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My friend is running windows vista and it's not working any more. I've run diagnostics and found that three files in the C:\Windows\System32 folder have corrupt ACLs. System repair fails because windows can't access the files to overwrite or repair those files.

I suspect that her antivirus program accidentally quarantined them.

Now the computer cannot boot because it cannot read these files.

I have access to startup recovery tools, a vista disk, and command prompt. Is there a way I can manually or automatically repair or replace the damaged files?

As I said before, Windows Repair has thus far proved inadequate.

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You might want to try running chkdisk /r just in case it's a file system error that's causing the problem. If not then I think your going to need to find a way to move them out of the way so you can replace them with a good copy. Depending on the files you might be able to do that from safe mode, otherwise you'll need a bootable CD (bartpe or ubuntu live cd would be easiest). Once they are out of the way your system repair will probably have a better chance.

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The problem is I can't access them because of the bad ACL. Thus I can't copy, move, or delete them because it cannot determine my permissions. I can access the attributes and other metadata just fine and ran a disk check with no errors found. The only thing I can't access is the ACL and because of that-the file. – CSharperWithJava Sep 3 '09 at 14:20
That's why I expect you'll have to use a bootable CD since it won't care about the ACL. – Col Sep 3 '09 at 15:12

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