If you want to manipulate system files in Windows Vista you need to take ownership of them and assign the correct rights to the file so that it can be manipulated. Windows Vista system files are not owned by the user but by the Trusted Installer and every attempt of manipulating these system files will result in a access denied error message.
One example where taking ownership of files comes in handy is when trying to patch the uxtheme.dll file. Custom themes cannot be applied to Windows Vista without patching that file first and patching the file is only possible with file ownership and the correct user rights. After patching the file users can add and use custom Windows Vista Themes.
Winmatrix forum user XPero wrote a lightweight script that speeds up the process of taking ownership and setting file rights tremendously. All that needs to be done is to execute the Take Ownership application, add the file or files that the user wants ownership of and seize control by pressing the Take Ownership button.
Take Control has a file size of just 160 Kilobytes and works fine only in Windows Vista.
Update: You can now also download a Take Ownership script that works both in Windows Vista and Windows 7 (and likely in future versions of the operating system as well).
Just head over to the How-To Geek website and download the application from there. All you need to do is to download and extract it, and then start the Take Ownership file to add new values to the Windows Registry.
This adds the Take Ownership option to the right-click menu. All you need to do from that moment on is right-click a folder or file that you want to become the owner of, and select the Take Ownership option to do so.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.