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Non-Admin writing to "C:\Program Files\ZTreeWin"   [Zeta]

By: John Gruener     Orlando, Florida  
Date: Jun 04,2022 at 00:33
In Response to: [Bug] User file changes can be lost (Ben Kent)

Hi Ben,

I believe Kim may have discovered why my files are not being copied to %AppData%. Meanwhile, the mystery remains as to why in my case the "C:\Program Files\ZTreeWin\ZTW.INI" file is being updated in one particular subdirectory by the Alt-F10 ZTW_CFG.EXE program.

> What are the permissions on "C:\Program Files\ZTree Windows"?
> Have you granted your account or users change rights?

In my case it was originally installed in "C:\Program Files\ZTreeWin" but as mentioned I've been changing that subdirectory name in attempts to decipher what's going on.

No, I did not change the permissions on any files or directories. In fact I compared all the permissions on the new directory that allows the non-Admin ZTW.INI change with the old directory that does not. All permission tabs and entries are identical. I also checked for NTFS ADS; there are none in either. Registry entries to the path can't be the difference either, since changing the directory name on the new one still allows the INI change, while changing the name on the old one does not. I also copied all the files in the directory that allows the change to a new one, but non-Admin will not allow the change there either, even if named ZTreeWin. So its got to be something unique about that one new installation directory, regardless of what I name it. As I said, really bizarre.

From what I understand about NTFS, there is a unique file ID or index number for each file and directory which does not change even if the object is renamed. So I'm thinking there may be something in the Registry or elsewhere using that ID which gives the ZTW_CFG.EXE program non-Admin permission to update files under "C:\Program Files," perhaps treating it like an installation program.

> Have a look under here %LOCALAPPDAT%\VirtualStore as the files you are
> seeing at "C:\Program Files\ZTree Windows" could actually be under
> the VirtualStore

Yes, in fact there does exist a ZTW.INI file in "%LocalAppData%\VirtualStore\Program Files\ZTreeWin", but no other files. That ZTreeWin subdirectory was created about 4 tenths of a second before the uninstall.exe file was created in the installation directory by the newer v2.2.19 install. The ZTW.INI file was created 9 minutes after that, and was last written 5 minutes later. It has not been updated since, and no longer matches any of the ZTW.INI files in any of my test subdirectories under "C:\Program Files".

Deleting it has made no difference in any of my tests so far, and it has not been recreated. So I don't know exactly what sequence caused it to be created there in the first place.

Thanks Ben for your help in trying to figure this out.

- John


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