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windows cannot access the specified device, path or file...

Discussion in 'Software' started by Revelation13, Jan 30, 2007.

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  1. Revelation13

    Revelation13 Private E-2

    Problem: "windows cannot access the specified device, path or file. you may not have appropriate permissions to access the item." when I open almost any .exe file on my computer.

    Hey, I really need some help - I've already read a thread with the same title, but the solution to that person's problem was a virus, mine is not a virus.

    - for some reason, shortcuts in my start menu don't work, neither do those on my desktop, but I have a few shortcuts in my taskbar and they all work, and run under my username.
    - applications run through task manager work
    - applications run through command prompt work

    steps I have already been through (and have failed) :
    - countless google searches
    - anti-virus scans with NOD32 and Panda
    - anti-spyware scans with ad-aware and ms defender
    - removed all programs that I don't NEED on the computer
    - system restore
    - CHKDSK
    - registry repair software
    - multiple "fix" registry files (none of the entries differed from my existing)
    - this problem also appears in safe mode.
    - I have tried replacing what I thought was the culprit (rundll32.exe) from a backup - it was not that.
    - tried fixing user permissions - I am the only administrator of this computer, and it was all working fine until recently, it came out of the blue.

    Please, Help me! :'(

    new discovery:
    when I place a shortcut to any file that won't open in my start menu, it lets the program run!
    this is a work around, but a major inconvenience! :(
  2. fiver22

    fiver22 Sergeant

    These are "Easy Answers" -keep that in mind.
    1) have you tried to System Restore to a date before the problems were happening?
    2) Have you tried to "Repair" Windows?
    3) Have you tried to Re-install Windows? (this one is a cop-out, I know, but it IS effective).

  3. Revelation13

    Revelation13 Private E-2

    as mentioned above, I have tried a system restore

    - BUT - I don't have the disk that I need to repair this version of windows, it's a new PC, windows XP Media centre Edition 2005 - my last (for which I have installation disks) was XP Pro :(

    and if I do re-install, I will have to back up around 50GB onto CD's - I don't have any DVDs / moneys at the moment :(

    I'm a very bad geek, I don't backup much, and if I do - it's onto the same hard drive anyway.
  4. Matacumbie

    Matacumbie Rocky Top

    Try disabling any "Security Software", especially SpySweeper if you have it installed, then try to access the file(s).

  5. Revelation13

    Revelation13 Private E-2

    I already have done, removed almost ALL Software, including IE (using firefox) and Windows Media player.

    seriously: all that's running are critical system processes and explorer.exe

    that's all :|
  6. Dexter Ghelfi

    Dexter Ghelfi Private E-2

    Hi - I have just had a simlar problem. I have IE7 with high protection running (on a server) and I have similar problems with running executables from other machines. Check the properties on the file and see if yours have (on the general tab) "Security: This file came from another computer and might be blocked to help protect this computer" if so, and you trust the executable, unblock it and try to run it again. On other machines I am normally prompted with a 'are you sure you want to run this' but on this machine I do not get the dialogue box. I have not bothered trying to find out why just yet. But this did solve my problem. I hope this helps.
  7. itech10

    itech10 Private E-2

    The problem seems do be that ie7 does know the local intranet from the internet and puts the local servers in the internet zone, more on this later. The specfic item that causes this behavior in whatever zone the local server is in (internet options security tab custom level) is "Launching applications and unsafe files" if it is set to disabled you will get the message "Windows cannot access the specified device , path or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item." when you attempt to launch the application via Windows Explorer or the Start Menu run command, (you can however launch it via a command prompt.) If set to prompt you will likely get the message "The publisher could not be verified. are you sure you want to run this software?" If set to enabled it will just launch. Now it has been suggested that you can put the (local) \\servername in the trusted sites zone and this works if "Launching applicatioons ..." is not set to disabled in this zone, but you really don't want it there you want it in the intranet zone. So a list of \\servername in the intranet zone works (Local intranet sites advanced button) but it can be a pain you have a lot a servernames. It seems that Ie7 fails to detect the local servers when Local intranet Sites "Automatically detect intranet network" box is checked and the 3 sub boxes are grayed you must uncheck this box and check the first and last of the sub boxes, the middle sub box "Include all sites that bypass the proxy server does not need to be checked (at least for me; xp pro sp3 ie7). Now the local servers will all be placed in the intranet zone you don't need a list of \\servernames placed here. You can also set "Launching applications and unsafe files" to prompt in the internet zone and this not only works but will confirm that this is the zone the the local servers are in, setting to enabled here is not recomended and results in a warning.
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