I've built my own application that searches for files and have set it to run as administrator, however it won't read/detect most of the sys files in c:\windows\system32\drivers. I did some checking and most cygwin EXEs also have the same problem. For example, if I cd to that directory and do a "dir" I see all the files (334 files). However, if I do an "ls" (cygwin ls.exe) it only lists 10 files. So I think it's the same problem. I have turned off all the file hiding options in explorer and the files show up there. I don't want to modify these files or their permissions, just list them and read them. When I look at the effective permissions tab for these sys files, it says that Administrator DOES have read and list permission, though they are owned by TrustedInstaller. Is this WFP (windows file protection)? When I researched WFP it said it only protected against modifications to files, not reading them. It seems like Windows 7 is letting only microsoft EXEs read these files, but all other EXEs, even if being run by administrator, are denied. (Another example, cygwin md5sum.exe). Anyone know what's going on here?