Unspecified Error When Adding a Link to Favorites in Windows Vista and Windows 7

After reading the post Folder Redirection for Favorites on the Same Machine at the IE Team blog, I relocated my Favorites folder to a different drive. After the relocation, when I tried to add a URL to Favorites, I received the following error:

Unable to create ‘Title’:
Unspecified error

There were many posts in the Windows Vista newsgroups about this problem, and here is the thread containing the original solution from MS-MVP Jimmy Brush. The solution is to set the integrity level (to low) for the relocated Favorites folder. This article has a detailed write-up, and also provides a script which can automate the setting for you. Use one of the two methods below:

Method 1

Download fix_fav_il.vbs and save to Desktop. Double-click the file to run it. Click Continue when you see the User Account Control elevation prompt. The script will open an elevated Command Prompt window and fix the integrity level setting automatically. Once done, you should now see this message:

processed file: favorites
Successfully processed 1 files; Failed processing 0 files

Type EXIT to close the Command Prompt window.

Method 2

1. Click Start, type shell:favorites and press ENTER. The Favorites folder of your user account will open. Copy the full path shown in the Address Bar.



2. Open an elevated Command Prompt. To do so, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.

3. Type the following command:

icacls <favoritespath> /setintegritylevel (OI)(CI)low

Note: Replace the tag <favoritespath> with the actual path to your Favorites folder, enclosed with double-quotes)

Example:

icacls "D:\My Favorites" /setintegritylevel (OI)(CI)low

You should now see this message:

processed file: favorites
Successfully processed 1 files; Failed processing 0 files

4. Optionally, to verify if the Integrity Level is correctly set for the Favorites folder, run the icacls command followed by the Favorites folder path, but without any switches, as below:

icacls "D:\My Favorites"

You should see the following line in the output:

Mandatory Label\Low Mandatory Level:(OI)(CI)(NW)

5. Type EXIT to close the Command Prompt window.

You should be able to add an URL to Favorites now. Reportedly, this problem occurs as Internet Explorer in Windows Vista and Windows 7 runs under Protected mode (low integrity level) by default, and therefore will only be able to modify objects marked with a low integrity level in their system ACLs. When you relocate the Favorites to a different drive, you need to set the integrity level for the relocated folder, so that Internet Explorer (Protected mode) can write to it. This problem does not seem to occur if the Favorites folder is located within your user profile home directory.

Defined Integrity Levels

Screenshot from System Integrity Webcast.

Here are some useful links for more reading on Mandatory integrity control in Windows 7/Vista.

[Securityfocus.com] Introduction to Windows Integrity Control

[MSDN] Understanding and Working in Protected Mode Internet Explorer

[Webcast] Windows Vista System Integrity Technologies

[Steve Riley] Mandatory integrity control in Windows Vista



28 thoughts on “Unspecified Error When Adding a Link to Favorites in Windows Vista and Windows 7

  1. Good web site! I really love how it is easy on my eyes and the data are well written. I am wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I’ve subscribed to your RSS which must do the trick! Have a great day! edagefdcdcak

  2. Method No. 1 was a fast and incredibly easy fix for a problem that’s been annoying me ever since I got my Windows 7 computer last year! Thank you!

  3. GREAT!!! Option 2 worked !!!! WOOOOOOO HOOOOOOO!!! Thank You! :0)

    HP Support wanted to do a complete wipe of the machine and start over, saying it was a courupt IE install and had no other choice.

    Searched the MS Support page and found a artice that linked to this answer.

    Your site is wonderful! Thank you!

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