Can Windows be "damaged" when protected operating system files are hidden?

Hi All,

Had a volunteer working on a bookkeeping machine cleaning up data and trying to make sense of misc documents scattered all over the place and they said they cleaned up ALL files on the C drive, including the Windows folder!  

Another words, they tried to "help" by organizing files and who knows what they moved where.  Can they move anything essential in the Windows folder if the option to hide protected operating system files (by default) is on?  

Windows seems to boot and respond fine.  Any checks that should be performed (perhaps sfc /scannow) ?

Appreciate it.
JsmplyAsked:
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theSAPPHIRECommented:
At one time.. this would be a YES... Windows XP was notorious for allowing you to "MOVE" files.. but in Vista and into Win7 the "protection" got a little stronger..

1st.. in Windows 7, there is no REAL administrator account.. you would have to create and enable the TRUE Administrator... some of the users might have administrator rights.. but not really...

So, when they try to 'MOVE' stuff... windows won't allow it.. it will automtically make copies.. but it takes some "trickery" to "move" any of the "main" files..

Now some "software" that was installed, might have placed files in the Windows folder that may be affected if "moved"

but heck.. just "move/copy" the files back from the windows folder that they must have created when she "cleaned up" the files on the C drive.. that should work..

-sapphire
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John GriffithConsultantCommented:
Run Windows System Restore - choose a restore point before the "help" began -

START | type rstrui
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Run5kCommented:
As others have already said, Windows 7 essentially has protective features built right into the operating system.  You could certain perform a System Restore as Jcgriff2 already mentioned, but as you said yourself, a simple sfc /scannow should be enough to provide you with peace of mind.
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hrr1963Commented:
I believe that if your windows passed the sfc scan, you should be relax. That verify the most important files, core files.

I don't recommend the system restore. Why? Well there is no problem or symptoms as you stated.
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JsmplyAuthor Commented:
Thanks. Does sfc /scannow produce any kind of message at the end if errors are found or do you need to consult a log?
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Run5kCommented:
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hrr1963Commented:
Well it usually display a message if it found something and most of the time will ask for the original cd/dvd.
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nobusCommented:
sfc does not gives any message at the end - as Run5k said, you have to check the log
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hrr1963Commented:
...

SFC prompt for the dvd or cd if it find any file corrupt. ;)
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JsmplyAuthor Commented:
Hmmm, conflicting statements?
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nobusCommented:
hrr that was in the win 98 days long ago ..
i don't understand why it does not present a report at conclusion - (thanks MS) but htat is what it does
check the log file  - then you're sure
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hrr1963Commented:
SFC can be used with the DVD in windows 7, but you have to boot from the cd , go to repair -> advance repair and use the SFC.

If you run SFC with the system running normally it will use the cache stored files to replace the bad ones.

To use the SFC against the CD/DVD media (windows 7), to replace corrupted files with the ones in the original cd/dvd:

For example: SFC /scannow /offbootdir=e:\ /offwindir=e:\windows
where e is the media disk.

I dont recommend you to do this, as your operating system is working properly.
Go the event viewer and check the system log for errors.



As the user Run5k specified:
To check SFC specific log errors: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929833


Good luck.
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JsmplyAuthor Commented:
Thx. So you don't recommend running sfc if no odd things are occurring?  Is the general opinion that you can't move any files from the windows folder that are essential in Win7?
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Run5kCommented:
Yes, as we discussed earlier, Windows 7 essentially has protective features built right into the operating system.  While it wouldn't hurt anything to run the System File Checker, if you aren't receiving any error messages or encountering other problems, the operating system is probably still running smoothly.
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theSAPPHIRECommented:
Hi, jsmply..

Windows 7 has pretty good security setup for it's own "system" files...

so... you should be fine... running sfc can't hurt... but it seems to me, everything is working ok..

sounds like u did a good job making sure the system is ok..

-sapphire
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JsmplyAuthor Commented:
Thx all!
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Run5kCommented:
Glad to help!
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JsmplyAuthor Commented:
Thanks again run5k
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