When I was first introduced to Windows NT many moons ago I did the same
thing myself ... except I ended up locking everyone (including SYSTEM) out
of my entire disk drive, even after multiple warnings from Windows about how
that wasn't such a good idea. lol. Needless to say, the system wouldn't boot
and I ended up reformatting.
Anyway, based on what you've said, it sounds like you added a DENY
permission. Deny permissions override any other ALLOW permissions on the
Example: allowing the Administrators group access to a file and then DENYing
the users group access to that file.
This would seem to block normal users but allow administrators access, but
that's not what happens. Since deny permissions take precedence, both
administrators and users are denied access, since all administrators are
users and users are denied.
Most of the time you should never need to set a deny permission. If you do,
DON'T deny access to a file to a well-known group (such as users or
administrators) - set deny permissions on a single user account or create a
new group (such as "blocked users") and put that group in the deny
In this case, you will need to take ownership of the files in order to be
able to change their permissions.
Following these steps should allow you to change the permissions on the
1) open admin command prompt
- Click start
- Type: cmd
- right-click it under programs
- click Run As Administrator
2) take ownership of everything
- browse to the folder that you need access to
(for example, "cd c:\users\jimmy\documents\folder")
In the command prompt, type:
takeown /F . /A /R /D Y
and press enter.
3) change permissions
You should now be able to remove the deny permissions and make any other
changes, and then have those changes propogated down the folder heirarchy.
Windows Vista Support Faq