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C:\ is not accessible access is denied

Posted on 2012-03-12
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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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Question by:jn2112
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Expert Comment

by:Adam Brown
ID: 37711010
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)
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Accepted Solution

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NEIL10 earned 250 total points
ID: 37711031
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
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Assisted Solution

by:jn2112
jn2112 earned 0 total points
ID: 37711045
Opened cmd with Run-As-Administrator, same results for icacls. (logged on as local administrator)
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Author Comment

by:jn2112
ID: 37711050
Also, no MMC snap-in will open. Most likely due to not having execute permission on c: drive.
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Author Comment

by:jn2112
ID: 37711064
UAC is off on this server.
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LVL 39

Assisted Solution

by:Adam Brown
Adam Brown earned 250 total points
ID: 37711089
Check the ownership as Neil recommends. Also, you might have a virus on that server, so I'd start looking into that.
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Author Closing Comment

by:jn2112
ID: 37732272
Thanks for your help.
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