Yesterday I started experiencing a very irritating problem on my Windows 7 Enterprise x64 machine. Somehow, and I don't know how, I've lost permission to download .exe files to my Desktop (if I create a new folder on the Desktop I can successfully download into that). I've tried using both Firefox and Internet Explorer to do so and both give an error as soon as the download reaches 100%. The Firefox error is:
C:\Users\<Username>\Desktop\<filename>.exe could not be saved, because you cannot change the contents of that folder.
Change the folder properties and try again, or try saving in a different location.
The Internet Explorer error is simply:
You need permission to perform this action.
Weirdly, FlashGet (a download manager) can download the files without any problem, and I can download all other filetypes, just not .exe files (even .msi files download fine). I can move .exe files to the Desktop from other folders with no problems, the issue just seems to be when I download them from the net.
I have tried everything I can think of to rectify the problem, but nothing has worked. I've tried:
1. Setting maximum permissions for everyone in the Security tab of the Desktop folder properties.
2. Running both Firefox and Internet Explorer as admin.
3. Completely uninstalling Comodo Internet Security (which includes a firewall and antivirus) to see if that was causing the problem; it wasn't.
4. Using cacls via an elevated command prompt to take ownership of the Desktop folder, and the entire C:\ drive too.
5. System Restore - it failed because it couldn't extract a single useless file I didn't even need haha.
6. Running Firefox Safe Mode, which disables all customisations and basically runs it in its most vanilla form.
7. Reset my Internet Explorer settings using a specialised tool from Microsoft which does just that.
8. Disabling the Firefox antivirus scan, via the about:config screen, which is invoked when files are downloaded.
9. Cleared the history and temporary internet files/cache from each browser.
10. Head-butting the monitor.
I've run several scans (one antivirus and three antispyware) which showed nothing, and I created a HijackThis! log which showed nothing, so I doubt it's a malware issue.
UAC is disabled, and it's been disabled since I reinstalled Windows a month or two ago. I've installed the latest Windows updates as well. The Windows Firewall is disabled, as is Windows Defender.
I have an inkling that a certain program I installed yesterday may have done something to my system. It's called Install-Block, and it's a program which prompts users for a password before it allows them to install software. I only installed the demo, immediately didn't like the software and uninstalled it again. I'm guessing that this program works by altering the system's handling of .exe files (or installers in general) and that it didn't reset the system's protocols back to normal when I uninstalled it. I even reinstalled it, loosened the restrictions on installers within the program hoping that doing so would set things back to their original state (if they in fact needed to be), but that hasn't helped either.
So, so annoying. Any ideas would be appreciated.
Cheers for reading.