Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

When logged in as a particular user (an Administrator) on a Windows Vista machine I cannot rename new or existing folders under Windows anywhere on the system, including external USB drives, NAS etc.

When I try to rename a folder it just reverts back to its original name. No error message is displayed. No system events / errors are logged - the system event viewer shows nothing unusual.

Bizarrely I can create new folders, which simply appear as the default "New Folder". Trying to rename the folder at the time of creation just reverts back to "New Folder". I can also delete new and existing folders.

I can create/rename files OK.

This obviously causes all sorts of problems when trying to install new software. Incidentally, the user account in question is only used for installing Windows Updates and new software.

The two 'standard' users on the system can rename folders OK.

I had this exact same problem (on the same machine) a year ago. At the time the only fix that worked (I tried numerous registry fixes as I recall) was to simply create a new Administrator user and delete the old! But it has happened again.

What can cause this problem? How is it better solved?



The system appears to be virus/malware free having scanned using Avast!, Spybot Search & Destroy and Windows Defender. HijackThis does not throw up any nasties as far as I can tell either.

I can rename folders from the command prompt (cmd.exe)! It is just within Windows I can't!


As requested by @wullx... HT-logfile and running-process-list:

Exported registry-settings under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ 1,142KB (too big for pastebin):

UPDATE (2011-05-06): I ended up deleting the troublesome 'administrator' user account (as I did last year!) and creating a new 'administrator' account and the system now appears to be working fine. The only caveat with deleting the user account as far as I can see is that the 'standard' users on the machine have lost the majority of their desktop shortcuts. I assume the majority of these shortcuts were created as a result of installing software whilst logged in as the deleted 'administrator' account!?

share|improve this question

Have you already scanned for viruses and malware? Can you rename folders over cmd.exe?

(I would post that as comment, but I haven't yet the permission to do that - sorry ;))

share|improve this answer
@wullxz Scanned for viruses/malware - OK. Yes, I can rename folders from a command prompt (cmd.exe) - thanks for that. (I've updated my Question) – w3dk Apr 20 '11 at 10:54
than you should scan your explorer.exe on for malware. Please also check your startup-applications (press WINDOWS + R, type in "msconfig", press ENTER, deactivate needless applications at "Systemstart"-Tab). Please also check for malware with the hijackthis-Tool – wullxz Apr 20 '11 at 11:24
I've scanned explorer.exe - it comes out clean. But if explorer.exe had been the problem then wouldn't it have affected other users on the same machine? Just this one (Administrator) user has the problem. Startup apps seem OK. The HijackThis log seems OK too as far as I can tell. The "HT log file analysis tool" you link to does not throw up any nasties. – w3dk Apr 20 '11 at 16:04
Can you post your HT-logfile and your running-process-list to pastebin? I want to be sure that there's no malware (nothing's really save, antivirus-software included). – wullxz Apr 20 '11 at 16:37
And: Can you provide your exported registry-settings under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ (beeing logged in as your problem-user)? I could check your registry-settings then. – wullxz Apr 20 '11 at 16:44

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .