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Dealing With Directory / Subdirectory Locks

Posted on 2011-03-18
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hello Experts -

I have a computer with a newly installed release of Windows 7.

I notice that some directories like "Documents and Settings" are locked, whereas in other OSs like XP this same directory was unlocked by default.

Can you tell why that is?  And, how I can unlock it?  Also, how I can lock other directories?
Question by:gbmcneil
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LVL 59

Expert Comment

ID: 35167726
Documents and Settings is not really a folder any more on Vista and Windows 7.  It's there as a "link" used by the operating system so that old XP programs that reference that folder rather than use system calls to get the new Document subfolder under Users will still work...
Documents and Settings is now a "junction".  See this page for a bit more info:

Finding the User Settings in Vista

Expert Comment

ID: 35168045
What your are looking for has been moved:  new location in vista/win7 is here:
C:\Users\"your user name"\Documents\


Author Comment

ID: 35169215
Thanks guys for responding.

Can you tell me how to unlock a locked directory?  Or, lock an unlocked one?

Also, there must be a special feature about the lock, if programs can read and write to it, but we can't open it by clicking.
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LVL 59

Expert Comment

ID: 35169252
The directory Documents and Settings is not locked; it is just not a directory it is a POINTER to the directory Users which is what Vista and Windows 7 use instead.  Programs read and write to the Users directory by means of the pointer contains in Documents and Settings.  

Expert Comment

ID: 35169329
You don't need to open it.  it's only there for backwards compatibly.   It only shows up because you have enabled the 'show protected system folders' in folder options.  To hide this system folder so it doesn't bug you, just to go Control Panel - Folder Options - select Hide Protected OS files/folders.

Author Comment

ID: 35170351
Can you tell me how to lock / unlock any subdirectory? Forget "C:\Documents and Settings" for the moment.

My interest has more to do with synchronizing the contents of directories between two computers and eliminating certain directories like C:\Windows that I would prefer not to mess with.

If I can lock them, maybe I can prevent any synchronization from taking place where it could get me into trouble.  

Accepted Solution

Tekyguy earned 125 total points
ID: 35170366
NTFS permissions, but do it at the user level.  Don't lock your self out.

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