Fix NTFS Permission Problems
Posted on: October 22nd, 2010
This article is for advanced computer users. Therefore I won’t explain, in details, the technical terms.
In the course of working with a large number of machines I’ve run into restrictive permissions on folders and files which didn’t stop me from doing what I needed to do but slowed me down because I had to handle the permissions manually.
The main cases when I had to do this were:
- When copying user files from one computer to another, or from one user to another and the source user made his/her files “private”
- Removing unnecessary folders, like those random hexadecimal number named folders that Windows update generates in the “C:\” folder (after failed or incomplete Windows updates…). Many times these have some strange permissions that doesn’t allow the user, even if Administrator, to access or delete these files.
How are these cases are resolved?
The fix for these is simple: first step is to change the owner of the files and folders to something that the user has permission to. I usually use the group called “Administrators” for this purpose. Once the owner setting is corrected then the files and and folders need to have the access to allow read and write privileges to those objects. I usually just give full access for the sake of simplicity.
Doing these by hand is a time consuming procedure; and Windows XP home edition is even missing the Security tab in the Properties box, unless you boot into Safe Mode. So I started digging around but I have not found a full solution, just bits and pieces and incomplete, or overcomplicated documentations. Because of these it took a while to put this together. Here it is now, the “full service” permission fix utility for NTFS.
Below is the download link to a zip file that contains four files. Two of these are Microsoft command line utilities (I included these because they are not part of every Windows installation):
subinacl.exe -> for changing the owner of files and folders
The other two files are:
grant-perm.cmd -> This is a command line tool that takes as a parameter the starting folder under which the permissions need to be fixed.
To use this simply download and extract the files from the zip files and start the _run_this.vbs file.
The .cmd and .vbs files are annotated and can be easily customized for your needs.
Please feel free to use this script.
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