Windows Vista Fax and Scan – Access denied to My Documents

I came across what I thought to be a very common issue… but the solution ended up being rather odd (and out of compulsiveness, I just happened to stumble upon it).

When presented with an access denied error and users accessing their My Documents folders via redirection, my first inclination is to check permissions. I did notice some rather strange permissions on the folders, so I set them to owner/system/administrator full control with inherit and re-applied them to all subfolders. I then set the owner of the files to the user. This did not resolve the problem.

Ultimately… my obsessive behavior of deleting that damned desktop.ini file resolved the problem. After I deleted the desktop.ini file, magically it started working. This left me confused, and laughing, initially.

Apparently the desktop.ini file is what changes “My Documents” to look like “Joe’s Documents.” I thought this would just be interpreted as an alias. If I am on the server and I saw “Joe’s Documents” I could still type My Documents in the path and reach the same destination. Apparently Vista’s Fax and Scan doesn’t make that distinction and decided that it would use alias path to connect– I don’t know why Microsoft failed to accommodate this problem, it seems like it shouldn’t make a difference.

Problem: Vista’s WFS cannot access My Documents
Solution: Delete desktop.ini