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Windows 7 Permission Issues

Old 10-13-11, 01:06 PM
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Windows 7 Permission Issues

Hi,
I will preface this by saying I'm a Mac guy and haven't really done much if anything with Windows 7.

Last night we were trying to install the newest version of iTunes on my girlfriend's Dell running Win 7 Home Premium. For some reason, even though she is an administrator, the installer was telling us she didn't have permission to modify some directories. I tried a few different things, some command line commands, installing a tool to build a file that would fix the permissions, and none worked. In fact, I wasn't even able to install any additional piece of software. Tried running windows defender and it found no issues.

In desperation, I tried doing a System restore. I did one from a few days ago and the same issue. Then I did it with a backup from September. Amazingly it worked but I'm afraid it will come back.

My question is 1)what could be wrong 2)what's the best way to fix it? I should also mention that for some reason when double clicking video files that are associated with Windows Media player they don't open and a "server execution failed" error occurs, though that problem pre-dates the permissions issue.

On the mac I'm used to being able to use the permissions repair tool or if all else failed login as root and change the permission on a folder but there didn't seem to be any such related course of action in Win 7.

She's going to buy a USB hard disk to backup her files anyway so if the best answer is to "nuke the site from orbit" and format and reinstall, that is a viable option.

Thanks for any help!
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Old 10-13-11, 02:23 PM
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Re: Windows 7 Permission Issues

It sounds like it was a UAC (User Account Control) issue. Introduce in Windows Vista, UAC runs programs as a standard user by default, even when in an Administrator account. Only if the user explicitly starts it as administrator, or if the programs asks for (and the user grants) administrator rights does it elevate the program.

The system restore may have bumped her Win7 system back to a time where either UAC was disabled, or it was set at something less restrictive.

Typically, most installers and updaters nowadays know to request administrator rights if they're going to need it.

http://www.neowin.net/news/main/09/0...p-with-the-uac
Jay G. is offline  
Old 10-13-11, 04:18 PM
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Re: Windows 7 Permission Issues

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
It sounds like it was a UAC (User Account Control) issue. Introduce in Windows Vista, UAC runs programs as a standard user by default, even when in an Administrator account. Only if the user explicitly starts it as administrator, or if the programs asks for (and the user grants) administrator rights does it elevate the program.

The system restore may have bumped her Win7 system back to a time where either UAC was disabled, or it was set at something less restrictive.

Typically, most installers and updaters nowadays know to request administrator rights if they're going to need it.

http://www.neowin.net/news/main/09/0...p-with-the-uac
I suspected that and did the "Run as Administrator" option but that still wasn't fixing it. I'm thinking it may be easier and quicker to just format and clean install than spending hours troubleshooting but figured I'd run by people who actually know windows!
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Old 10-13-11, 04:42 PM
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Re: Windows 7 Permission Issues

It's odd, because Windows doesn't have file permission issues as often as OS X, which is why there isn't a default restore tool.

If Windows Defender was the only anti-malware running on the PC, I'd recommend running another anti-malware too. Microsoft Security Essentials is a free one, as is Avast! Home. A free scanner like Malwarebytes Antimalware may be good for additional checking.

Regarding Windows Media Player, that error could be the result of a bad codec and/or a bad setting for a codec:
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/w...d-9df48500434f
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Old 10-13-11, 10:26 PM
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Re: Windows 7 Permission Issues

Based on a little googling it seems the iTunes installer has a history of problems with folder permissions and it sounds unrelated to UAC because 1. the solution is usually to change folder permissions and 2. it happens in the User folder, which isn't as highly protected by UAC like the Program Files or the Windows folders.
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Old 10-14-11, 08:09 AM
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Re: Windows 7 Permission Issues

Originally Posted by wmansir View Post
Based on a little googling it seems the iTunes installer has a history of problems with folder permissions and it sounds unrelated to UAC because 1. the solution is usually to change folder permissions and 2. it happens in the User folder, which isn't as highly protected by UAC like the Program Files or the Windows folders.
I thought maybe it was just iTunes but I tried installing other software and the same errors occurred so it was a system wide issue when it was occurring.
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