New computers – Windows 7 – security and permissions

Plenty of frustrations in getting set up with Windows 7.

One of the first things I tried to do was add some utilities into the “SendTo” folder so that they are at hand when I am working in Windows Explorer.  These used to be stored in “Documents and Settings” so that’s where I started.  It still exists.

I couldn’t get access to it.  Couldn’t even open the list of subdirectories.  Even though I am running as admin (yeah, yeah, let me get the dratted thing running, first, and then I’ll worry about trying to restrict myself) access is denied.

So, if I’m an admin, I can change the permissions, yes?  Apparently not.  When I look at the Security tab, I apparently already have full control.  When I try and edit these permissions, just in case full control needs to be confirmed, I get a bunch of messages saying that I don’t have permission to change the permissions.  I’ve tried through a bunch of different screens having to do with security or permissions or rights, or editing any of the above, and so far not one of them has worked.

In any case, all of this is academic.  These settings no longer reside in “Documents and Settings” but in a new as of Vista) folder called “Users.”   “Documents and Settings” is merely a link.  (I think I had to change the permissions on the Users directory in order to get access and make the mods I wanted, but, to be quite honest, at this point I can’t remember everything I’ve had to do.)

OK, it’s reasonable that you shouldn’t be able, from a mere link, to change permissions on the actual directory.  (I think.  I’m having trouble thinking of anything you could actually do, but, on basic security principles, I’d have to agree that there is potential risk, at least.)  But, if so, then why have the link at all? As it is, it is completely useless, and only serves as a distractor for people like me who know some of the internals.

I’ve also got to say that the dialogue boxes for the “Security” and permissions are extremely odd.  You get to see what they are, but you don’t get to change anything, that is on a separate dialogue under edit.  And if you have selected a certain user or group, and then go to the editing dialogue, it is easy to miss the fact that the user or group chosen is no longer selected on that dialogue.  By default what is selected is “Everyone.”  If you are not paying attention, it would be really easy to grant full access to the entire world.

While doing the massive numbers of Windows Updates (it took about seven update sessions [including almost a gigabyte download for SP1], and four reboots, before the system seemed to settle down) I installed MSE.  I still like it for almost all users, and I’ve had some experiences cleaning up other machines where MSE worked well, and other AVs almost crashed the system.  However, as a professional, I’m still annoyed at some aspects of it.  I marked my “zoo” as excluded, but that setting does not, apparently, apply to the “Full scan,” nor to the real-time scanning.  (And, apparently, simply pulling up a directory in Windows Explorer counts as “opening” all the listed files.

Ceterum censeo Microsoft esse delendam.