All Users/Documents Inaccessible


Active Member
I've noticed several threads discussing some of the annoying "protections" put in place by Microsoft in Win7. On the one hand, at this moment, I share the sentiment that it's my computer, therefore, I ought to be able to access whatever I want. On the other hand, I'm all too aware that rogue software might access things - and do damage. So I don't want to go around clobbering possibly well thought out protections, when there is a "proper" way to achieve the same result. The late J.P. Morgan was reputed to have told his lawyer, "I don't pay you to tell me what I can't do; I pay you to tell me how to do what I want to do." Now, then, Mr. Gates...

On my Windows XP computer, we had quite a bit of material in "Documents and Settings\All Users," stuff like family pictures, documents relevant to both to my wife and me, etc. Since "all (two) users" of the computer might want to see baby pictures, it seemed reasonable. It looks like the concept has been carried over to Win 7. However, if not even an administrator can open this directory, write to it, etc. what is the point?

I read some posts here to the effect that "Documents and Settings" is a junction, and it really points to C:\Users. How can one tell this? It is described as a "File Folder" and in every way looks like one. I'm not ancient Egyptian, so I don't read hieroglyphics - there is a little lock next to it, but one would think that anything could be seen in one's written language, with actual words, in the properties dialog.

As for Users\All Users, this seems to be a shortcut to C:\ProgramData, which has a Documents directory, apparently real, and also inaccessible, with a bizarre "special permission" allowing no one any access. (Now, what would be the point?) However, an old fashioned cmd session seems to show that that's fake, too, notwithstanding what the properties dialog says - dir C:\ProgramData doesn't show it. And, it has a cute little hieroglyphic arrow next to it, but no shortcut info in the properties dialog. A new secret code, perhaps? (Does Dan Brown have a support web site, I wonder?)

To whomever may deign to respond, thank you in advance.

- Jerry

Frustrating isn't it. I totally agree. Makes me hate Win7 after leaving XP. You can't even access with full Admin without jumping thru hoops.

It's just like any other machine. First you put it together and then you tweak it and tune it to run the way you want it.

Win-7, right out of the box, is so loaded down with defaults that it's not even worth running. It's like a new Corvette, with a governor on it that won't let it run any faster than 45mph. Pretty sickening, Eh?

But enter the worlds best hackers,,,Ooooops I mean programmers. :)

I have a whole battery of .reg scripts, batch files and VBScripts, that I put on a new Win-7 install to whip it into shape so the common user can actually run it without pulling their hair out. For the real Win-7 nube, I install the "Classic Shell" which makes the desktop, start menu, programs menu and Windows Explorer look just like XP Classic. My old XP users, who are forced to get a new PC with Win-7 on it, just love the Classic Shell. If you don't like it later on, uninstall it like any other program. No big deal.

I put everything I use, for that purpose, in just one RAR file and stored that on my Web Site, for quick and easy download.

At the barest minimum, if I only had five minutes, I'd run the scripts to UNHide Hidden Files, Disable UAC and load "Grant Admin Full Control" and if time permitted I'd do the rest.

After installing "Grant Admin Full Control", you can right click on any folder, click on Grant Admin Full Control and in a few seconds, or maybe a few minutes, depending on the size of the folder.......It's YOURS!
Then you can do what you want with it.
Take ownership of C:\Windows\ and you might want to go out for Pizza. That will take a while. It will make you the new owner of every file, one file at a time. Whew!

I tuned up a laptop for a guy, one day, sitting at the bar at a local Mexican Restaurant. In less than 30 minutes and two cervesas I cleaned up his PC and almost doubled its efficiency. It's pretty simple when you have the tools.

Don't despair.... get to work!


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Essential Member
Premium Supporter
The "junction" folders are there only for backward compatibility with older installers. If you attempt to run an install, for a program which was designed for, say, xp, it will look for, and place, certain info/files, in these old name folders - Docs and settings being a principle one. Windows 7 will then automatically change them to their, now, rightful place under users and into the appropriate folder under that. IMO, the only mistake MS may have made, in this respect, is placing those junctions up in the main tree, where hackers can quickly see them. There is absolutely no purpose in gaining access to them, and to do so, invites several problems. The worst is constant duplication of new files throughout your computer, which will quickly require a reinstallation.
A compromise is that, by default, MS have hidden these folders. You have obviously, through the Windows Tools-view, altered this default and can now see them.
You can see that, as MS had requests from way back, regarding an improvement in backward compatibility, they need to work on this. They could not move those very much needed folders so they protected them and hid them.

If you doubt their wisdom, I would invite you to refer back to any, quite old, posts in an XP forum. There you will find many requests for help from those who tried to appl different modifications to the , then, "system" folders.

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