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Can't save/copy to Desktop, Documents, Videos, Music or Pictures after removing Norton trial

gawellsgawells Posts: 5Member New User

I recently bough an Acer predator laptop (about 1 month ago) that came pre-installed with a free trial of Norton Security

After uninstalling Norton Security I have lost write access to the Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music and Desktop folders.

I've been trying to get support from Acer, Nortand and Microsoft to resolve this. No luck yet.

I've confirmed that I have full permissions and that I am the owner of these folders. My user account is also an administrator account
 (yet it seems to be missing privileges).

If I create a new user, they have write access briefly. Even if this worked, I want to fix my original account.

Some forum posts suggest (eg https://t.co/tMp8Mmem7K) that this related to Controlled Folder Access in Windows Defender. But when I try to navigate to that it says I don't have permissions (even though my user account has administrator rights). I'm further told to contact 'my IT department' because they restricted access, yet this is a private laptop (why don't I have full privileges for a laptop I bought?)

This partial transcript with Norton support also suggests the problem is due to conflict between Windows Defender and the trial Norton Software.

"""
Nortons: Gordon, I would like to inform you that, when Norton was installed on your computer, it was took over windows firewall settings and due to which you were not getting the permission window to move or make changes in files.
Nortons: But when you have removed Norton, Windows Firewall came to picture and now it is controling your computer and that is the reason, you are getting the message.
Nortons: If you will click on Administrator, the Change Account Type gets grayed out.
Gordon Wells: How do I fix it?
Nortons: You will need to contact Micosoft support team and ask them to make the account as admin.
"""

Microsoft tech support were helpful and suggested doing an 'in-place-upgrade', but this didn't fix the problem either

I've tried Microsoft Security Essentials too, but can't install it (it says no need because I have Windows Defender, but I can't access all the settings in WD). I've had no luck using the hidden administrator account either (same lack of access to certain settings in WD)

I also tried the Norton removal software, no luck (but this was after the first uninstall via add/remove programs)

How do I restore full access to my folders?

Best Answer

  • XdxDXdxD Posts: 583 Seasoned Specialist
    edited August 15 Accepted Answer
    gawells said:
    So I caved and reinstalled windows from the recovery partition (keeping my user account). I can write to Documents, Desktop etc again. I uninstalled Norton's straight away, this time selecting the option to delete personal info too (I think I just clicked through last time).

    So far so good. I don't know if it's because I chose the option or because I uninstalled before the trial period expired

    I still don't seem to have full access to all Windows Defender settings (like Controlled Folders). Not sure if that's a separate issue or also related to having a previous Antivirus like Nortons?
    Controlled Folders can only be accessed if Windows Defender is the sole Anti-Malware solution. Probably Norton messed up again for you while getting uninstalled. Like @xapim says, use some uninstaller program to completely remove Norton now or again recovering to previous state and then do that.
    Trying to do my best here - Your happy Predator owner =)!

FAQ & Answers

  • DrewBriggsDrewBriggs Posts: 7Member

    Tinkerer

    Was the "in-place-upgrade on your computer a new install of Windows 10?  It sounds like Norton is not fully uninstalled. Before going any further I would download and install the program Revo Uninstaller. Which scans your computer for files and threads from previous uninstalled programs. Its a free program which I have used and caused no issues on my computer.
     From my understanding uninstalling programs through Windows doesn't always clear all files from computer and maybe why Norton is still trying to hold onto your Laptop. 
    Also suggesting if you are just a newbie with computers do you have any friends who can view and help you sort Laptop.
    Norton has had a bit of rap over the years ago for different like issues and doesn't sound like they have changed too much.
  • gawellsgawells Posts: 5Member New User
    Hi, the upgrade wasn't a new install, I chose the option to keep personal files.

    I tried Revo, it seems to find some Norton remnants but also some false positives (eg from Lastpass). So far no luck

    I'm not a newbie, but have become far more familiar with linux in the last few years. Not used to doing this kind of thing on recent Windows (in the before times I quite liked Norton Desktop over windows 3.1, and still use NC clones. Sad to see what's become of them)
  • xapimxapim Posts: 2,475ACE Pathfinder
    edited August 13
    gawells Thats really weird because norton was the first thing i had removed (using your uninstaller in all my laptops) to install nod32 and never had any issues  you can try to reinstall norton again and remove it properly with your uninstaller or iobit or any other good one if that doesnt work try to get your admin privileges back on those folders if still no luck backup whatever you need and go for an acer stock recovery clean install not keeping your files if you still have your acer recovery partition intact if you dont have it because you installed windows via usb drive you have to do the same for a fresh install because once you reinstall windows using a usb drive you will loose the acer stock OS forever

    You can also try this:

    https://www.intowindows.com/add-take-ownership-to-right-click-menu-in-windows-10/


    https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/11532543

    UserBenchmarks: Game 43%, Desk 61%, Work 40%
    CPU: Intel Core i5-7300HQ - 63.5%
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 1050-Ti (Mobile) - 41.9%
    SSD: WDC WDS200T2B0B-00YS70 2TB - 71.4%
    HDD: WD WD10SPZX-00HKTT0 1TB - 93.7%
    RAM: Kingston HyperX DDR4 2666 C15 2x16GB - 76.8%
    MBD: Acer Predator G3-572

    I'm not an Acer employee. (just here to help in the best way i can)
    If my answer fixed you issue please accept it for any other users who search for it would find it quickly thanks :)
    If you want to learn more about undervolting/optimizing windows join the Predator fb group and youtube channel:

    Owner/Admin (HOTEL HERO/Red-Sand/Opoka Opoka)
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1969145569968592/
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNJwGUHxSJ8FKqAhnOqQuAw
    Acer support:
    https://www.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/service-contact
    http://www.acer.com/worldwide/support/  


  • sri369sri369 Posts: 1,566Member Community Aficionado
    @gawells

    Right click on folder
    Select Security
    Click Advanced
    Select Effective Access tab

    Click on change as highlighted in yellow in pic below, and change ownership to yourself.
    Let me know if this helps.


  • xapimxapim Posts: 2,475ACE Pathfinder
    edited August 13
    @sri369 the OP stated above
    <<I've confirmed that I have full permissions and that I am the owner of these folders. My user account is also an administrator account
     (yet it seems to be missing privileges). >> but again some screens of the issue/confs might help a bit

    So im guessing he had tried to get admin ownership but if the new user account he had created is working i would just try to clone from the old one into the new one probably just a windows user account bug if this is the case i suggest the OP to follow these steps to copy the user account into the new one and after delete the old one to avoid more issues

    https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-files/copying-files-from-one-user-to-another-in-windows/4f6c6fff-f556-4907-9311-290125bfa35a

    Also enabling the hidden administrator account via computer management --> local users and groups --> users might help to clone the existing account i never had this issue but i had corrupted admin accounts in the past which weren't accessible in any way through the current user login would just crash on login this happened on win xp/7 had to clone them and everything worked fine after 




    https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/11532543

    UserBenchmarks: Game 43%, Desk 61%, Work 40%
    CPU: Intel Core i5-7300HQ - 63.5%
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 1050-Ti (Mobile) - 41.9%
    SSD: WDC WDS200T2B0B-00YS70 2TB - 71.4%
    HDD: WD WD10SPZX-00HKTT0 1TB - 93.7%
    RAM: Kingston HyperX DDR4 2666 C15 2x16GB - 76.8%
    MBD: Acer Predator G3-572

    I'm not an Acer employee. (just here to help in the best way i can)
    If my answer fixed you issue please accept it for any other users who search for it would find it quickly thanks :)
    If you want to learn more about undervolting/optimizing windows join the Predator fb group and youtube channel:

    Owner/Admin (HOTEL HERO/Red-Sand/Opoka Opoka)
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1969145569968592/
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNJwGUHxSJ8FKqAhnOqQuAw
    Acer support:
    https://www.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/service-contact
    http://www.acer.com/worldwide/support/  


  • XdxDXdxD Posts: 583Member Seasoned Specialist
    You can also try a clean install of 1903 which even @Red-Sand recommends in place of just upgrading to 1903 from Acer's customised Windows 10.
    Trying to do my best here - Your happy Predator owner =)!
  • gawellsgawells Posts: 5Member New User
    Hi

    Norton's won't reinstall: "unidentifiable error"

    The hidden admin account doesn't seem to be of much use, computer management doesn't exist there. I can find computer management in the original user account, but not 'local users and groups'

    The new user I created now also has the same problem of not being able to write to Documents, Desktop etc.

    It looks like I'll have to go to recovery (or do a custom install which is supposed to be able to read my product key from the main partition)
  • sri369sri369 Posts: 1,566Member Community Aficionado
    gawells said:
    Hi

    Norton's won't reinstall: "unidentifiable error"

    The hidden admin account doesn't seem to be of much use, computer management doesn't exist there. I can find computer management in the original user account, but not 'local users and groups'

    The new user I created now also has the same problem of not being able to write to Documents, Desktop etc.

    It looks like I'll have to go to recovery (or do a custom install which is supposed to be able to read my product key from the main partition)
    What does your system show as owner when you do the same as i did in my reply above (with screenshot).
  • xapimxapim Posts: 2,475ACE Pathfinder
    edited August 14
    gawells your windows key its built into the bios itself not the drive no matter what version of windows you install either stock recovery or usb drive will always insert the same oem key in the bios even if you swap drives will always be the same


    https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/11532543

    UserBenchmarks: Game 43%, Desk 61%, Work 40%
    CPU: Intel Core i5-7300HQ - 63.5%
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 1050-Ti (Mobile) - 41.9%
    SSD: WDC WDS200T2B0B-00YS70 2TB - 71.4%
    HDD: WD WD10SPZX-00HKTT0 1TB - 93.7%
    RAM: Kingston HyperX DDR4 2666 C15 2x16GB - 76.8%
    MBD: Acer Predator G3-572

    I'm not an Acer employee. (just here to help in the best way i can)
    If my answer fixed you issue please accept it for any other users who search for it would find it quickly thanks :)
    If you want to learn more about undervolting/optimizing windows join the Predator fb group and youtube channel:

    Owner/Admin (HOTEL HERO/Red-Sand/Opoka Opoka)
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1969145569968592/
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNJwGUHxSJ8FKqAhnOqQuAw
    Acer support:
    https://www.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/service-contact
    http://www.acer.com/worldwide/support/  


  • gawellsgawells Posts: 5Member New User
    So I caved and reinstalled windows from the recovery partition (keeping my user account). I can write to Documents, Desktop etc again. I uninstalled Norton's straight away, this time selecting the option to delete personal info too (I think I just clicked through last time).

    So far so good. I don't know if it's because I chose the option or because I uninstalled before the trial period expired

    I still don't seem to have full access to all Windows Defender settings (like Controlled Folders). Not sure if that's a separate issue or also related to having a previous Antivirus like Nortons?
  • xapimxapim Posts: 2,475ACE Pathfinder
    gawells my advice to you is always use uninstaller software like youruninstaller for ex or any other who would do the same to completely remove any software including registry leftovers and files because if you use windows uninstaller or the software built in uninstaller it will always leave all the reg keys and left overs and im glad you finally got it sorted :)


    https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/11532543

    UserBenchmarks: Game 43%, Desk 61%, Work 40%
    CPU: Intel Core i5-7300HQ - 63.5%
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 1050-Ti (Mobile) - 41.9%
    SSD: WDC WDS200T2B0B-00YS70 2TB - 71.4%
    HDD: WD WD10SPZX-00HKTT0 1TB - 93.7%
    RAM: Kingston HyperX DDR4 2666 C15 2x16GB - 76.8%
    MBD: Acer Predator G3-572

    I'm not an Acer employee. (just here to help in the best way i can)
    If my answer fixed you issue please accept it for any other users who search for it would find it quickly thanks :)
    If you want to learn more about undervolting/optimizing windows join the Predator fb group and youtube channel:

    Owner/Admin (HOTEL HERO/Red-Sand/Opoka Opoka)
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1969145569968592/
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNJwGUHxSJ8FKqAhnOqQuAw
    Acer support:
    https://www.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/service-contact
    http://www.acer.com/worldwide/support/  


  • XdxDXdxD Posts: 583Member Seasoned Specialist
    edited August 15 Accepted Answer
    gawells said:
    So I caved and reinstalled windows from the recovery partition (keeping my user account). I can write to Documents, Desktop etc again. I uninstalled Norton's straight away, this time selecting the option to delete personal info too (I think I just clicked through last time).

    So far so good. I don't know if it's because I chose the option or because I uninstalled before the trial period expired

    I still don't seem to have full access to all Windows Defender settings (like Controlled Folders). Not sure if that's a separate issue or also related to having a previous Antivirus like Nortons?
    Controlled Folders can only be accessed if Windows Defender is the sole Anti-Malware solution. Probably Norton messed up again for you while getting uninstalled. Like @xapim says, use some uninstaller program to completely remove Norton now or again recovering to previous state and then do that.
    Trying to do my best here - Your happy Predator owner =)!
  • gawellsgawells Posts: 5Member New User
    As advised, I uninstalled using rev from the beginning, with advanced scanning. I also had to uninstall from a clean factory reset with a new user account

    Hopefully no more gremlins

    Thanks for all the advice!
  • XdxDXdxD Posts: 583Member Seasoned Specialist
    Glad you got it sorted. Next time when you would want to reset your PC to factory default condition, make a recovery drive of current installation and then clean install using official Microsoft ISO. That'd give you a clean PC for you to do anything without messing with your system like this Norton trial did in your case.
    Trying to do my best here - Your happy Predator owner =)!
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