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Unable to Access 'My Documents' - Hopeless?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 dredged

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Posted 01 May 2018 - 12:45 PM

Hi. Via File Explorer, I get the "Access is Denied" message when trying to access My Documents.  Unbelievable.  Right clicking on My Documents and going to the Security tab, I can see that I do have a checkmark for "Full Control," as well as for every other line item, save for Special Permissions.  My user name is set up as an administrator.  There is an additional "Administrators" login for this pc, and it also shows full privileges.

 

However, when I have a look at "Effective Access" (under the Advanced tab in the above security section), I show red Xs for Full Control and List Folder/Read data for my user login, though the Administrators login is showing green checkmarks for all line items.

 

Any chance I'll be able to regain access to My Docs?  I've read a few cases where this problem was discussed, but have yet to come across a success story.

 

Btw, my system is up to date, including the latest 4/1/18 windows update.  Also use OneDrive for additional storage, if that matters at all.

 

Thanks very much for any help you can provide.

 

Cheers.



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#2 britechguy

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Posted 01 May 2018 - 12:47 PM

Have you tried Restarting the system?   That would be my first order of business to see if that resolves the issue.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

     . . . the presumption of innocence, while essential in the legal realm, does not mean the elimination of common sense outside it.  The willing suspension of disbelief has its limits, or should.

    ~ Ruth Marcus,  November 10, 2017, in Washington Post article, Bannon is right: It’s no coincidence The Post broke the Moore story


 

 

 

              

 


#3 dredged

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Posted 01 May 2018 - 01:07 PM

Have you tried Restarting the system?   That would be my first order of business to see if that resolves the issue.

I have, many times unfortunately.  Have tried in Safe Mode as well with no joy.

 

In addition, I've scanned the machine with Defender, Malwarebytes, and, I believe, AVG.  Shows clean...but I'm still wondering...



#4 britechguy

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Posted 01 May 2018 - 01:12 PM

Anything I would venture to offer at the moment would not even qualify as an educated guess.

 

There are lots of file system (in general) and NTFS (in particular) gurus who read in these parts.  One will likely see this in short order and respond.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

     . . . the presumption of innocence, while essential in the legal realm, does not mean the elimination of common sense outside it.  The willing suspension of disbelief has its limits, or should.

    ~ Ruth Marcus,  November 10, 2017, in Washington Post article, Bannon is right: It’s no coincidence The Post broke the Moore story


 

 

 

              

 


#5 JohnC_21

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Posted 01 May 2018 - 01:30 PM

Firstly, can you access My Documents in Safe Mode? 

 

If not:

 

Open an elevated command prompt and type the following. For an elevated command prompt press the Windows key + X. command prompt as admin. It could be called Powershell. I am not sure if these commands work under powershell on Windows 10. If not the set the command prompt as default vs Powershell.

takeown /F "full path to My Documents" /A /R /D Y
icacls "full path to My Documents" /setowner "Administrators" /T /C

https://superuser.com/questions/813878/how-would-i-use-takeown-to-take-ownership-of-all-folders-on-one-drive

 

If that fails yous should be able to access the My Documents folder outside of Windows using a live linux disk or Windows PE disk you can create using either Macrium if you have it or a program called Lazesoft Security Suite Home which is Free.



#6 jenae

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Posted 01 May 2018 - 07:14 PM

Hi, this is unusual, you normally don't have any problems with these files. Permissions would need to have been changed. Do you have any additional problems opening other files?  John's advice should work, for the documents folder.

 

Go to search and type:- command prompt, right click on the returned command prompt and select "run as administrator" an elevated cmd prompt will open. Copy this cmd and paste into the cmd prompt.

 

echo > 0 & whoami >> 0 & net user >> 0 & notepad 0 (press enter)

 

Please post the notepad output here (just copy paste).

 

Years ago we wrote a permissions piece for the university web, it has been reproduced and you can get a better understanding of John's cmds, from it:-

 

https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/3587-change-owner-file-folder-drive-registry-key-windows-10-a.html

 

Also around this time we also wrote a "GrantAdminFullControl", addition to the right click context menu, it grants admin control to the selected file or folder, the user must be a member of the administrators group.

 

Copy all of the below into notepad then "save as" call it GrantAdminFullControl.reg. Save to the desktop if you like. Double click on the file and agree to add to the registry, adds a right click context menu for you. Very safe has been used for years on millions of computers (inc mine). I have included an undo as well.

 

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell\runas]
@="Grant Admin Full Control"

"NoWorkingDirectory"=""


[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell\runas\command]
@="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F"
"IsolatedCommand"="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\runas2]
@="Grant Admin Full Control"
"NoWorkingDirectory"=""

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\runas2\command]
@="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F"
"IsolatedCommand"="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\runas]
@="Grant Admin Full Control"
"NoWorkingDirectory"=""

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\runas\command]
@="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" /r /d y && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F /t"
"IsolatedCommand"="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" /r /d y && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F /t"





To undo same procedure only name this one RemoveGrantAdminFullControl.reg

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell\runas]
@="Grant Admin Full Control"
"NoWorkingDirectory"=""

[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell\runas\command]
@="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F"
"IsolatedCommand"="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F"

[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\runas2]
@="Grant Admin Full Control"
"NoWorkingDirectory"=""

[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\runas2\command]
@="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F"
"IsolatedCommand"="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F"

[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\runas]
@="Grant Admin Full Control"
"NoWorkingDirectory"=""

[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\runas\command]
@="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" /r /d y && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F /t"
"IsolatedCommand"="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" /r /d y && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F /t" 

 



#7 saluqi

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 06:16 PM

Maybe this depends on how you are trying to access your documents?

 

Under C:\Users\[your username]\ there is a folder "My Documents" which is ordinarily NOT accessible, and another folder "Documents" which IS accessible and contains your documents.  This is the same folder that appears as "Documents" (not "My Documents") as a subfolder under "This PC" in the leftmost File Explorer windowpane.

 

I have not seen "My Documents" as an accessible folder in the left pane of File Explorer on any of the Windows 10 systems I work with (a very modest number, but belonging to several different individuals).  I have seen it only under C:\Users\[username]\ where it appears to have protected status and is not user accessible.  The "Documents" folder is, however, also found in the same place, and it IS accessible (as it also is, labeled just "Documents", in the folders pane of File Explorer).


Edited by saluqi, 03 May 2018 - 06:18 PM.


#8 jenae

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 03:16 AM

Hi, actually saluqi may be right, we just assumed you meant Documents, My Documents is a "symbolic" link for Legacy OS purposes, typically it is empty, and is not accessible (no reason to access it). If so we apologize for not having salugi's insight. 






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