Copying files between users in Windows 7

I’ve recently installed Windows 7 on my desktop and I’m trying to migrate files from the laptop’s hard disk.

Whenever I try to copy files from a folder that I do not have permissions to, it asks me if I want to gain “permanent access” to the folder and its contents, which means to alter the folder permissions to take ownership of the folder & files. Why would I want to do that? After the folder is copied to the new user, I would still need to alter the permissions for that user again anyway, which means the permissions are altered twice. Altering permissions on a directory tree is no fast operation either. This problem is also detailed here by sbalfour.

After following some links, the solution is to use the real Administrator account, which needs to be activated first using the following command line. You need to launch the Command Prompt using “run as administrator”.

net user Administrator /active

After the command completes, simply logout and login using the newly activated Administrator account and you can move the files around without being forced to take ownership of the folder & files.

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Removing read-only protection from MS Word

Recently I needed to fill up some form for submission, in soft copy. The template file provided was a MS Word document, but for some really stupid reason it was marked read-only. When I tried to edit the document, this helpful sidebar appeared.

When I clicked the “Stop protection” button I was prompted for a password. I didn’t want to waste time trying to recreate this whole form, nor do I wish to hand-write it.

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Drag & drop in Windows 7 doesn’t work

I reformatted my computer yesterday and installed Windows 7. I installed 2 apps – Winamp and Mp3tag, both of which cannot accept files that have been dropped onto them. Hmmm… that’s strange.

It turns out that this is a security feature, part of UAC. Instructions on how to fix it is detailed here. In the Control Panel item “Administrative Tools”, under Local Policy, disable this item called “User Account Control: Only elevate UIaccess applications that are installed in secure locations”.

What baffles me is that “Program Files” is listed as a secure location, and so is Windows Explorer right? So why aren’t these programs with elevated access? If they are, can’t they interact with each other via drag & drop?

Photo Kiosks Infecting USB Devices

Here’s another reason why I think dedicated kiosks like these should never run Windows.

… has Windows-based Fuji photo kiosks in at least some of its stores that don’t run antivirus software, and are therefore spreading infections… via customers’ USB storage devices.

The same problem occurs with shared computers in our school’s lab computers – people come in with their thumbdrives and use it to save their files, but at the same time the virus on the drive autoruns.

BenQ DW1640 drive tray

I own a BenQ DW1640 DVD drive and like many other people, the drive tray will no longer eject and retract properly.

Following advice from a blog, I took apart my drive and indeed the tray mechanism is driven by a rubber belt. Although it seems to run properly by manually spinning it, it still doesn’t work after I’ve oiled some gears.

I have no rubber band of such a small size lying around, so I either have to go out and buy another rubber belt to fix the drive for the next few months (maybe years), or I can go out to get a new drive that doesn’t use rubber belts.

Update 8-Aug-2010: I’ve successfully replaced the drive belt and the drive is working as it should (quite surprisingly).