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Issue #356: May 18, 2014

Q: How can I copy/edit a file in the Windows subdirectory in Windows 7? I need to copy two ini files to the Windows directory but get access denied. I am the administrator and know that you can choose “run as administrator” but there it no option on the Windows folder. I also needed to copy some *.ocx files into the sysWOW64 folder and was denied. I need these files in these directories for some programs to run.

– Nancy U.
Monahans, Texas

A: The reason you’re having such difficulty, Nancy, is that you are not supposed to be messing around with the files you are trying to mess around with. “Access Denied” means exactly what it says, whether you are the administrator or not. You are fiddling with so-called protected Windows files. They belong to the operating system, not any user account, including Administrator.

In the case of .ini files, these files contain configuration data for either application programs, or for the operating system itself. Their content belongs to the software that created them, and as a general rule, you should not be modifying them or trying to move or copy them, as the results will be unpredictable. The OCX files you are trying to copy are also known as ActiveX controls. These cannot simply be copied at will, but must be properly registered with the operating system in order to function properly. This is almost always done by a program installer, or by Windows Update. So, what you should be doing is re-running the installer for the programs that you’re having trouble with.

If you still insist on trying to defeat Windows File Protection despite all my arm waving and warnings against it, the least I can do is help you down this primrose path. To that end, here are a couple of links for you to check out: and Good luck!

Q: Whenever I click on a link (the first time), it takes me to the Yahoo search engine, no matter where the original link should have gone. When I close Yahoo and hit the link again, it acts correctly. I’ve looked in my Startup file and there’s nothing there connected with Yahoo. I’ve run Malware and anti-virus scans, with no threats reported. I know Yahoo has “tucked something away” somewhere in my system, but I can’t find it. I’m unwilling to go too far without knowledgeable direction. I’d appreciate your suggestion(s).

 – Frank R.
Fort Walton Beach, Florida

 A: You are experiencing what’s called a browser redirect, Frank. That’s where something hijacks your browser during the process of navigating, and causes it to go somewhere other than your intended destination. Virus infections can be the cause of such activity, but often the cause is more deeply-rooted malware that your typical virus scanner cannot detect, much less clean. By the way, you might be barking up the wrong tree blaming Yahoo! itself. Just because you wind up there does not mean they are the ones hijacking your browser.

The steps required to track-down and eradicate browser redirect malware are far too complicated for me to cover them here. However, I tracked down a comprehensive removal guide for you. Just visit if your browser will let you go there.

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