How to access System Volume Information

System Volume Information, as all other system files in Windows, are hidden by default. If you need to look at what’s inside that folder, here is a step-by-step guide to help you with such task. Frankly, you don’t really need to see what’s inside of it, but if you’re curious or just because this folder is daring you with that “no, you can’t look inside!”… darn it!.. It is YOUR computer, isn’t it?

Warning: if you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t do it! Don’t try this at home, at the office, wherever you might get in trouble.However, if you’re having one of those Einstein moments and just want to experiment… try it on your mother-in-law’s PC.

In Windows XP, click Start, and then click My Computer.
Alternatively, press the “Windows” and the letter “E” keys on your keyboard to open Windows Explorer.
On the Tools menu, click Folder Options.
On the View tab, click Show hidden files and folders.
Clear the Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) check box. Click Yes when you are prompted to confirm the change.
Clear the Use simple file sharing (Recommended) check box.
Click OK.

Now all the System Files and Folders are visible. They are not accessible, however. If you try to open any of them, they will bark “access denied”!
Oh yeah?! You talkin’ to me?

Pull out your command prompt and show ’em who you are!

Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK
In the following example I’m using “c:\” as the root folder, “Francesco” my user name. Change yours accordingly.

Type: cd c:\
press Enter
command prompt change directory

Type: cacls “c:\System Volume Information” /E /G Francesco:F
(pay attention to the double quotes ” “)
press Enter
cmd calcs

Try now to open that System Volume Information folder. Did it stop barking?  Good boy…

Huhhh… huhh huh… now what?! A Beavis & Butthead moment? Yeah, really… what do you do with that? Nothing.
This is a very important system directory with backup volume information inside. So, please be careful: look but don’t touch.

To be safe, reverse the changes you’ve just made and apply the proper security back:

Type: cacls “c:\System Volume Information” /E /R Francesco
press Enter
command calcs r


– Francesco Vaccino



About the author

Freelancer Information Technology.