Help me access my files!
May 4, 2013 5:42 AM   Subscribe

I reinstalled Windows 7 and now I can't get at many of my old files.

I changed out my motherboard and CPU this morning. Someone who will remain nameless told me I would be able to avoid reinstalling Windows by repairing my installation with the original install disc. This did not work: no matter how many times I tried it bluescreened while loading.

So now I have a fresh install of Windows 7 64. I've installed the usual apps, logged back in to all my websites, and Windows Update is humming away in the background. My problem is that many files and applications simply will not let me access them. Trying to load, for example, the SNES emulator bsnes.exe gives the following message:

"Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item."

As far as I can tell my new Windows installation's admin account has ownership of the file, but the permissions window is a confusing mess. Any assistance would be much appreciated.

The old Windows installation is still intact on the other hard drive; I can select it on reboot, but it just bluescreens when I try to load it.
posted by ArmyOfKittens to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I already managed to gain ownership over every file (should have mentioned that in the question). The ownership tab for bsnes.exe looks like this.

The permissions tab looks like this.

(In case it's relevant, I tried to get in to the old Windows installation via safe mode and it still blue screens on the loading screen.)
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 6:29 AM on May 4, 2013

Best answer: I'm still on XP and permissions handling may be slightly different on 7 but this probably still applies: if drive the files you want to take ownership does not contain antyhing sensitive, then the easy way is to go to drive root properties, Security tab, and add either your user account or the generic users group with Full Control permissions, and apply those recursively. On XP this done by entering the Advanced dialogue box and selecting "Replace permission entries on all child objects...".
posted by Bangaioh at 6:44 AM on May 4, 2013 [2 favorites]

Also, if I'm interpreting your screencaps correctly, you gave ownership to the administrator account, not to your user account which I assume is the second in the list and the one you normally run Windows as. The permissions tab lists dead accounts that must be from your old system and a WMPNetworkSync account which I'm guessing is something for Windows Media Player with read-only access, so that's probably not what you want.
posted by Bangaioh at 6:49 AM on May 4, 2013

Response by poster: Aha! Selecting "replace permission entries on all child objects" did the trick! I'll refrain from prematurely celebrating since I have to go apply it to the entire drive now, but it looks good.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 6:51 AM on May 4, 2013

Response by poster: Seems to have worked. Lovely. Thank you!
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 7:13 AM on May 4, 2013

Response by poster: I can now start the much more enjoyable part of any PC upgrade: trying all the games that used to run at about 10fps and giggling like a maniac at how smoothly they run now.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 7:48 AM on May 4, 2013 [4 favorites]

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