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Starting today some directorys' access permissions go haywire on my laptop meaning I can longer access them. (That is, a directory is created, available and usable for a while, before something goes wrong.)

For a problematic directory, when I view its properties and go to the Security tab, I see

(i) You must have Read permissions to view the properties of this object.

When I click on Advanced, I see:

 Owner: Unable to display current owner.

Clicking on Change (as administrator) fails with:

(i) You do not have permission to view or edit this object's permission settings.

Clicking on Continue from the Advanced dialog has the same result.

If I start a cmd shell as Administrator, I cannot cd into the directory. Nor can I delete it.

Initially, the directories in question were created when coding using the IntelliJ IDE. That is, they are created by IntelliJ as sub-directories of the project root, typically several levels down. Shutting down the IDE does not help. Sunsequently the issue arose in a directory that was part of an un-zipped file completely unrelated to IntelliJ. So it seems it can occur anywhere.

A reboot has fixed occurrences so far, but this is getting really annoying. That is, after a reboot I can delete the problematic directory and get on with my work for a while. Then the issue will crop up again, typically with a different directory. As time went by, the period between occurrences decreased to the point I was rebooting every few minutes.

Any suggestions?

PS: As noted above, this problem has only shown up today. First thing this morning, a large Windows 10 update was applied. I'm not sure if this is related but the timing is suspicious. That is, the problem has only occurred since the update.

  • First you say "Every now and then..." and then you say "This problem has only shown up today". Do you mean by this that it has happened several times today since the update install? Is it happening to the same folder or different folders? Please edit your question to add more detail. – music2myear Nov 20 '17 at 22:30
  • @music2myear The problem has only occurred since the Windows update and happens to different folders. I've updated my question to clarify. Let me know if you need any more info. – dave Nov 20 '17 at 22:54
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After lots more research on the internet, I think I've found the underlying cause of my issue. The Windows update in question - the Fall Creators Update (1709) does not play nice with WebRoot's SecureAnywhere product. You can read about the bug on their website.

After relaxing the WebRoot checks slightly, as per their suggested workaround, the issue stopped occurring. Some of the inaccessible directories created earlier this week are still inaccessible. Fortunately though, there have been no new occurrences in the past day. So I'm able to work normally again.

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