Permission denied to access folders

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Administration' started by rypurdue, Mar 20, 2007.

  1. rypurdue

    rypurdue Guest

    I recently upgraded from XP SP2 to Vista using an upgrade disc I received
    from Dell with the purchase of my laptop. Most everything transferred over
    smoothly but when I tried to access common folders such as My Music, My
    Pictures, etc. I was given an error message saying "You don't currently have
    permission to access this folder; click continue to access." After clicking
    continue, I saw another message saying I was denied permission and given an
    option to go to the security tab to change some settings. I worked with those
    settings but still was not able to get anywhere.

    I only have one account setup on this machine right now. Also, UAC has been
    turned off. Can anyone help me?

    I believe these folders are the old ones that I used back on XP and not the
    new ones created by Vista, but since I'm still so new to Vista I really have
    no idea which is which.
    rypurdue, Mar 20, 2007
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  2. rypurdue

    Steve Guest

    Have a look at the Knowledgebase Article:

    Error message when you try to access the My Documents, My Music, My
    Pictures, and My Videos folders in Windows Vista: "Access is Denied" at
    'Error message when you try to access the My Documents, My Music, My
    Pictures, and My Videos folders in Windows Vista: \"Access is Denied\"'

    To make sure the UAC is turned on.....

    1. Click Start

    2. Click Control Panel

    3. Select System and Maintenance

    4. Click Administrative Tools

    5. Double-click System Configuration

    6. Click Continue (if prompted)

    7. Select the Tools tab in the System Configuration window

    8. Here you can choose Disable UAP or Enable UAP from the bottom of the

    9. Click Launch

    10. Reboot

    Steve, Mar 20, 2007
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  3. rypurdue

    rypurdue Guest


    The KB article was helpful but my problem is slightly different than what is
    described in the article. If I read it correctly, the article explains how to
    solve the problem of a "Documents" folder in the start menu not pointing to
    the correct corresponding "Documents" folder carried over from XP.

    My problem is that it seems like I actually have two sets of Documents
    folders -- one from XP and one new set from Vista. I don't need the Vista set
    to point to the XP set, as I have already begun to save new files in the
    Vista set. However, I just need access to the old XP set. If I go to Start
    and then Documents, I'll see my old folders from XP. When I try to access any
    My ____ folder, I get the error message described in my first post.

    rypurdue, Mar 20, 2007
  4. rypurdude

    There is nothing in those old XP folders, so there is no need to access
    them. The "My" designation for user folders was retired in Vista.

    The old XP user folders are now Junctions, which means they simply point to
    the new folder that is used in Vista. They are there for compatibility
    purposes for old programs that are not compatible with Vista. When an older
    program tries to access one of these folders, they are automatically
    redirected to the new user folder in Vista.

    You can see a list of these folders using a command prompt.

    Go to Start and type cmd and press Enter.

    In the command window, type:

    dir /aL

    Press Enter.

    The results will be a list of all the Junctions for the user folders. These
    will show the name of the old XP user folder and the name of the new folder
    that replaces it in Brackets.

    A typical line will look like this:

    12/13/2006 04:15 PM <JUNCTION> My Documents [C:\Users\user

    This line shows the old XP folder, My Documents, is now called Documents and
    it is located in the C:\Users\user name folder. (Where user name is the
    account you are logged on with.

    Another thing you need to do is turn UAC back ON. When you turn this off,
    you also disable much of the compatibility and Virtualization that is built
    into Vista.
    Ronnie Vernon MVP, Mar 21, 2007
  5. rypurdue

    KWilson Guest

    Hi Ron. I found your post to be informative. I do want to clarify
    something. When I click on C drive and there is a folder that has a shortcut
    icon on it (i.e. Documents and Settings folder) and that I can not access as
    Permission is Denied, does that always indicate that that particular folder
    is a Junction? Does that shortcut icon used on a folder that I can not
    access always indicate that that folder is a Junction folder? If so, when I
    open the Users folder, All Users and Default User has that same icon on the
    folder and while I can open the All Users folder, I can not open the Default
    User folder as permission is Denied. But, Default, Public, and my own
    folders do not have the icon and I can open those 3 folders. This is very
    confusing for me. I can open my own folder but there are subfolders within
    that I can not open (i.e. Templates, Local Settings, Application Data), which
    brings me to another question of where do I now store Templates. I am
    finding this learning process to be a bit of a headache. As with other XP
    users, I am not accustomed to being locked out of folders on my system. It
    might have been better all around if instead of being denied access a pop-up
    might have said, this folder is a marker or Junction folder and contains no

    KWilson, Mar 24, 2007
  6. KWilson

    The junctions appear in many difference places in the User folders. One
    thing you can do to help, until you get used to the new folder structure, is
    go to Folder Options, in Control Panel. Select the View Tab and Place a
    check mark in the "Do not show hidden files and folders" option. This will
    hide all of these junction folders and give you a cleaner folder tree.

    The All Users folder is not a Junction, it is called a Symbolic Link. It
    behaves differently because it has a different set of permissions, although
    it's appearance is the same as a junction. When you open this folder you
    will simply see a mirror copy of the "C:\Program Data" folder.

    Follow the steps I posted below and use the command prompt to reveal all of
    the junctions on the system.

    Once the list is displayed, click the black and white icon at the top left
    of the window and click on Select All. Press Enter to copy all of the text
    in the window. Open an instance of Notepad and Edit/Paste. Print this list
    and keep it handy for reference.

    I hope this answers your questions, if not just post back to this thread. :)


    Ronnie Vernon
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows Shell/User

    Ronnie Vernon MVP, Mar 24, 2007
  7. rypurdue

    KWilson Guest

    Thank you for your quick response, Ronnie. I had already run the /aL command
    but ran it again and saved it. I didn't understand about the Symbolic Link
    and Junction differences. Your information has helped :) I purchased this
    HP laptop yesterday and can't figure out why it would have those Junction
    folders anyway...unless it is in case I use the Vista cable to transfer files
    between computers?

    KWilson, Mar 28, 2007
  8. KWilson

    Glad this helped. :)

    Just for information, the Junctions and Symbolic Links are there for
    compatibility for older programs. These programs are still looking for the
    Documents and Settings, My Documents, All Users folders, etc. If they cannot
    find them, they will silently fail with their installation. The junctions
    and symbolic links will automatically redirect these programs to the new
    location for these folders in Vista and allow them to install and run


    Ronnie Vernon
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows Shell/User

    Ronnie Vernon MVP, Mar 28, 2007
  9. rypurdue

    rosiejosie Guest

    Ronnie, I don't understand why it's JUST my music folder that denies my
    access to it. No other folder does it. I ran the thing to get the list of
    junctions, but now what do I do to get my Music folder to open?

    rosiejosie, Apr 15, 2007
  10. rypurdue

    RODuke41 Guest


    "E" DRIVE IS NOT ACCESSIBLE (as well as the PERMISSION (for you) TO ACCESS)

    If you get any help on any of these I hope you forward a copy to me. Thanks!
    RODuke41, Oct 19, 2007
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