I have a Windows XP computer, and experienced a hard-freeze of my computer (keyboard/mouse not responsive) and was forced to re-boot my PC.

Now I'm running into an issue attempting to access or delete a particular directory on my machine, C:\Common\BuildArtifacts\ - I receive an "Access is Denied" error from Windows

Things I've tried:

  1. I've tried making the folder writeable by going to properties -> de-select read-only
  2. I found that under the folder properties, no "security" tab exists.
  3. I've tried deleting the file thru windows explorer, shift deleting the file, and doing an "rmdir" under a commandline for the BuildArtifacts directory.

Does anyone have any suggestions for how to resolve this error?

The only thing I can think of doing next is going into safe mode, and I'm not even sure if that will help.


Try accessing the account as the system user and seeing if there are security settings as the system user. If so, change the security settings. If you need help accessing the system account (not the admin account), let me know.

UPDATE: Requested information on accessing the System Account in Windows XP was found here. (does not work on Windows 7) BE CAREFUL WHILE IN THE SYSTEM ACCOUNT!!!

  1. Check the name of the account you’ve logged into (Click start. You will see the name of the account you’ve logged in.)
  2. Launch the command prompt. (Start | Run | cmd | [Enter] ) in command prompt, create a schedule to run cmd.exe. To create a schedule type the following line and hit enter. at 10:41 /interactive “cmd.exe” this will create a schedule to run cmd.exe at 10:41. (Since you are testing, check the time in your system try and add two or three minutes.)Change this time according to your local time Hint: you can check if the schedule is placed by typing “at“ and hitting enter after the above step.
  3. Wait for the time you set for the schedule. cmd.exe would be launched at the specified time.
  4. After cmd.exe is launched by the scheduled time, press [CTRL] + [ALT] + [DEL] and launch task manager. Select “Process” tab, select explorer.exe in the process list and click “End Process” button. You will receive a confirmation dialogue. Click “Yes” to end the process.
  5. Close task manager by clicking the close (X) button. Close the first cmd window (be careful to close the first one not the second one.)
  6. Now you have only the second command prompt window and an empty desktop. In command prompt type the following line and hit “Enter” cd ..
  7. In command prompt type the following line and hit “Enter” explorer.exe If this is the first time you do it, windows creates the necessary components for you to access System ( Desktop, start menu, My document) when it’s finished you will have a new desktop.
  8. Close command prompt window. Click start and check your username. It’s changed to System. Now you are a super-power user. Be careful not to harm your PC and delete or modify system files if you don’t know what you are doing.
  • I'd love some tips on how to access the system account. A brief google search on "system user in windows xp" wasnt very helpful (thus the need for this type of forum) – CrimsonX Jan 18 '11 at 21:10
  • @CrimsonX it's been updated. :) – David Jan 18 '11 at 21:17

Do you have simple file sharing disabled?, You need to to see the security tab.

It sounds like the crash scrambled the folder/files, run a chkdsk /r on the hard drive.


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