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Old 20th March 2020, 02:50 PM   #1
SezMe
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Having trouble with file permissions

On Windows 10 I can easily remove the read-only bit on files located in a directory but I cannot figure out how to remove that bit from the directory itself. When I try, it appears to work but checking the properties page after trying to remove that bit, it is still there.

How can I remove the read-only bit from directories.

BTW, I have admin privileges.
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Old 20th March 2020, 05:42 PM   #2
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It may be inherited from the parent. May also be ownership, even if you have admin privileges it may show RO if it's only accessible to admins (access requires going through the user account control, I believe).

ETA: Check the 'Advanced' dialog from the Security tab; it'll give you more detail. It includes an 'effective access' tab, which can help to figure why the folder's RO.
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Old 20th March 2020, 07:02 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by grmcdorman View Post
It may be inherited from the parent. May also be ownership, even if you have admin privileges it may show RO if it's only accessible to admins (access requires going through the user account control, I believe).

ETA: Check the 'Advanced' dialog from the Security tab; it'll give you more detail. It includes an 'effective access' tab, which can help to figure why the folder's RO.
Another idea. Try the command line. At an elevated ("Run as administrator") command prompt, type attrib -r <directory>.
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Old 21st March 2020, 02:55 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by SezMe View Post
On Windows 10 I can easily remove the read-only bit on files located in a directory but I cannot figure out how to remove that bit from the directory itself. When I try, it appears to work but checking the properties page after trying to remove that bit, it is still there.



How can I remove the read-only bit from directories.



BTW, I have admin privileges.
Sounds like you are only removing it for accounts or processes running at admin level. Well behaved apps wont be running with elevated permissions so would still say a directory is read only. In properties check ownership.
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Old 21st March 2020, 12:13 PM   #5
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If it's file/directory attributes then the command prompt is the easiest; the attrib command.
If it's file/directory permissions then the icacls command is the one.
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Old 21st March 2020, 06:44 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
If it's file/directory attributes then the command prompt is the easiest; the attrib command.
If it's file/directory permissions then the icacls command is the one.
Good point. I was assuming he was talking about the attributes, but that assumption may have been incorrect.
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Old 23rd March 2020, 09:47 PM   #7
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Sorry for the delayed response - I just notice this thread had additions.
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Old 23rd March 2020, 09:53 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by grmcdorman View Post
ETA: Check the 'Advanced' dialog from the Security tab; it'll give you more detail. It includes an 'effective access' tab, which can help to figure why the folder's RO.
You may be on to something here. In the Effective Access tab I checked "Everyone". Every entry for Permission has a big red X in the first column. Same thing when I viewed effective access for "Administrator".

On the Properties page, on the Security tab, "Allow" Permission is checked for every category for all Group ad User Names.

Does this tell you anything?
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Old 23rd March 2020, 09:59 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
If it's file/directory attributes then the command prompt is the easiest; the attrib command.
If it's file/directory permissions then the icacls command is the one.
I entered just "icacls" and got several pages of help. Unfortunately, there is a lot of Acronyms there that I am unfamiliar with plus this command is new to me. I have found a fairly extensive Microsoft documentation page so I'll look through that but if you have any ideas for specific parameters to use that might shortcut my work, that would be appreciated.

Thanks to all for the posts.
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Old 23rd March 2020, 10:12 PM   #10
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A bit later:

I have a directory named AMT on my e drive. Using PowerShell (as Admin) here is what I get for it:
Code:
========================================
PS E:\> icacls amt
amt NT AUTHORITY\Authenticated Users:(I)(OI)(CI)(F)
    NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM:(I)(OI)(CI)(F)
    BUILTIN\Administrators:(I)(OI)(CI)(F)
    BUILTIN\Users:(I)(OI)(CI)(F)
========================================
Working off this page my untutored conclusion is that I have full rights. But I must not since I cannot remove the RO flag on AMT.

I'm bummed.

Last edited by SezMe; 23rd March 2020 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 24th March 2020, 08:19 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by SezMe View Post
A bit later:

I have a directory named AMT on my e drive. Using PowerShell (as Admin) here is what I get for it:
Code:
========================================
PS E:\> icacls amt
amt NT AUTHORITY\Authenticated Users:(I)(OI)(CI)(F)
    NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM:(I)(OI)(CI)(F)
    BUILTIN\Administrators:(I)(OI)(CI)(F)
    BUILTIN\Users:(I)(OI)(CI)(F)
========================================
Working off this page my untutored conclusion is that I have full rights. But I must not since I cannot remove the RO flag on AMT.

I'm bummed.
Is the "read-only" tag causing an issue? Perhaps it might be easier to resolve that than.
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Old 24th March 2020, 03:39 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by SezMe View Post
A bit later:

I have a directory named AMT on my e drive. Using PowerShell (as Admin) here is what I get for it:
Code:
========================================
PS E:\> icacls amt
amt NT AUTHORITY\Authenticated Users:(I)(OI)(CI)(F)
    NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM:(I)(OI)(CI)(F)
    BUILTIN\Administrators:(I)(OI)(CI)(F)
    BUILTIN\Users:(I)(OI)(CI)(F)
========================================
Working off this page my untutored conclusion is that I have full rights. But I must not since I cannot remove the RO flag on AMT.

I'm bummed.

I'm somewhat confused. You are correct in that you have (inherited) rights of Full Control to the folder, as have all authenticated users.
To remove the Read Only attributes on the folder type the following at a CMD prompt:
attrib -r E:\AMT
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Old 24th March 2020, 08:37 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
Is the "read-only" tag causing an issue? Perhaps it might be easier to resolve that than.
Yes, it is *the* issue.
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Old 24th March 2020, 08:39 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post

I'm somewhat confused. You are correct in that you have (inherited) rights of Full Control to the folder, as have all authenticated users.
To remove the Read Only attributes on the folder type the following at a CMD prompt:
attrib -r E:\AMT
Done.

Here's the properties window after issuing that command:



That damn RO flag seems permanent.
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Old 24th March 2020, 10:30 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by SezMe View Post
Done.

Here's the properties window after issuing that command:

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...ad24a33ea2.png

That damn RO flag seems permanent.
tl;dr The UI isn't saying what it mostly looks like it's saying: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/...4-6130ba85b296

Windows doesn't really pay attention to a "Read Only" bit for a directory (at least when it comes to modifying the directory or its contents). icacls shows the actual access control applied to the folder - which is dramatically more sophisticated than a single bit that says "Read Only".

BTW: That checkbox state isn't "checked" - it's "indeterminate". For something like this, it's really just saying "it's complicated...". It's a poor UI.
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Old 25th March 2020, 05:05 AM   #16
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Icacis is the command you want, as previously stated. It will override everything. I wasted hours trying to use file explorer.
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Old 25th March 2020, 07:56 AM   #17
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Yeah, what you're seeing there is not that the directory is read-only. The solid square usually means "there are read-only files inside this directory or subdirectories".

SO there's something downstream that's read-only, and I'd guess a hidden file of some sort. Maybe an office doc temp file that wasn't deleted or a system file like thumbs.db.

Make sure you view is set to "Show hidden files" and the box is unchecked for "Hide operating system files" and check the directory again.

But, as someone else has said, unless you're having some particular issue (like you can't do X or Y), there's no reason to worry about the setting. Is there an actual functional effect you're having a problem with, or is it just offending your sense of order?
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Old 25th March 2020, 08:29 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
But, as someone else has said, unless you're having some particular issue (like you can't do X or Y), there's no reason to worry about the setting. Is there an actual functional effect you're having a problem with, or is it just offending your sense of order?
Yeah, that's what I was trying to see too. If there was an underlying issue.

I just found out that the guy who ran this network before has file names\paths so long I can't transfer them off of the server. I get an error message saying file is too long. Figured I'd piggy back on to this thread LoL. Not really a file perms issue, but going through and changing files one by one (after first tracking them down) would be miserably time consuming. Any suggestions welcomed.
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Last edited by plague311; 25th March 2020 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 25th March 2020, 12:28 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
Yeah, that's what I was trying to see too. If there was an underlying issue.

I just found out that the guy who ran this network before has file names\paths so long I can't transfer them off of the server. I get an error message saying file is too long. Figured I'd piggy back on to this thread LoL. Not really a file perms issue, but going through and changing files one by one (after first tracking them down) would be miserably time consuming. Any suggestions welcomed.
Yeah, there's a (IIRC) 256 character limit for a file path and name. Ran into this issue trying to transfer user profiles before (in the Temporary Internet Files folder). In that case, our solution was to clear that folder first. That was also in Win2003, so there are more options now.

For your case, you might find this useful:
https://www.howtogeek.com/266621/how...60-characters/
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Old 25th March 2020, 01:58 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
Icacis is the command you want, as previously stated. It will override everything. I wasted hours trying to use file explorer.
1. It's icacls.
2. That modifies/shows permissions not attributes. Not the same.
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Old 25th March 2020, 02:02 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
Yeah, that's what I was trying to see too. If there was an underlying issue.

I just found out that the guy who ran this network before has file names\paths so long I can't transfer them off of the server. I get an error message saying file is too long. Figured I'd piggy back on to this thread LoL. Not really a file perms issue, but going through and changing files one by one (after first tracking them down) would be miserably time consuming. Any suggestions welcomed.
A quick search and replace script for Powershell. IIRR it'd be something like
Rename-Item -NewName {$_.name -replace "XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX","YY"}
but it's been a while.

ETA: Have a look here.
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As human right is always something given, it always in reality reduces to the right which men give, "concede," to each other. If the right to existence is conceded to new-born children, then they have the right; if it is not conceded to them, as was the case among the Spartans and ancient Romans, then they do not have it. For only society can give or concede it to them; they themselves cannot take it, or give it to themselves.
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Old 25th March 2020, 07:13 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
Yeah, that's what I was trying to see too. If there was an underlying issue.

I just found out that the guy who ran this network before has file names\paths so long I can't transfer them off of the server. I get an error message saying file is too long. Figured I'd piggy back on to this thread LoL. Not really a file perms issue, but going through and changing files one by one (after first tracking them down) would be miserably time consuming. Any suggestions welcomed.

Try the file renamer at http://www.webxpace.com/software/freeware.shtml


Lots of options, lots of parameters to twitch.
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Last edited by xterra; 25th March 2020 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 26th March 2020, 12:39 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
1. It's icacls.
2. That modifies/shows permissions not attributes. Not the same.

He's trying to change permissions, isn't he?
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Old 26th March 2020, 09:28 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
A quick search and replace script for Powershell. IIRR it'd be something like
Rename-Item -NewName {$_.name -replace "XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX","YY"}
but it's been a while.

ETA: Have a look here.
The problem is there are a couple hundred files that will have this issue. So to isolate all of them and run the script would be a lot.

Originally Posted by xterra View Post
Try the file renamer at http://www.webxpace.com/software/freeware.shtml


Lots of options, lots of parameters to twitch.
Thanks, I'll give it a look!
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Old 26th March 2020, 10:22 AM   #25
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Not sure PowerShell would get it, though. It's not a long file name problem, it's a long path problem (full path + file name is over 260 chars).

You might be able to map a network drive to a subdirectory to shorten the path? Not sure if that would work, but may be worth a try.

For example, if the original path is "\\server1\shares\myshare\stillmyshare\yepmine\not adifferentshare\stillgoing\energixerbunny\whatever \", you might be able to map "\\server1\shares\myshare\stillmyshare\yepmine\not adifferentshare\stillgoing\energixerbunny\" as "Y:". Not sure if that would do it, but worth a shot.
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Old 26th March 2020, 10:26 AM   #26
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The PowerShell function for mass renames moves would be something like:

Get-ChildItem -Path <toplevelfolder> -Recurse | Move-Item -Destination <newshortpath>

ETA: Could replace Move-Item with Copy-Item, depending on what you want to do, as well. Or Remove-Item, for that matter (and no, that's not to move it again )
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Old 26th March 2020, 10:41 AM   #27
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I'll give the first idea a shot and if that doesn't work I'll go xterra's idea. If all else fails, I'll delete it all and see how mad they get before restoring it via Veeam.

You know, testing LoL.
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Old 26th March 2020, 02:49 PM   #28
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Actually, looking at that earlier command, might want to do something to limit it to files only so it doesn't move the folders too. I'd have to see how to differentiate that in the command; probably a select statement piped in between the two that are there. I'll look into that later and post, have to patch servers tonight so don't have time just now.

ETA: Got it: Get-ChildItem -Path <toplevelfolder> -Recurse -Attributes !Directory| Move-Item -Destination <newshortpath>
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Old 26th March 2020, 03:09 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
Actually, looking at that earlier command, might want to do something to limit it to files only so it doesn't move the folders too. I'd have to see how to differentiate that in the command; probably a select statement piped in between the two that are there. I'll look into that later and post, have to patch servers tonight so don't have time just now.
Oh yeah. One must be careful. Unintended consequences being what they are.

I pretty much ignore the RO flag on a folder. It does not cause any problem or malfunction, it is merely there because it was inherited from something but otherwise is irrelevant.

If, however, it is causing a problem, then the nature of the problem needs defining. And it likely is not the dir perms.

Nevertheless, I like that I am not the only remaining command line warrior.
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Old 26th March 2020, 03:27 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Oh yeah. One must be careful. Unintended consequences being what they are.

I pretty much ignore the RO flag on a folder. It does not cause any problem or malfunction, it is merely there because it was inherited from something but otherwise is irrelevant.

If, however, it is causing a problem, then the nature of the problem needs defining. And it likely is not the dir perms.

Nevertheless, I like that I am not the only remaining command line warrior.
Command line is old school, beardie ;p PowerShell is where the cool kids hang out
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Old 26th March 2020, 09:59 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
But, as someone else has said, unless you're having some particular issue (like you can't do X or Y), there's no reason to worry about the setting. Is there an actual functional effect you're having a problem with, or is it just offending your sense of order?
Yes, there is. I am trying to use that directory (and others) as the directory for holding Visual Studio files. Visual Studio won't allow editing those files so it is a real issue for me. Although it does offend my sense of the orderliness of the universe.

Yes I can think of some workarounds but I'd like to know what the underlying problem is so I can fix it for all the directories (applications) I'm working on.

Last edited by SezMe; 26th March 2020 at 10:00 PM.
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Old 26th March 2020, 10:05 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
He's trying to change permissions, isn't he?
Yes.
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Old 27th March 2020, 08:26 AM   #33
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Wait, so new files you drop there are picking up the read only flag? That's...peculiar :/.
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Old 27th March 2020, 08:36 AM   #34
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Have you tried creating a new folder to put them in? Perhaps as you are able to open them just save them to another folder? I don't know that we'll really get to the bottom of this one. Windows is...windows. Sometimes it just sucks, like every OS.
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Old 27th March 2020, 08:56 AM   #35
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What directory path are you using? Just asking because some locations, such as the Windows directory or Program Files, are "protected"...you have to give admin approval to make changes. That's part of UAC (User Access Control).

Are you running Visual Studio as admin? Maybe this is a UAC issue?
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Old 27th March 2020, 08:28 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by SezMe View Post
Yes.
icacls changes the Access Control Lists.



This explains how to use it.


https://ss64.com/nt/icacls.html


You basically want to get rid of the ACLs and make everything writeable.


I was wrestling how to make files from an oracle database that was copied to another server writeable. That was the only way I could find to just let me make those files and directories, which had ACLs attached to them from another server, usable.
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Old 27th March 2020, 08:55 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
Wait, so new files you drop there are picking up the read only flag? That's...peculiar :/.
No. It's just that the files that are there are not available from VS.
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Old 27th March 2020, 08:56 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
Have you tried creating a new folder to put them in? Perhaps as you are able to open them just save them to another folder? I don't know that we'll really get to the bottom of this one. Windows is...windows. Sometimes it just sucks, like every OS.
Yes, that's one obvious workaround that I may eventually invoke. The (minor) problem is that there are lots of these directories. Maybe I'll write a program to fix the problem.
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Old 27th March 2020, 09:02 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
What directory path are you using? Just asking because some locations, such as the Windows directory or Program Files, are "protected"...you have to give admin approval to make changes. That's part of UAC (User Access Control).

Are you running Visual Studio as admin? Maybe this is a UAC issue?
I have partitioned my drive so that e and f are ONLY my working files. So the full path is e:\ATM with nothing else lurking in there.
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Old 28th March 2020, 08:37 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by SezMe View Post
I have partitioned my drive so that e and f are ONLY my working files. So the full path is e:\ATM with nothing else lurking in there.
I declare this in the official "weird ****" category.

Having said that, I don't think this is related to the read only thing you're seeing, it sounds like something else going on. Pretty much every folder will look like what you've described, ad work fine.

I'm not real sure what the issue would be...but I do think chasing the read-only bit is a red herring.

ETA: Oh, an because I've worked helpdesk support in the past: Have you rebooted it?
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