All Windows XPrestricted user accounts all of a sudden open "Map Network Drive" on clicking My Computer and "Search" on clicking any folder
got a problem with my Windows laptop that has me stumped.
I would be really grateful if someone could provide a solution or ideas where to start solving this, as I am getting close to going back to previous full system backup, but reluctant to do that as I have never done it before and am worried if it will really
work as supposed (Macrium and Ping).
1. Problem Description
All Windows XP (SP3) restricted user accounts all of a sudden open "Map Network Drive" on clicking My Computer and "Search" on clicking any folder, including My Documents.
However, all administrator accounts work as before and also the user accounts work as usual if they are included to the Administrators group, with respect to the clicking of the My Computer and folders.
Further, the correct icons for "Drive" and "Folder" are visible when logged in as administrator but missing when logged in as a restricted user when checking the file associations by "Open the folder, and then click Folder Options on the Tools menu. Click Register
file types list."
2. Unsuccessful solution attempts
2a. Googled and tried the fix of manually changing the registry entries proposed by Microsoft: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/321186
Start Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe).
Locate and then click the Default value under the following keys in the registry if this problem occurs with folders:
If this problem occurs with drives:
Click Modify on the Edit menu.
Type none in the Value data box, and then click OK.
Quit Registry Editor.
(Fixit associated with the above did not also work for some reason, says that the Windows installer is not running, not sure if the same problem...)
2b. Then tried also the "regsvr32 /i shell32.dll" fix at http://blog.chron.com/helpline/2005/10/double-click-opens-search-instead-of-folder/ .
After these steps the registry information under "Drive" and "Directory" are as attached at the end. Read somewhere that there should be a "find" sub-key like I have, but not sure if the sub-keys under "find" are what cause the odd behavior.
If someone knows and could provide what the values for the registry values should be in a working system, would be great to compare for possible problems.
No success with the above in solving the problem, but noticed while going through these that:
2c. When logged as administrator I am able to see and change the related registry keys with regedit, whereas when logged in as regular user I get an error that translates roughly as "The Key [KEY] cannot be opened [accessed?]. Error in opening the key." for
"Default Icon" and "shell" subkeys of "Drive" and some subkeys under "shellex".
Curiously, this is also the case even if I "Run with" regedit as a user belonging to administrator group when logged in as restricted user. Could be the Windows registry access mechanism.
Noticed that the restricted "Users" group had no access to "Drive". Granted read access, same as to "Directory" and other registry keys next to them, to the "Users".
Now can see the registry values as restricted user, but the problem persists. Do not really know what to try next, after spending hours googling for answers.
3. Laptop environment and Other factors
3a. Not sure if this is related, but might be as coincides time and possible reason wise:
I had the problem two days ago described in in "Administor account does not have access to some files and registry entries" at http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/XP/Q_27415496.html.
Zone alarm free firewall was preventing editing HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microdsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run key.
That was fixed as in the above article tweaking Zonealarm settings so that changes are permitted.
3b. The laptop environment:
Acer Travelmate 8204 laptop
Windows XP SP3 with practically all Microsoft updates installed.
Recent problems (related?) with the .NET Framework 4 updates and repair installation. Fixits from MS to MS Update and Application installer work and do not reveal problems, but Settings -> Control Panel -> Add or Remove Applications says that it cannot change
or remove NET Framework 4.
ZoneAlarm Free Firewall version: 11.0.000.057, possible culprit as prevented access to registry earlier, uninstall?
Norton Antivirus version 220.127.116.11 recently installed, possibly conflict with ZA or bug?