Accidently deleted attributes of all files inside my user directory


drdonut1

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My Big Mistake

It all began when I wanted to use PowerShell to set the attribute of some personal folders matching a specific regex to "Hidden". (For my defense of what follows: I was way overslept! I didn't even use the regex to begin with...)

I quickly found the following suggestion on a forum here, which I blindly executed ('.' here is my user directory)

Code:
Get-ChildItem -path "." -Recurse -Force | ForEach-Object { $_.Attributes += "Hidden" }

I noticed afterwards that this was just a troll, and all my files where hidden...

Well, I then tried to quickly fix it via

Code:
Get-ChildItem -path "." -Recurse -Force | ForEach-Object { $_.Attributes = ""  }

I instantly realized that this was probably a stuuuupid idea... And well... Turns out it was.

My Current Fix

After some back and forth I decided that I could just create a new dummy user on my Windows machine and copy over the file attributes from there. For the following, my user directory is "seawe", the dummy user folder is "test".

Code:
cd "C:\Users\test\"
$x = Get-ChildItem -path "." -Recurse -Force | Resolve-Path -Relative
foreach ($y in $x){
    if (Test-Path -Path "C:\Users\seawe\$y") {
        $s = Get-Item -Force -Path $y;
        $d = Get-Item -Force -Path "C:\Users\seawe\$y";
        $d.Attributes = $s.Attributes
    }
}
Seems like the most important folders and files have their file attributes restored. Yehaaa... :rolleyes:

My Question

Is this enough? All of my user specific AppData folders and files now are still without attributes. I also saw that Windows stores e.g. some certificates (probably SSL?) inside the AppData folder, which are still without attributes. Does this pose a security threat?

Addition
Just to be safe, I deleted all the credentials Windows saved for me (following Link) and emptied all the Microsoft AppData folders that seem to be security relevant, i.e.
  • AppData\LocalLow\Microsoft\Crypto
  • AppData\Local\Microsoft\Crypto
  • AppData\Local\Microsoft\Credentials
  • AppData\Local\Microsoft\Vault
  • AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Crypto
  • AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Credentials
  • AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Vault
  • All the certificates inside AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\SystemCertificates
 
Windows Build/Version
Windows 11 OSBuild 22000.434
Last edited:

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Ghot

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It all began when I wanted to use PowerShell to set the attribute of some


While I don't know the answer to your question... the "It all began when" ...literally cracked me up.
I can't count how many times I've made posts starting with that phrase.


I know there are folks on here that CAN answer your question. Just be patient, and... Welcome to ElevenForum. :)
 

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Ghot

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I can only recommend the solution I usually recommend.. In-Place upgrade.
This will fix Windows problems, but leave everything else untouched...










Here is the short version of the In-place upgrade tutorial...

DISABLE non-Microsoft:
a) antivirus software
b) firewall software
c) drive encryption software

Make a full OS backup with a program like Macrium Reflect (free)
Macrium Software | Macrium Reflect Free

Go here and get the Windows 11 ISO (use the 3rd option), and save the ISO to your desktop.
Download Windows 11

000000 Win 11 ISO.png


Right click the ISO image and choose: MOUNT
Open File Explorer and you will see a new drive letter. It will "look" like a DVD optical drive.
Double click the new drive letter to open it.
Find setup.exe and double click it to start the in-place upgrade.

Choose the Keep personal files and apps option.

After it's all done... to UNmount the ISO image, right click the new drive letter and choose: EJECT.


The ONLY thing you will lose is some of your personalizations. Your programs and data will be intact.




There are some Powershell experts on here though, so it's up to you.

Maybe @Paul Black or @Matthew Wai or @TairikuOkami

I'm sure there's more... but the ones I listed will see these mentions.
 
Last edited:

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    TWIN2X2048-6400C4DHX (2 x 1GB, DDR2 800)
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    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?183088-5000-B-E-on-M2N32-SLI-Dlx-Overclocked&p=2891724#post2891724

drdonut1

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While I don't know the answer to your question... the "It all began when" ...literally cracked me up.
I can't count how many times I've made posts starting with that phrase.


I know there are folks on here that CAN answer your question. Just be patient, and... Welcome to ElevenForum. :)
:ROFLMAO: yeah, it's sad... But I always come out smarter at the other end at least :D
 

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BunnyJ

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While I don't know the answer to your question... the "It all began when" ...literally cracked me up.
I can't count how many times I've made posts starting with that phrase.


I know there are folks on here that CAN answer your question. Just be patient, and... Welcome to ElevenForum. :)
I usually start off with... God., it's me again
 

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drdonut1

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I can only recommend the solution I usually recommend.. In-Place upgrade.
This will fix Windows problems, but leave everything else untouched...









There are some Powershell experts on here though, so it's up to you.
Thanks a lot! I'll wait for another day or so and if nobody has an answer I'll definetely try that.
 

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Ghot

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Here's some fun things you can do TO Windows 11 while you wait...


With these, you can make Win 11 just like Windows 10.



000000 Win 10 vs Win 11.jpg 000000 Win 11 Context Menus.jpg


000000 Win 11 START menu.jpg
 

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    Windows XP Pro 32bit w/SP3
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    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (OC'd @ 3.2Ghz)
    Motherboard
    ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition
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    TWIN2X2048-6400C4DHX (2 x 1GB, DDR2 800)
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    EVGA 256-P2-N758-TR GeForce 8600GT SSC
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    Still assembled, still runs. Haven't turned it on for 13 years?

    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?183088-5000-B-E-on-M2N32-SLI-Dlx-Overclocked&p=2891724#post2891724

Not Myself

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While I don't know the answer to your question... the "It all began when" ...literally cracked me up.
I can't count how many times I've made posts starting with that phrase.


I know there are folks on here that CAN answer your question. Just be patient, and... Welcome to ElevenForum. :)
I believe that I can go you one better in an "...it all began when..." contest, when I responded to a simple shed fire, spent the next twenty-seven months organizing a fire protection district, then some seven or so years equipping and training the fire department, then started a second department, then spent ten years proselytizing the structural fire service worldwide on what was then a new technology in fire suppression.

That is not exactly what medieval historians do, it drastically changed my life, but it really did all start when....
 

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glasskuter

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Welcome to the forum. Hopefully one of the powershell experts can get all the attributes corrected and you won't lose any of your files.

@Ghot @BunnyJ Maybe I'm missing something here but in my opinion an in place upgrade will not solve this problem since an in place upgrade does not affect anything in any personal user folder. It will not bring the attributes back to those personal files that are missing attributes to nor will it restore the files that were deleted from the appdata folder. An in place upgrade only changes operating system files. No operating system files were altered, only files in the user account. Please correct me if I'm wrong in my thinking.

@drdonut1 I am assuming the new "test" account you created has administrative privileges. Log in to the "test" account , you should see all the files you deleted in the Microsoft folders in your old account re-created in the new "test" account. If you find this to be true, that proves that to solve the problem, all you need to do is create a new user account. If this is NOT true, then stop here and report back. Follow these steps.

1. Log in to "Seawe" account. Create new user with a new username (example: Seawe1) Make it a local account with administrative privileges.(If you currently use a Microsoft account, once your old account is deleted your can change this account to a Microsoft account later.)

2. Using external media make folders (Desktop,Documents, Downloads,Music, Pictures, Videos)

3.Copy the files that you were able to restore attributes from "Seawe" into these folders. NOTE: you CAN NOT copy directly from "Seawe" account to the new user account without encountering permission issues.

4. Log out of Seawe and log in to Seawe1

5. Copy (NOT MOVE) the files from the external media into the corresponding Seawe1 user folders.

6. Once everything is in "Seawe1" you can delete both "Seawe" and "Test" user accounts

When you get your system in order, I strongly suggest you start using a backup solution to protect you in the future. There are many free backup programs available. Macrium is what I use. Had you had a backup image available, your system could have been restored in just a few minutes.
 
Last edited:

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BunnyJ

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Welcome to the forum. Hopefully one of the powershell experts can get all the attributes corrected and you won't lose any of your files.

@Ghot @BunnyJ Maybe I'm missing something here but in my opinion an in place upgrade will not solve this problem since an in place upgrade does not affect anything in any personal user folder. It will not bring the attributes back to those personal files that are missing attributes to nor will it restore the files that were deleted from the appdata folder. An in place upgrade only changes operating system files. No operating system files were altered, only files in the user account. Please correct me if I'm wrong in my thinking.

@drdonut1 I am assuming the new "test" account you created has administrative privileges. Log in to the "test" account , you should see all the files you deleted in the Microsoft folders in your old account re-created in the new "test" account. If you find this to be true, that proves that to solve the problem, all you need to do is create a new user account. If this is NOT true, then stop here and report back. Follow these steps.

1. Log in to "Seawe" account. Create new user with a new username (example: Seawe1) Make it a local account with administrative privileges.(If you currently use a Microsoft account, once your old account is deleted your can change this account to a Microsoft account later.)

2. Using external media make folders (Desktop,Documents, Downloads,Music, Pictures, Videos)

3.Copy the files that you were able to restore attributes from "Seawe" into these folders. NOTE: you CAN NOT copy directly from "Seawe" account to the new user account without encountering permission issues.

4. Log out of Seawe and log in to Seawe1

5. Copy (NOT MOVE) the files from the external media into the corresponding Seawe1 user folders.

6. Once everything is in "Seawe1" you can delete both "Seawe" and "Test" user accounts

When you get your system in order, I strongly suggest you start using a backup solution to protect you in the future. There are many free backup programs available. Macrium is what I use. Had you had a backup image available, your system could have been restored in just a few minutes.
It's odd.. but I never said it wouldn't work.. now did I? I think that an in place upgrade does work in many cases but I would try other things first before resorting to that method
 

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    Asus Crosshair VII Hero, X470
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Ghot

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@Ghot @BunnyJ Maybe I'm missing something here but in my opinion an in place upgrade will not solve this problem since an in place upgrade does not affect anything in any personal user folder. It will not bring the attributes back to those personal files that are missing attributes to nor will it restore the files that were deleted from the appdata folder. An in place upgrade only changes operating system files. No operating system files were altered, only files in the user account. Please correct me if I'm wrong in my thinking.


I would think "attributes" would be an operating system function, on whatever files we are discussing.
Also, an In-Place upgrade does affect some things in the USER folders, which is why we lose most of the "personalizations" when we do an In-Place upgrade.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win 11 Home ♦♦♦22000.778
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Built by Ghot® [May 2020]
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
    Motherboard
    Asus Pro WS X570-ACE
    Memory
    G.Skill (F4-3200C14D-16GTZKW)
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    EVGA RTX 2070 (08G-P4-2171-KR)
    Sound Card
    (onboard) Realtek ALC1220P / ALC S1220A
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell U3011 30"
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1600
    Hard Drives
    2x Samsung 860 EVO 500GB,
    WD 4TB Black FZBX - SATA III,
    WD 8TB Black FZBX - SATA III,
    LG GH22LS30 CD/DVD Burner
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling 750W Quad EPS12V
    Case
    COOLER MASTER ATCS 840 Full Tower
    Cooling
    CM Hyper 212 EVO (push/pull)
    Keyboard
    Ducky DK9008 Shine II Blue LED
    Mouse
    Logitech Optical M-100
    Internet Speed
    100/100
    Browser
    Firefox (latest)
    Antivirus
    Bitdefender Internet Security (latest)
    Other Info
    Speakers: Klipsch Pro Media 2.1
  • Operating System
    Windows XP Pro 32bit w/SP3
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Built by Ghot®
    CPU
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (OC'd @ 3.2Ghz)
    Motherboard
    ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition
    Memory
    TWIN2X2048-6400C4DHX (2 x 1GB, DDR2 800)
    Graphics card(s)
    EVGA 256-P2-N758-TR GeForce 8600GT SSC
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    ViewSonic G90FB Black 19" Professional (CRT)
    Screen Resolution
    up to 2048 x 1536
    Hard Drives
    WD 36GB 10,000rpm Raptor SATA
    Seagate 80GB 7200rpm SATA
    Lite-On LTR-52246S CD/RW
    Lite-On LH-18A1P CD/DVD Burner
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad EPS12V
    Case
    Generic Beige case, 80mm fans
    Cooling
    ZALMAN 9500A 92mm CPU Cooler
    Mouse
    Logitech Optical M-BT96a
    Keyboard
    Logitech Classic Keybooard 200
    Internet Speed
    100/100
    Browser
    Firefox 3.x ??
    Antivirus
    Symantec (Norton)
    Other Info
    Still assembled, still runs. Haven't turned it on for 13 years?

    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?183088-5000-B-E-on-M2N32-SLI-Dlx-Overclocked&p=2891724#post2891724

humbird

Well-known member
Power User
VIP
Local time
2:28 AM
Posts
1,078
Location
Washington
OS
Windows11
While I don't know the answer to your question... the "It all began when" ...literally cracked me up.
I can't count how many times I've made posts starting with that phrase.


I know there are folks on here that CAN answer your question. Just be patient, and... Welcome to ElevenForum. :)
Me too. :) It is the usual way for problems to begin.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Huawei Matebook X Pro
    CPU
    intel 8250 I5
    Memory
    8gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    intel uhd 620
    Monitor(s) Displays
    built in laptop display
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1280
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 970 Evo 500gb M2
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender
  • Operating System
    Windows 10
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer A515-43-R6DE
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7300U
    Memory
    16 GB DDR4
    Graphics card(s)
    AMD Raedon RX Vega graphics onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    15"6 FHD IPS Slim Bezel
    Hard Drives
    512cb PCie NVME SSD
    Case
    Pure Silver
    Mouse
    Touchpad and Logitech external mouse
    Keyboard
    Inbuilt
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender

Winuser

Well-known member
Pro User
VIP
Local time
5:28 AM
Posts
2,941
OS
Windows 11
Is seawe the username you chose, or the username MS assigned when you were signed into your MS account to setup Windows 11? MS wants us to sign into our MS account but if we do, we don't have a choice of our username. MS uses the first 5 characters of our email address. If you want now is a good time to set up the username of your choice. If you do and after you know everything is working you can delete the other users. Make sure the user you keep is an administrator account first though. Another thing you should do. Before making any more changes make a system backup first. There are a few free backup programs to choose from if you don't already have one installed.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    PowerSpec B746
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-10700K
    Motherboard
    ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming 4/ax
    Memory
    16GB (8GB PC4-19200 DDR4 SDRAM x2)
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 TI
    Sound Card
    Realtek Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung SAM0A87 Samsung SAM0D32
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    NVMe WDC WDS100T2B0C-00PXH0 1TB
    Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB
    PSU
    750 Watts (62.5A)
    Case
    PowerSpec/Lian Li ATX 205
    Keyboard
    Logitech K270
    Mouse
    Logitech M185
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge and Firefox
    Antivirus
    ESET Internet Security
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Dev
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy x360 15-ds1083cl
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 4700U 2.0GHZ
    Memory
    16 MB DDR 4-2666
    Graphics card(s)
    AMD Radeon
    Monitor(s) Displays
    15.6"
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    PCIe NVMe M.2 512GB
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge and Edge Canary
    Antivirus
    ESET Internet Security
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