What could be changing permissions on C:\Program Files\ subdirectories?
Posted on 2013-01-17
We have a standard Windows 7 x64 Service Pack 1 computer image that we use here -- and for years, it's been updated, maintained, and has worked flawlessly. However, within the last two months, there have been some oddities that I can't trace down.
Here's what's occurring... the issue is when someone tries to open ANY Office 2010 program, they get the error: "Error 1317. Setup cannot create the folder C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14. Verify that the path exists in your system and that you have sufficient permissions to update it. (Retry/Cancel)"
Indeed, if you look at the C:\Program Files\ directory, it has a yellow padlock icon on it -- whereas other directories, ie. C:\Program Files (x86)\ do not. Within the C:\Program Files\ directory, only some of the folders have the padlock icon, namely Microsoft Office and Windows Virtual PC to name two.
Changing permissions to "Everyone" generally doesn't work, installing the "Take Ownership" registry fix doesn't work; and the only thing that consistently works is a system restore to before the issue started occurring.
This could be Windows Update related, but I can't tell and this is extremely difficult to replicate in my lab environment. I at first thought it was anti-virus related (we recently moved to Webroot SecureAnywhere at around the same timeframe), but they say, "The reason being is that WSA does not change permissions, it is not designed to do so and we have not had any reports of this happening in the past. If this was the case, we would be overwhelmed with calls due to folder permission issues as we have many customers who currently use Microsoft Office 2010 (including ourselves here at the office) and we do not believe that the issue would occur over a period of time. If a program such as WSA were to change permissions, we believe it would do it at the time the software was installed, not after a period of time."
Has anyone encountered this before?
This happened on my own computer in early December but didn't affect Microsoft Office -- just the 7-Zip directory under C:\Program Files\ -- strange issue, huh?