding, but I did not mean that whole Properties tab is greyed out, but only the Read-Only attribute checkbox, which is checked, but not with black checker, but with grey checker. It can be removed or checked again, but after opening again checkbox becomes grey again.
This is normal behaviour and does not mean, that your whole folder is Reda-Only.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Andrej Pirman
ID: 20391940
Yes, Tommyboyd,
probably your user rights are not properly setup:
is the user, with which you automatically log-in, an Administrator? For maximum security it should not be under Administrators group, but under Power Users, for example. If user is just in Users group, he has no rights to create restore points, and is denied many other rights.

See under:
right-click on My Computer -> Manage -> Local Users and Groups -> Users
double click the username which is used to automatically login, and see the tab Member Of
user should be member of at least Power Users group.
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Author Comment

by:tommyboyd
ID: 20391951
Hes an member of Administrators.

Why is it more secure to make him a poweruser?

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Author Comment

by:tommyboyd
ID: 20392613
yup its definately somthing to do with my windows user profile..

If anyone can send me a link of where to setup a windows xp user profile properly that would probably fix it.
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Accepted Solution

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Andrej Pirman earned 250 total points
ID: 20394241
You may create new user, copy existing profile over, which will fix your permissions and settings.

So, create new username, log-off and when you first login as that user, profile will be created.

Then log-off again and log-in as local Administrator.

Go to My Computer -> Properties -> Advanced -> User Profiles Settings. There you select your previous profile (with problems) and click Copy to. As the new location select C:\Documents And Settings\NewUser\
Before confirming, click Change on Permitted to use, select Location ThisComputer and enter Everyone, so under permitted to use there will be ".\Everyone" (this is Local Everyone user)
Now confirm copying of profile.

After copy is over, you may click Link to create new user, which will open Local Users and Groups console. Select Groups, click on Administrators, and add your new user into the Administrators group.

Now log-out and log-in with new username. Your profile should be fixed.
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Author Comment

by:tommyboyd
ID: 20433716
:(  things just seem to be going from bad to worse, i did what you suggested ie: made a new user, and then copy and pasted everything from the old user to the new, but it doesnt seemed to have made any difference.

It seems my entire user profile system is corrupt, and even tho I have given these users full access rights, the system isnt giving them it.

A when I try to do a cmd>SFC /scannow

I get asked for my XP CD, but when i put it in it says its the wrong one and wont' continue.

Again i looks like the acess rights are denying access to even the CD drive.

I also had to uninstall IE7 because it was causing me to crash whenever I tried to access a folder that uses it in the control panel..

Im dying here.. so any suggestions you have to save my computer.. (which i had just gotten how i like it) would be a real mercy.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Andrej Pirman
ID: 20433802
Except of suggesting you repair installation (run Windows installation CD from within running windows) and doing a Disk Check for errors, I am out of ideas. Maybe, just maybe, you were infected, too.

But when something like with you hapens to me, first thing I try is to go over with reinstallation of windows to the same partition, so settings are kept, programs too, while system itself gets repaired.
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Author Comment

by:tommyboyd
ID: 20437000
I bit the bullet and reinstalled windows... thinking about it.. its stil the original install from 6 years ago and ive had two new motherboards in since then... so probably should have expected it.. labsy im gonna give you the points, cos im sure your a top bloke.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Andrej Pirman
ID: 20437183
I am glad your config is repaired. Thanx for points :)
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