Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Good morning everyone.

Yesterday I had a few Problems with Windows 7. I tried to remove some leftover files from a Linux OS on my external hard drive. Since Windows has problems with too long file names or file paths and certain characters in file names, this was a bit difficult. However, I managed to delete the files and folders with a stupid program I downloaded from the Internet. After I had finished deleting the files I noticed that I no longer had permissions to access my system hard drive namely "C:\" and I could not perform any administrative tasks because of that.

The error message was: "C:\ is not accessible. Access denied"

Fortunately I managed to reclaim access to the C:\ hard drive by starting Windows in Safe Mode and edit the file permissions of the C:\ drive with "Right click-->Properties-->Security". I added the administrator group with full access rights and my own user account with almost full access.

Now my question is, as the thread title says, how to restore the Windows default security options and file permissions. To me it looks like it is not a good idea to give every user on the Computer full access to the system hard drive.

So the questions are:

  1. What are the Windows 7 default file permissions for the system hard disk C:\ for the administrator group and a normal user account with Administrator privileges and how can I easily restore them?

  2. What are the Windows 7 default security options regarding "UAC" (User Account Control) and all/most other relevant security settings and how can I restore them?

(Interessting, I used Windows for one day and ruined everything I could without the intention to do that.)

I hope someone can help me.

My Moral of the day; Do not use any stupid programs found on the Internet, especially when you already thought that something could go incredibly wrong. (As I did.:/)

Best regards.

share|improve this question
Did you check the box that said “Replace permissions in all subfolders and files with the permissions from this folder”? If not, you can restore the permissions. If yes, you ned to do a repair install. –  kinokijuf Aug 26 '13 at 11:11

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.