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something periodically changes folder settings

Posted on 2014-03-14
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Last Modified: 2014-04-25
In Windows 7 on the View tab of the Folder Options window -
something periodically changes some of the settings.

It changes "show hidden files" to "don't show hidden files"
It checks "hide extensions for known file types" which I have set to unchecked
It checks "hide protected operating system files" which I have set to unchecked

This happens every couple months or so.
I have McAfee Security Center installed v 12.8 - BUT it is also installed on our other 2 machines who don't manifest this oddity.

Any ideas on where to start looking for a culprit?
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Question by:dgrafx
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Expert Comment

by:Santosh Gupta
ID: 39929206
hi,

please Run and check for Malware or trojan.

run malware bytes. https://www.malwarebytes.org/free/
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Author Comment

by:dgrafx
ID: 39929231
i already have
i should have mentioned that but forgot
thanks
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Expert Comment

by:Santosh Gupta
ID: 39929276
1. is this machine in domain ? if yes run RSOP.MSC and see if any policy configured.
2. what is the frequency of change.
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Author Comment

by:dgrafx
ID: 39929280
no - not in a domain

and like I said above "every couple months or so" ...
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Expert Comment

by:Santosh Gupta
ID: 39929364
May be your operating system is still infected.
Run a virus scan with Microsoft Safety scanner and check.

http://www.microsoft.com/security/scanner/en-us/default.aspx
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Author Comment

by:dgrafx
ID: 39929422
ok I ran it - nothing ...
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by:Merete
ID: 39941027
dgrafx
The same happens on my system, I just checked my  folder options>view>settings and I have always had show hidden files and now it's ticked again not to show.
I put it down to windows updates, and messes with our windows settings whenever there is security updates and the windows system automatically resets the system integral settings to default.
 They have hidden scripts to install these security updates and I'm pretty certain in order to install correctly  they open up windows regestry this is  necessary then the reboot woudl close them again.
Hidden files and folders is part of the security.
Apon a reboot after each Tuesday's updates check prior and after.
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Author Comment

by:dgrafx
ID: 39941120
I have always felt that this is Windows - not a security concern like a virus or something.

I have all my systems set to Not reboot after updates - whenever it does need rebooting then I'm notified and I do it myself.
But I can pay attention to this next time I'm asked to reboot.

Note that the other day I was experimenting with right-clicking a file and changing the program that the file type opens with by default and these settings (the 3 I'm referring to in this post) reset to the undesirable state.
And so 3 times I changed them back again.
I have never had this happen before though - just thought I'd mention it.
If it could help someone do detective work the file types I was messing with were .mp4, .avi, .mkv

Thanks for the input ...
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 39941143
Associating a default player to a video shouldnt be related to show hidden files and folders unless these are restricted somehow in the GPO.
That is the use of a media player
I dont have a default program for my video collection  mostly mp4 simply because I have a few meda players and prefer to use the drag and drop onto my chosen media player,
usually MPCBE or VLC
Not knowing your setup there, if it is part of a domain or work network do you have administrative controls through GPO?
Mapped drive? Shared drive?
I'd start looking into them if applicable.
Maybe somewhere there is a group policy set to prevent changes to windows?
Unhiding system files maybe classified as a security breach?
There is the gpedit.msc type that into run
lots of areas you can look at
 Start at the top and expand each
Under User configuration>administration Templates
Anything you click on the left appears on the right, clicking on the right brings up an explorer view explaing what you can do
Could be related to shares or different folder views applied, not all the same settings
Are you the default administrator not with an account and there is a hidden administrator?
Laptop / desktop?
Remember when you shutdown you should see logging off saving settings
I'm not personally worried about but will also check if it changes after the next windows updates especially a reboot.
Will put a note on my desktop to remember to check.
I might also check if it changes after a simple reboot.
Tested and no it doesnt change the show hidden files and folders system files anything I set is still there after a reboot.
Taking note of the message I see when changing these could be effected by a group policy restriction.
hide protected system filesCheers
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Author Comment

by:dgrafx
ID: 39942222
Thanks for replying

These computers (laptops & pc) are not in a domain.
There is only one account on each which is the built in admin account.

And yes I wouldn't imagine that changing the default program has anything to do with this BUT I mentioned it because of the same settings changes I'm complaining about - hopefully you see what I mean ...

Let me know if you stumble onto specific settings in group policy or elsewhere that may affect this.
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 39943685
As it's only every couple of months that you are aware of possibly something on the server is not being updated through to the clients.
Do you enable this through explorer or actually open the folder options from control panel?
I have tested it and found no changes with just a simple reboot.
Two areas that may help,
Check the folders options>view and you donot have this ticked
restore previous folder windows at logon.
restore previous folderUsing GPO to force disabling "Hide Extensions for Known File Types" in Explorer
http://community.spiceworks.com/topic/405797-using-gpo-to-force-disabling-hide-extensions-for-known-file-types-in-explorer
cheers
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Author Comment

by:dgrafx
ID: 39945642
don't know what you mean by "something on the server is not being updated through to the clients" ...
note that this is win7 pro and is not a member of a domain.

anyway I have enabled/disabled the settings from both explorer and opening folder options in control panel.

in reference to your link to the article on spiceworks.com - my version of windows (win7 pro) does not have the settings it refers to.
i've opened gpedit and looked around but found nothing ...

thanks
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Expert Comment

by:dhsindy
ID: 39978562
Do you use Internet Explorer 8 or have it on you computer.  Internet Explorer under Tools/Internet Options/Advances also shows these settings and I am not sure they are the same ones under View.

Check that they are the same in both places.
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Author Comment

by:dgrafx
ID: 39978589
ie 8 does not exist on any of our computers.
a win 7 laptop & desktop and a win 8 laptop.

thanks
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Expert Comment

by:Gary Patterson
ID: 39978796
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Author Comment

by:dgrafx
ID: 39991848
Thanks for the response!
I apologize for not getting back to this issue sooner.

The article posted isn't my situation.
This link: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/Windows7/Fix-a-corrupted-user-profile
describes a situation where the settings won't take at all.

Read below.

1. Win7 Pro
2. I'm using the built in Admin account - this is the only account currently on the machine.
3. I used to use an account that I created and the problem existed in that account as well.

Symptoms:
When viewing folders & files in Windows Explorer I'll notice that the file extension is not showing. So I open the View tab of Folder Options and see that the following 3 settings have changed.
---------------
a. Show hidden files has been changed to Don't show
b. Hide extensions for known file types has been checked
c. Hide protected operating system files has been checked
---------------
So when I change them back there is no problem getting them to stick.
I may then go months before something changes them back to the settings listed above.
Sometimes however they may change frequently - every few days for ex - but that is rare.

Just to clarify a couple speculations:
This doesn't happen after a Windows update
This doesn't happen after a restart

Any other ideas?
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Accepted Solution

by:
Rob Jurd, EE MVE earned 500 total points
ID: 39992968
Have you tried the "Reset Folders" button in Folder Options?

Then set up with those options above if they're not already ticked and click the Apply, then "Apply to All Folders"

What I'm suspecting is one of your folders has customised settings and is resetting the global settings when you access it.
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Author Comment

by:dgrafx
ID: 39993059
Yes I have folders with a few customized settings - that are different from each other ...

the only real difference is that I have a Library folder that is sorted by date modified and the rest are sorted by name
some Libraries are grouped by type and others are grouped by none
some are displaying thumbnails and others are showing a list


could you explain further what settings Reset Folders will reset

and could you explain if in your plan all folders need to have the same settings

note that I do not want all folders to show a list and sorted by name etc - it's important to me that these settings are custom for each folder.
But as far as these 3 settings I speak of (that this post is about) I want them all the same throughout the computer.

thanks
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Jurd, EE MVE
ID: 39993070
Reset folders will reset all your folders to the default view. So unfortunately for you, you will need to setup those specific folders again.
The properties are global but something is testing them and i suspect it's one of your customised folders.
If it were me, I would reset the folders and then setup a folder how I want the majority if them to look and go back to folder options and click apply to all folders.
Now I would set up those individual folders as required.
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Author Comment

by:dgrafx
ID: 39993088
right - that's what i do.

my main query is this though:
you are saying that there may be an issue with global settings
and by resetting and re-customizing the folders again then chances are (worth a shot anyway) it should be smooth sailing after that.

just wanted to make sure that it wasn't expected that I permanently have the same settings for all folders

let me know and thanks
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Jurd, EE MVE
ID: 39993096
No it's not expected that you would have to have the same settings for all folders but we need to bring everything back to defaults. Not promising anything but with the intermittent nature if this issue it would make sense
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Author Comment

by:dgrafx
ID: 39993100
Will try it ...
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Jurd, EE MVE
ID: 39993109
Hard to confirm a solution with this so I'll keep monitoring the question to see how you go
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Author Comment

by:dgrafx
ID: 39993177
Thanks - that's what I was thinking ...
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Author Closing Comment

by:dgrafx
ID: 40023865
Rob - for now the settings have not changed.
If I ever need to open another ticket I will make a note of it in this ticket as well.

Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Jurd, EE MVE
ID: 40023885
Sounds quite promising. Thanks for the points.  I'll keep monitoring the question but hopefully I don't hear from you :-)
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Author Comment

by:dgrafx
ID: 40023890
ha!
thanks ...
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