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I have a user with local administrative rights on their Windows 7 64-bit box. They extracted a file from a zip file they downloaded with the Zip shell extension to their desktop on a non-encrypted or compressed NTFS volume.

Unfortunately they cannot open it. I tried to take ownership of it and it just reports "Access is Denied" and for the current owner it reports "Unable to display current owner."

At this point the file cannot be deleted, executed or modified. I have actually seen this exact same happen in Vista before, but I can't for the life of me remember how to fix it.

Any ideas how it happened or how to fix it? I'd be happy just to delete it without a format at this point.

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5 Answers 5

up vote 3 down vote accepted

same thing happened to me. restart fixed it!

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Interestingly a reboot fixed it for me. The file disappeared. I am guessing the file didn't actually exist which is why I was unable to change anything on it. It is frustrating how often I forget the basics, but they continue to remain useful! –  Jim McKeeth Feb 18 '11 at 1:31

Microsoft provides a freeware tool written by a third-party in the download section:

FILEACL v3.0.1.6

It's a NTFS Permissions command line tool. It allows to manipulate ACLs on NTFS volumes:

  • change permissions masks
  • take ownership
  • manipulate inheritance
  • report permissions and apply them elsewhere
  • view raw or SDDL version of security information

*FILEACL is not a Microsoft tool, therefore Microsoft cannot provide any kind of support regarding this tool, please refer to the third party web site below for any support request.*

Here you can find how to use this tool (command line switches etc.): documentation.

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Others pointed out that this can be fixed by restarting - this is because this issue is can be caused by applications keeping file handles opened. I experienced this with TortoiseGit's background TGitCache process, which somehow kept hold of repository folders even after I deleted them. Killing the process made those folders disappear.

In this case restarting explorer.exe to kill all shel extensions would probably do the trick.

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there is the "Unblock" button in file properties, check if pushing that one helps.

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Interestingly a reboot fixed it. The file disappeared. I am guessing the file didn't actually exist which is why I was unable to change anything on it. It is frustrating how often I forget the basics, but they continue to remain useful! –  Jim McKeeth Dec 17 '10 at 22:35

I saw this before once. The zip file could have a Password on it. The WIndows Shell will not reveal this, but if you open the ZIP with a tool such as Winrar, you'll see that it's password protected.

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1  
No, wrong. If the file was extracted, as stated by the OP, then it's no an issue of the zip being password protected. –  HopelessN00b Nov 20 '12 at 17:24

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