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C:\ is not accessible access is denied

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Last Modified: 2012-03-17
Between Sunday afternoon and this morning, we started having permission problems on a file and remote desktop server. It is server 2008 R2, running as a VM under vSphere 5.0

The most pressing issue right now is not being able to access drive c:. There were also permission issues on drive shares from another drive, but if I can fix this one, we can probably fix the other issues.

The drive shows in the list, but clicking on it gives the above message.  I have logged on under the local administrator account, a domain administrator account and my own user account, all with same effect.

output of icacls command from my account:

C:\Users\JIM>icacls c:\
c:\: Access is denied.
Successfully processed 0 files; Failed processing 1 files

C:\Users\JIM>

It is the same under the local administrator account and a domain administrator account.

Reading another issue on EE, I tried using the command to grant execute access to Users, but it failed.
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Adam BrownSenior Systems Admin
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Top Expert 2010

Commented:
This is probably UAC getting in your way. Right click the command prompt and select Run as Administrator or disable UAC on the server and it should allow you access (assuming you are logged in as a user with Administrative permissions)
Commented:
Not sure if you have tried this however have you tried taking the ownership from the C:\. This may allow you to correct the corrupt ACL’s

- Right Click on System (C:)
- Select Properties
- Security Tab
- Owner Tab
-  Replace owner on subcontainers and Objects Check Box
- Apply
Commented:
Opened cmd with Run-As-Administrator, same results for icacls. (logged on as local administrator)

Author

Commented:
Also, no MMC snap-in will open. Most likely due to not having execute permission on c: drive.

Author

Commented:
UAC is off on this server.
Adam BrownSenior Systems Admin
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Top Expert 2010
Commented:
Check the ownership as Neil recommends. Also, you might have a virus on that server, so I'd start looking into that.

Author

Commented:
Thanks for your help.