Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Need Help with System32 File Access Permissions (I think)

  1. #1


    Just outside the box you call 'reality'.
    Posts : 7
    Win 10 x64 Pro x64 / Ubuntu 15.10 x64

    Need Help with System32 File Access Permissions (I think)


    I'm having trouble with the environment configuration on my new Win8 machine, I don't remember running into problems like this on 7, but I can't seem to find much useful online..

    I have 4 dll files that need to go into the Windows\System32 folder in order for one of our applications to run. This is done through an Advanced Installer package I created, which will not allow the installation unless the user has administrative rights (it deals with Windows Services as well). One of the steps is to copy these 4 dll files, which it apparently does without any errors.

    Herein lies the problem.. Technically, the files do indeed exist, as seen in the Bash shell screenshot below:
    Click image for larger version

    While they are quite simply not visible through either Explorer or command prompt, even when run as an elevated command prompt. The example screenshot below shows me trying to copy one of these files into the folder. Notice the overwrite file warning and the file listing behind it.
    Click image for larger version

    In the above shot, I had already figured out that copying the jacob-1.15-M4-x86.dll dll using the elevated command prompt seems to work, it shows in explorer and the applications that depend on it load fine.

    Sorry my first post on EightForums is asking for help, but I'm very new to Windows 8 and I need to figure out why this is dying quite urgently.

    In my searching online I found many many posts covering how to take ownership of the system32 folder to make modifications (and a more than decent number asking how to fix it afterwards), but this is something I need to cater for in a corporate installation package that gets sent out to international customers and I don't even know where to begin with Win8..

    Anybody have an idea what's going on here? How could a file be copied into the folder that no Windows tool can see?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    There are differences between bash and Windows. In linux, the hidden file started with a "." while in Windows you have to turn on "Show Hidden File" in the folder options. I happen to have UWIN (AT&T Unix) package installed in Windows and if I use ls -l in System32, almost all the files are owned by TrustInstallers. When I boot up linux Mint and do the same command, it listed all the files with owner and group owner as me (my username in linux).

    First, try to set the folder options to show hidden files and hidden system files as shown below:

    Click image for larger version

    If you now can see the files, open the elevated command prompt and type: icacls filename where filename is one of your dll to see who actually own it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Just outside the box you call 'reality'.
    Posts : 7
    Win 10 x64 Pro x64 / Ubuntu 15.10 x64


    Thanks for the tips topgundcp. The bash console I'm using here came with Git, but that part was a sort of "oh hey, bash shows the files" comment more than anything else. Unfortunately, the only way I can see them is through bash, which doesn't allow me to run takeown or icacls.

    For the record, I run all my systems showing hidden files and not hiding protected operating system files by default (I don't much like nasty surprises, so I like to see everything). So mine is already set that way.

    One interesting point, I uninstalled the app that originally placed the files there. It needed a restart, but afterwards they are now truly gone, even through bash where I saw them previously.


    If this helps, the installation package in question (proprietary client-only app, can't share it) requires administrative access to install. I know at least in Advanced Installer this isn't the same as the actual Administrator, it merely requires a user in the administrators group, but I doubt that would make much difference here.

    I'm going to try install this again, by simply running the installer straight and with "Run as administrator". If all else fails, I can leave them in an app folder and adjust the %path% variable on install, but I would prefer to not have to modify system variables if possible.

    [edit] Nope, same behaviour. The files appear to be copied, I still get overwrite prompts and bash still shows them, but nothing through explorer or any Windows command prompt (normal, elevated, or VS2012) and the apps that require these files can't read them.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    I actually use ksh instead of bash and in ksh I can run all the Windows programs with it except those built in with cmd.exe such as dir etc... Git for Windows is somewhat limited. icacls runs OK:

    Click image for larger version

    By any chance those dll's were removed by Windows Defender ?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Just outside the box you call 'reality'.
    Posts : 7
    Win 10 x64 Pro x64 / Ubuntu 15.10 x64


    Thanks, I'll look into ksh.. However I've had enough of this for today. I technically finished work an hour ago and it's a Friday, so I'll look at this on Monday again. I've used Win8 on friends computers, didn't like it. Been using it myself for just less than a week and already it's driving me insane.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Just outside the box you call 'reality'.
    Posts : 7
    Win 10 x64 Pro x64 / Ubuntu 15.10 x64


    So.. There's a distinct possibility that I was just being stupid on Friday afternoon, perhaps my brain shut down before work finished.

    The system I was testing the installation on is a 64-bit machine, which means anything that the Advanced Installer package would copy to the OS's "system folder" would go to system32 on a 32-bit setup, and SysWOW64 on a 64-bit setup. The files I was fighting with do indeed get placed in the SysWOW64 folder as expected. I can assume Bash was seeing the files in system32 due to some internal symbolic linking, but that's just a best guess here.

    Either way, the issue that prompted this file access investigation in the first place (not really mentioned here) must be due to something else. I'll just have to keep digging.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 151
    Win8 Pro


    When a software program is installed that has not been updated to work properly with Windows Vista and above, it will try to write directly to a secure part of the OS or registry. When this happens, Virtualization will intercept these attempts and redirect the program to an isolated, non-system, user-specific location, such as the C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Virtual Store folder. In the Registry, when a program tries to write to a system wide location such as, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software, the write is redirected to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\VirtualStore key.


    All of these redirects by the system are completely transparent to the application.


    Check the Virtual store folder.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Just outside the box you call 'reality'.
    Posts : 7
    Win 10 x64 Pro x64 / Ubuntu 15.10 x64


    Quote Originally Posted by lastof View Post
    When a software program is installed that has not been updated to work properly with Windows Vista and above, it will try to write directly to a secure part of the OS or registry. When this happens, Virtualization will intercept these attempts and redirect the program to an isolated, non-system, user-specific location, such as the C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Virtual Store folder. In the Registry, when a program tries to write to a system wide location such as, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software, the write is redirected to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\VirtualStore key.


    All of these redirects by the system are completely transparent to the application.


    Check the Virtual store folder.
    Thanks for the info. Through a combination of your post and my general research over the last few days, I've found a number of things in my installation packages that need to be changed...

    Unfortunately this also means our development team have to "fix" things in their code as well though, but I have been warning them for almost a year now about the hazards of hard-coding paths inside an app. Maybe this is just the kick they need to actually do it properly.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 151
    Win8 Pro


    Hope you get everything worked out, I know virtualization and Microsoft's attempts at system security through such, can be a real bear to wrestle with.

    Best of luck.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Need Help with System32 File Access Permissions (I think)
Related Threads
How to Allow or Deny Access Permissions to Users and Groups in Windows 8 and 8.1 This will show you how to add, remove, allow, and deny users and groups access with "basic" and "advanced" permission settings of a file, folder, drive, or registry key in Windows 8. When you set permissions of...
I changed the Permissions for my External Hard Drive (I am the Admin in this computer), I actually wanted to passport-protect it, and now Windows doesn’t let me change it back (my HD will not work in other computers either). Please help! First I tried system restore, that was useless, but...
HI, is there a directory alias that can be used for 32 bit apps to see contents of true C:\Windows\System32 on 64 bit OS? I see they always shortcut to C:\Windows\SysWow64, but in some cases I need them to open file located in 64 bit sys dir. And second problem is that I had to reinstall my OS...
File Permissions and Read Only in Network & Sharing
Two user accounts, both administrator level. I have a file in my documents that my wife's account can READ but cannot SAVE. I've gone in through User Accounts and given her account full permissions (full control with all the boxes checked), but it always reverts back to her not being able to save...
Manage Permission Inheritance in Windows 8 | VISHY Media on technologies and gadgets 3882 Ever get this message or worse, one that does not have the access button attached? you cannot read it, you cannot look at it and you cannot delete it. There are even worse issues where the...
Permissions: Access denied in BSOD Crashes and Debugging
"The machine-default permission settings do not grant Local Activation permission for the COM Server application with CLSID {9BA05972-F6A8-11CF-A442-00A0C90A8F39}" (This is the SHELL) Multiple errors in Event Viewer. When I try to rectify this using Component Services>D COM, all options are...
Eight Forums Android App Eight Forums IOS App Follow us on Facebook