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Posted on Jun 24, 2013 in PC Maintenance, Troubleshooting Compatibility | 6 comments

Fix save game problems on older games by changing folder permissions

Windows Vista may not have been the most popular upgrade at the time, but it did implement a number of necessary changes. One of these changes was a tightening of security permissions. On a Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8 PC, programs running with normal permissions are not permitted to save data into the program files or program files (x86) folders. These folders are, of course, where programs are normally stored. This tightening of security helps prevent malware from infecting program files, therefore making the overall operating system more secure. However, many older or simply badly designed programs will assume that they can write files or information within their installation directory. Older games, in particular, will try to write save game data into their installation folder. If you’re playing an older game and you find that you cannot save your progress, you should try changing the permissions on the games folder. The video tutorial below will show you how.

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Additional notes

When playing older games, we recommend that you check that save files are working as soon as possible. Many older games will not show an error message if a save game could not be created and will simply carry on as if nothing was wrong, so make sure to check for this problem to avoid disappointment in future gameplay sessions!

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6 Comments

  1. Did exactly as you showed, and it still won’t let me open a save file. Any other ideas?

    • Hi Liz, first of all check to make sure you followed the procedure correctly by opening the folder you worked on and creating a file or folder within that folder (right click, choose new->text document). If that works, then you followed the tutorial correctly. If it doesn’t then go back and check everything again.

      If you did everything correctly and it still doesn’t work then the fault is due to a compatibility issue or error with your game program.

      • I don’t have additional user accounts on my computer, but clicked full control for all users listed, but realize now one that pops up says CREATOR OWNER (that one doesn’t pop up all the time, I noticed) and every time I click full control, as soon as I click apply, all the checks go away. I don’t know what that is about, but when I right click in the folder and choose new, I still get the folder option with security shield. I tried running the program as administrator and it doesn’t work either. I don’t know if it’s the program (Bugs Bunny Lost in Time on Windows 7) but I tried the same method on other games on my computer and I get the same thing. Just a Windows 7 issue maybe?

        • Hi again, you need to explicitly add your user account to the list of users. At around 4:25 on the video, notice I type in “Bucko”. That’s my user account name. You can find yours by opening the Start menu and looking in the top right (Windows 7) or top left (Windows 10) corner.

          I do have that game but I’ve not played it in a while, I’m pretty certain saving and loading did work on Windows 7 with that game though.

          • Thanks for all your help, Matt, I’m clearly not very technology savvy! I figured out now that I do have a different user name that wasn’t listed, even though I’m the admin, and was able to make a text document. I don’t know if I’m still missing something though, because when I open the game, I select new game (there are none saved) and it highlights the first of 6 save slots, but I can’t type anything there. Just hitting enter on that slot and continuing doesn’t save my progress anywhere either, so I’m not sure what else I can try. If you have any more ideas, I’m all ears, but I appreciate you taking the time to help me as much as you have anyway.

          • Never mind, it works now! I guess I just can’t name the save file, and I had to finish more before I could save. Thanks SO much for all your help!

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