Xp sp3 all desktop folders now write-protected

I've had this machine for quite some time and has run like a champ, with the occasional problems/bugs over time. Then this little problem came up. The wife went to burn a few DVDs using an older version of Avex. When she started the burn, an error message came up saying the folder in question either didn't exist or the current permissions denied us from writing to the folder. We have used this process for about 2 years now without a hitch. All of a sudden this app can't write to this folder? OK, so we try another folder on the desktop, same results! After trying 5 diff folders I started the troubleshooting.

A little investigation turned up the "green checkbox" of read-only in the Properties of all the folders on the desktop. A decent Google search turned up some solutions here on Tom's (http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/232514-45-folders-read-only) and other tech sites. None of these solutions have worked for me. Current AV and spyware scans turn up nothing.

The *only* thing I had done different in the last month is when we left for an extended vaca over the holidays is instead of shutting down the box, I put it into hibernate. The reason I did this: I believe the power supply is going in this box, and have had issues of getting the box to power up once it's completely shut down. I figured hibernate would at least keep power going into the system and I wouldn't come back to a completely dead desktop.

What would cause all desktop folders to become write-protected seemingly on their own...?

The box in question:
Windows XP Pro SP3
Dell Dimension 8400 ~2005
Avast AV
Spybot S&D
ZoneAlarm basic firewall
4 answers Last reply
More about desktop folders write protected
  1. NotWinForLong said:
    I've had this machine for quite some time and has run like a champ, with the occasional problems/bugs over time. Then this little problem came up. The wife went to burn a few DVDs using an older version of Avex. When she started the burn, an error message came up saying the folder in question either didn't exist or the current permissions denied us from writing to the folder. We have used this process for about 2 years now without a hitch. All of a sudden this app can't write to this folder? OK, so we try another folder on the desktop, same results! After trying 5 diff folders I started the troubleshooting.

    A little investigation turned up the "green checkbox" of read-only in the Properties of all the folders on the desktop. A decent Google search turned up some solutions here on Tom's (http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/232514-45-folders-read-only) and other tech sites. None of these solutions have worked for me. Current AV and spyware scans turn up nothing.

    The *only* thing I had done different in the last month is when we left for an extended vaca over the holidays is instead of shutting down the box, I put it into hibernate. The reason I did this: I believe the power supply is going in this box, and have had issues of getting the box to power up once it's completely shut down. I figured hibernate would at least keep power going into the system and I wouldn't come back to a completely dead desktop.

    What would cause all desktop folders to become write-protected seemingly on their own...?

    The box in question:
    Windows XP Pro SP3
    Dell Dimension 8400 ~2005
    Avast AV
    Spybot S&D
    ZoneAlarm basic firewall

    Have you used the command file attrib to reset the attributes of the folders and are there other folders other than desktop affected ? Don't want to be redundant, as you say you have tried a lot of solutions.

    Clean AV scan does not necessarily mean you are not infected. AVAST is good protection, but doesn't detect all malware. I recommend trying Malwarebytes FREE Antimalware scanner, with a Caveat. Their newest release v1.60 released end of Dec 2011 had a problem running with ZA basic Firewall. If they do not have the fix in latest download, your computer may freeze at desktop, or prior. Disable ZA after you download and disconnect from Internet & prior to install & run of their scanner.
    Hope this is of some help.
  2. ksiemb said:
    Have you used the command file attrib to reset the attributes of the folders and are there other folders other than desktop affected ? Don't want to be redundant, as you say you have tried a lot of solutions.


    Yes, I did run a command in cmd prompt along the lines of "attrib -r drive:\<path>\<foldername>" (sorry, have it on my machine at home, writing this from work). I ran it on all the folders on the desktop. This still didn't solve the problem.

    What I don't think I did was set the folder to the system attribute, so I will be trying this when I get home - "attrib -r +s drive:\<path>\<foldername>".

    I will update the AV and Spybot definitions and rerun them both. Maybe I have an older virus library that missed something new...?
  3. NotWinForLong said:
    Yes, I did run a command in cmd prompt along the lines of "attrib -r drive:\<path>\<foldername>" (sorry, have it on my machine at home, writing this from work). I ran it on all the folders on the desktop. This still didn't solve the problem.

    What I don't think I did was set the folder to the system attribute, so I will be trying this when I get home - "attrib -r +s drive:\<path>\<foldername>".

    I will update the AV and Spybot definitions and rerun them both. Maybe I have an older virus library that missed something new...?



    I have used this to unhide files on an entire drive. Modify it to suite your needs.


    Unhide files.
    Enter this from a command prompt
    assuming "g" is your pen drive letter

    attrib -h -r -s /s /d g:\*.*

    Go to explorer to see your files
  4. So, uh, wow, this is embarrassing...

    I get home from work, wife said she resolved the issue. How? By trying another DVD to burn! Evidently the DVD that started this all has some nefarious DRM Avex didn't know how to handle or Avex has really bad, misleading error messages.

    So, problem solved!

    Thanks for the input!

    Q: What has 2 thumbs and looks like a complete idiot n00b right now?
    A: *ME!*
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