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Removing read only on folders on windows 8.1

Posted on 2016-09-27
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Last Modified: 2016-11-13
i have been trying to get an old game (Freelancer) to work on my windows 8.1 laptop.

When I try to start it I get the "allow to make changes" dialog but then nothing happens.
The Freelancer folder (in Program files (x86)/Windows Games) shows as Read Only which I can reset but just shows up again the next time I look.
I have changed the User permissions and owner and also tried running the "attrib -r" command from an administrator command prompt.

Does anyone have any ideas?
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Question by:jetbet
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24 Comments
 
LVL 7

Accepted Solution

by:
D Patel earned 264 total points
ID: 41817564
The problem isn't that the folder is Read Only. Rather, because your folder was created on a different installation of Windows you no longer have NTFS security permissions to access (read) the folder.

Correct this by following these steps to take ownership and then grant yourself full access to the folder.

Right-click the folder > Properties
Security tab > Advanced
Click Change to the right of Owner
Enter Users into box and click OK
Enable the checkbox Replace owner on subcontainers and objects then click Apply
If prompted that You do not have permissions to read... click Yes
Completely close out of the Advanced Security Settings dialog
Right-click the folder > Properties
Security tab > Edit...
Add...
Enter Users into box and click OK
Enable the Full Control checkbox then click OK
0
 
LVL 70

Assisted Solution

by:Qlemo
Qlemo earned 496 total points
ID: 41817593
The "read only" attribute on folders is a red herring. In Explorer dialogs it is gray, not black, and its meaning is "I don't know and don't bother" - there is no read-only attribute for folders.
0
 
LVL 88

Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 744 total points
ID: 41817616
Software you run also won't (or shouldn't) save any changes etc in the Program Files folders. That is only used to store the program's files.

Data generated by such programs would either be in "C:\ProgramData\ProgramName" or in your user profile somewhere, or even in the registry. So look at those places for any security and writing problems rather than under the Program Files folder.
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 41817779
Does this old game use an *.INI or *.CFG file in the same folder as the program's EXE (or even in the "Windows" folder) to save its settings to, or is it one that stores all of its settings in the registry?

Did you actually install this program using a setup routine, or did you simply back up all the files from a previous version of Windows and copy them into a new program folder on the current computer?
0
 

Author Comment

by:jetbet
ID: 41818943
I have uninstalled Freelancer and reinstalled it on another drive so no longer under program files (x86)

@D Patel
Have tried all your steps and it looks as though the permissions are right even though the folder properties still show read only

@BillDL
Installation is done via setup folder from original disk.

@rindi
I cannot find any folders that would stop saving a game but then again I cannot get it to where it even starts after giving it permission to make changes.

I am starting to wonder if the problem is my laptop or graphics card as the game is very old. I have tried using Windows XP (SP 3) as my compatability mode. I know of others that can get this game to run on an 8.1 operating system

I have an ASUS "gaming laptop"
Intel i7-4700HQ CPU @ 2.40GHz
16Gb Ram
64-bit operating system
NVIDEA GEForce GTX 850M graphics card
0
 
LVL 38

Assisted Solution

by:BillDL
BillDL earned 496 total points
ID: 41819131
Hi jetbet, and thanks for the feedback.  I suspect that your interpretation of "very old game" might be rather more recent than my interpretation of "very old game" and that perhaps you may never have run software that saves its settings in an *.INI file.  It sounds to me like this is probably a registry permissions issue, but without knowing what parts of the registry the game needs to write to, I would just be guessing.

You could try using a program like Process Monitor or Process Explorer (https://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/sysinternals/bb795533.aspx) to capture the activity when you run the EXE and are  shown the "allow to make changes" dialog, but tis can be a very laborious job.
0
 
LVL 88

Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 744 total points
ID: 41819261
Again as I mentioned, Data for programs is either stored under C:\ProgramData, and/or in the user's profile somewhere. Besides that, many games require you to have the original CD/DVD with the game inside your DVD drive in order for it to run. If you don't have the original game media in the drive, the system considers it to be a pirated copy and refuses to play.
0
 

Author Comment

by:jetbet
ID: 41820447
@rindi
I have looked through the registry and  program files folder. My laptop does not have a C:\ProgramData folder. I am also trying to run the program with the original disk in the drive.

@BillDL
I will try to find help on where the registry stuff is stored from one of the freelancer sites.
Freelancer is 13 years old but has a very active modding community with some quite impressive mods like Crossfire etc.
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LVL 88

Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 744 total points
ID: 41820470
All Windows since at least Vista have a \ProgramData folder. That is where changing data of programs that are installed under \Program Files or Program Files (x86) are stored. So you must have such a folder. If User Data is stored, then that happens in your User Profile, usually under the User's \AppData folder.
0
 
LVL 70

Assisted Solution

by:Qlemo
Qlemo earned 496 total points
ID: 41820485
The AppData folder is usually below C:\Users\youruserhere\AppData\Roaming. You can check the current paths in a cmd prompt with
set A
set Program

Open in new window

0
 

Author Comment

by:jetbet
ID: 41820502
"set A" shows
ALLUSERSPROFILE=C:\ProgramData
APPDATA=C:\Users\Brian\AppData\Roaming

Under Windows explorer I cannot see either of these folders.
The closest is C:\Users\Brian\Roaming but this just has /Intel/Wireless/ in it
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 41820518
In Folder Options of the Control panel make sure you have enabled "show Hidden files, Folders and drives, and under "Navigation Pane" also enable "Show all Folders".
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Author Comment

by:jetbet
ID: 41820544
Thanks, I can now see these folders but there is no reference to the game there.

I will try reinstalling the game in the default folder (ProgramFiles (x86)) and see what I can find. I have installed using the default before without luck.
0
 

Author Comment

by:jetbet
ID: 41836291
I have had no luck on this so will get this question closed.
0
 
LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 41836434
Process Explorer, a suggested earlier, would be my final tool for tryiing to find out which file or folder is the culprit, before giving up.
0
 

Author Comment

by:jetbet
ID: 41837727
The trouble is that the user account control comes up asking if I want to make a change after I sometimes get a quick "flash" of Freelancer in the Process explorer that then disappears.

By selecting "OK" I see 2 entries come up in, Process Explorer for dllhost.exe, that turn green, then red then disappear all in a couple of seconds. I am then still left with no clue.
0
 
LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 41837940
Sorry, it's Process Monitor I wanted to suggest.
0
 

Author Comment

by:jetbet
ID: 41840955
Still Trying

I have used Process Monitor (with filtering) to find 2 places where Freelancer could not find registry entries and changed permissions for these.

There was also potential issues with my Razer gaming mouse that was trying to configure itself (straight after Freelancer tried to start) for the game but failing so I have uninstalled that.
I have reinstalled the program twice as administrator but even though the entries in Process Monitor for Freelancer show success, it is still not starting.

I will keep at it and let you know if I have any success.
0
 

Author Comment

by:jetbet
ID: 41841148
I believe I have found the issue. It appears that Freelancer is trying to find the wing.dll and wing32.dll files.

These are no longer supplied with later operating systems (or from Microsoft themselves) and so Freelancer (and a few other games I found on the net) are no longer supported.

As I no longer have an XP system to copy these files from so, even if this is the last issue, I am stuck with having to download a potentially dangerous version of the dlls or give up.
0
 
LVL 38

Assisted Solution

by:BillDL
BillDL earned 496 total points
ID: 41841683
I am using a Windows XP Pro SP3 computer right now, but it doesn't have "wing.dll" or "wing32.dll" on the drive.  I searched the entire C drive.
0
 

Author Comment

by:jetbet
ID: 41842965
I managed to find a XP machine at work and have found the same thing. It looks as though these are old Win95 Win98 dlls for graphic display.
I have checked my installation disk and cannot find them on that, but I have had it running on a XP machine and the forums say that others have it running on Win 7 and 8 as well.
I can only assume these dlls are hidden somewhere on the CD and the permissions are not right on my  laptop. I have no idea why the game is looking for them.
0
 

Author Comment

by:jetbet
ID: 41847091
I have found my old XP Hard drive, from the PC that ran Freelancer last time, docked it and connected to my laptop via USB. I cannot find the files there either.
Trying to run it from the old installation folder gives the error "Common.dll not found"

I have a suspicion that the issue I have is incompatibility between the game and graphics card. This may be a reason that it was looking for those very old files (wing.dll, wing32.dll) as this may be some type of default.
Even though I have installed the latest drivers for the card, the card was also why I could not get my laptop to run windows 10 as there was some sort of compatibility issue between them.

It is probably time to cut my losses on this. Thanks for all the advice.
0
 
LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:jhyiesla
ID: 41885195
No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days, so it is now classified as abandoned.

I have recommended this question be closed as follows:

Split:
-- D Patel (https:#a41817564)
-- Qlemo (https:#a41817593)
-- rindi (https:#a41817616)
-- BillDL (https:#a41819131)
-- rindi (https:#a41819261)
-- rindi (https:#a41820470)
-- Qlemo (https:#a41820485)
-- BillDL (https:#a41841683)


If you feel this question should be closed differently, post an objection and the moderators will review all objections and close it as they feel fit. If no one objects, this question will be closed automatically the way described above.

jhyiesla
Experts-Exchange Cleanup Volunteer
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 41885392
Thank you jhyiesla
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