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Windows 7 Solutions

File Access Denied

You need permission to perform this action You...


As part of Windows security, it will mark files with special permissions to prevent corruption or modification of key files. In this case, only the TrustedInstaller has rights to modify or write to this file. TheTrustedInstaller is a program used to install Windows updates and other 'safe' applications.  Normally, even an Administrator cannot delete or modify the file.

  Sample Dialog  
File Access Denied screen shot
Dialog may appear differently depending on Windows 7 style options and where it occurs.
  Key Facts  
Full Title
  File Access Denied 

Body Text
  You need permission to perform this action

You require permission from TrustedInstaller to make changes to this file


Company: company
File version: version
Date Created: date
Size: size  

Typical location

Issued By

  Windows 7

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  Microsoft Corporation    
  Button Explanation  
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Try Again
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  Once the permissions have been changed, you can try again to apply the action to this file.  
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  Skip attempts to perform any action on the selected file.  
  Solutions and Fixes  

If you want to perform an action on a file or folder you don't have access to, you have to change the permissions. You can change permissions for one file, or enable access to all the files under a folder (and any sub-folders as well). Unfortunately, you have to go through a lot of hoops in an unnecessarily complex set of dialogs to do this. This is especially annoying if you need to edit a configuration file or delete a malware or virus file!

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Bypass OS Limitations
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Access your files from a boot CD that allows you full access to your files. For example, Avanquest's System Commander allows you to boot from its CD, and view the disks, including NFTS partitions. In the partition explorer, you can delete and copy files regardless of permissions and administrative requirements.
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  FaultWire Staff
Posted: 18-Aug-2009
Change Permissions
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In this example, we want to delete the keylogger file that resides in the system32 directory (we wish malware was so easily identified). As with most files in this directory, the permissions deny us access to the file so we can't delete it even with administrative privileges.

To change permissions or a file or folder perform the following steps:

  1. In Explorer, right-click on the folder name or file name and select Properties.
  2. Click on the Security Tab.
  3. In the Groups or user names box, select the group that fits. For example Administrators.
    solution1 screen
  4. Click on the Advanced button.
  5. Select the Group or Users who you wish to change the permissions. You may need to be an Administrator to make these changes.
    solution 2 screen
  6. Click on Edit button.
  7. Another almost identical screen appears with a few additional options (not shown). Click the Edit button again. Now you can actually make the changes necessary!
    solution 3 screen
  8. In the lower Permissions for SYSTEM box, change the permissions. For example, to provide full control, make sure a checkmark appears in the Allow column for Full Control and remove checkmarks in the Deny column if present.
  9. With the permissions set correctly, click on Ok .
  10. Within some folders (but not all) you'll get a warning message. Be sure to click Yes or your changes will be discarded!
    solutions 4 screen
  11. Click Ok in each the remaining dialogs.

You should now have full access to delete, rename, move, copy over or any other action on the selected file or folder.

If you are on a corporate network, it is possible for the network administrator will have set up the system to prevent you from accessing key folders or files. If you are blocked by any of the steps above, you will have to contact the network administrator to give you permission to access the desired folders or files.

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  FaultWire Staff
Posted: 10-Oct-2008
  Forum Help  
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  Vendor Summary  
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Last update: 02-Jan-2011 9:39 am