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Cant run explorer.exe

sea snake

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Jan 30, 2010
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Whenever I try to open my computer, the control panel or anything at all I get this message:

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

in the title it says: Explorer.EXE

This happened after a clean installation of windows. I tried re-installing it again and it still happens.
I booted in safe mode and I checked the permissions for explorer.exe and only administrator has full control
and all other users have almost no control and I can't change permissions. I don't have any other firewalls
or anti-virus programs, only what came with the original windows 7 ultimate installation.

Anyone have a clue as to how I can fix this?
 

sea snake

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Yes, it worked fine before.
I cluttered my pc with too many things and felt I need to run a clean install and after the
installation finished this happend :(


I kind of found a temp solution for this,
using explorerxp I copied explorer.exe to the desktop
edited the permissions and went back to C:\windows and
replaced explorer.exe, although it works it's still annoying
having to do it everytime I boot :pfff:


If anyone finds out how to fix this please let me know.
 

sea snake

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Yeah I just found a original download, if it still doesn't work I'll find a way to zero out the hdd then try again. Thanks again for the help :).
 

getsupportwebscom

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Apr 4, 2012
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Explorer.EXE-Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item on opening any FOLDER on Windows 7

After working on it for 3 hours, and trying many usual ways
(scanning for viruses, sfc /scannow gave "Windows Resource Protection could not start the repair service", secedit did not do anything (as usual), Subinacl refused to install and gave error “The Windows Installer Service Could Not Be Accessed”); found the problem is due to a permissions issue with C:\Windows\Registration folder

I also scoured the internet and failed to find a resolution (other than a clean windows reinstall by formatting the hard drive)


Solution:
-Click on Start
-In Search box, type c:\windows\Registration
-You will get Registration folder on the top (as a part of search results)
-Right click on Registration and click on Properties
-Go to Security tab and click on Advanced on bottom
-Verify the the Current owner (under Owner tab) is set to Administrators
-Go back to Permissions tab and verify the following permission entries:

Allow Administrators Special <not inherited> This folder and files (full control)
Allow Everyone Special <not inherited> This folder and files
Allow SYSTEM Special <not inherited> This folder and files (full control)

-Edit Administrators & SYSTEM and ensure it Applies to This folder and files; and all boxes under Allow are checked

-Edit Everyone and ensure it Applies to This folder and files; and boxes to ticked are Traverse folder/execute file, List folder/read data, Read attributes, Read extended attributes and Read permissions


-If any of the three is missing (Everyone & Administrators most likely), just click on Add and type the name of the one missing, Check Names and OK it and then set the permissions as stated above


-Finally, put a check under Replace all child objects permissions with inheritable permissions from this object and click on OK on all the following prompts and restart the computer.

:pt1cable: =Everything would be back to normal


Then you just ensure you have a proper security program like BitDefender installed which should cover you for viruses, spywares, rootkits and has a strong firewall, to keep such issues at bay
 

docdaddy

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Thank you. THANK YOU!!!!! After searching and trying EVERYTHING I could find online to fix this problem - I couldn't run Windows Explorer, my sound was no longer functioning, I could not get into Control Panel, in fact the only way I could get your fix to work was to use an alternate to Windows Explorer (xplorer2) to get access to the Registration folder (when I right clicked on it from the search in the Start menu, Properties was not available.) I couldn't even do a non-destructive re-install of Windows 7 because it would start and then tell me certain files could not be accessed/read and it would stop.

So I was in process, after about 10 hours of searching and trying every solution on the internet, of doing a full destructive reinstall of Windows 7. Looking at a few days of trying to reinstall programs (if I could find the discs!) and getting things back up again. Then I saw a link to this, in the comments of a web page for a solution that did not work. Tried it - and almost wanted to cry when it worked.

You saved me days of work. I cannot thank you enough. You are my technical hero.

Jeff
 

Evan_97

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Nov 14, 2012
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I have this same problem and I have tried everything I can think of to rid myself of it. I can't figure it out, I tried this solution but while in advanced I couldn't change anything. Now I can't even get into the registration properties. I am so lost and so discouraged to continue trying but if anyone can give me a hand I would be overjoyed.
 

docdaddy

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Have you tried using an alternate to Windows Explorer? I had to use an alternative to be able to carry out the solution above.

 

Patrick Shuman

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Hey Evan. I feel your pain!! I've had this issue for a year... 12 months to this day... shelling out over $100 on local experts and their 'opinions', not results. BUT, following the above guide in SAFE MODE is what fixed it for me. I had the same problem of not being able to select boxes and then not even being able to get back into the "c:" after that one attempt (it's almost like the computer remembers my steps and prevents me from doing it a second time). But again, I went into SAFE MODE and was able to modify (which, normal mode everything appeared to be normal but in safe mode NO boxes were checked--which was a relief to see lol)
 

James Vessels

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Guys, I had the same problem. Except I could not open windows explorer to change the permissions. I used CMD. type cmd in the run box.
in the cmd window type this: icacls c:\windows\registration /grant username:F (substitute your log-in name for username). You should now be able to open the windows folders and follow the instructions above.
I had to repeat this process for c:\windows also. Then after rebooting it all seemed fixed.

Now what caused all of this? I think it was windows own startup repair that came on once when I was restarting and corrupted the registry,
your thoughts?
 

Robo1960

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When I run into this which occurs after installing certain software, I do an F8 boot to Repair My Computer, then Restore from a Previous Restore point.
 

Noojra

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Sep 23, 2013
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I had this problem before, easiest thing to do if its a new installation is reboot in SafeMode create a new Administrator Profile and reboot. Login to the new profile and then just delete the old profile.

worked for me
 

keithbraithwaite

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Dec 14, 2013
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Hello.
I've got exactly the same problem but with XP.
Going to "properties" by right clicking the Registration folder doesn't give me the same result - no security tab...
I just have General, Share and Personalise tabs and in the first one, General, a square for Read only...
Anyone know how I can adapt this solution to XP please?
 

Outhouse IT

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Jan 3, 2014
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You're an absolute GOD SEND! This work flawlessly exactly as you stated. Saved me DAYS of troubleshooting! Thank you thank you thank you!

:love:


 

MDCole9761

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Jan 17, 2014
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From the bottom of my heart, thank you a million times over. I was repairing a laptop for an acquaintance and I was absolutely dumbfounded as to what had happened (or what he had done). After days of scratching my head, this post returned me to IT sanity.

Thanks!!!
 

whoodal

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whoodal

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