windows cannot access the specified device, path,or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item

Posted on 2011-03-18
Last Modified: 2012-08-14

I am Running a Computer with:

XP Service pack 3
Carbonite for backup.

Login as Administrator - only this user on this computer with full access.

After starting computer cannot open any programs or browse the computer, cannot Access control panel.
Cannot run Regedit.
Cannot install any .exe files.
cannot open internet explorer.

All the above in Safe Mode/ Safe mode with networking.

I keep getting "Windows cannot access the specified device, path,or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item"

I have tried booting up in safe mode with networking and installing Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. this also comes up with the same error message.

can anyone HELP!!!

Thanks in advance.

Question by:X-quisite
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Expert Comment

ID: 35164446
Try to go back to a previous restore point when you know it was working.

Author Comment

ID: 35164548

Thanks for you reply.

Cannot run system restore. same message.

 "Windows cannot access the specified device, path,or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item"

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Author Comment

ID: 35164701

Unfortunately i cannot even open Internet Explorer. I get the same message.
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 35164732
Most likely your PC has caught some malware.

Since you have a backup, I would reinstall the OS from scratch and then restore your backups. Trying to clean this from malware will probably take much more time and it won't guarantee that it'll work properly afterwards. On the newly setup system, create a normal user account besides the admin, that helps to avoid such issues.

Author Comment

ID: 35164760
Hi Rindi

Thanks you for your reply.

I need to find a solution to remove the malware somehow as reinstalling is not an option at the moment.

any ideas??



Accepted Solution

dtrance earned 500 total points
ID: 35164788
If necessary you could boot off the XP CD and do a repair instead of a new installation.

I agree with X-quisite though, formatting new is the desired option.  That would give me the warm and fuzzies that the system is not tainted.
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 35164859
Make yourself a UBCD4WIN, it includes several Antimalware tools. That way you can scan the PC without starting it's OS.

But again, I don't really recommend this.

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