Windows 7 Permissions? Cannot copy files from USB drive to c drive


New Member
New W7 machine, just trying to copy files from old XP machine via a WD Passport drive.
I have turned off User Account Control, but that doesn't help.

I have wasted about 2 hours on this issue so far, reading many, many posts that do not solve it. Have tried changing owner of files to my user-administrator, changing owner to administrators, using the hidden admin user to attempt the copy, opening permissions to full, but none of these prevent the error message that is basically:
You require permission from the computer's administrator to make changes to this file.

I am the admin, I am the owner, I am not trying to make changes (just trying to copy to create a new directory containing these files.)
The empty directory gets created but no files get copied.

I would appreciate any useful assistance to resolve this insane frustrating problem.

(Why do people put up with this rubbish????)

Thanks in advance.

I'm not sure this would help but try and copy the files in Administrator Mode.

How to Enable the Administrator Account

Open the command prompt with elevated privileges by clicking the Start orb, All Programs, Accessories, right-click Command Prompt and then select Run as administrator.

Type or cut and paste…

net user administrator /active:yes

and then press Enter.

Log out and log back in as Administrator.

When you are done undue the process by doing the same thing and pasting in

net user administrator /active:no

I haven't had any of these problems in a couple of years, but I remember having issues like this when I first switched to Windows 7.

If you are trying to copy folders with lots of files, try making a folder with the same name on you new computer and copy the files from the old folder a few at a time, sometimes it's just one file that will keep it from copying.

I had a few cases way back when I had to boot the computer into Linux to get it to move files, but I recently moved all the files from my old computer to my new Windows 8 computer and didn't run into any issues.

Hopefully someone else will have some additional ideas.

Pretty sure we had a similar post that never got resolved recently.

I don't know how that turned out.

Any chance that it might let you copy the files to an intermediate location like a laptop using the laptops OS and then to your new computer?
You could try it with just a few files and see it you could then move the files to your new computer from there.

Cheers to Ayn Rand. LOL

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Thanks, Mike. I did try those things and came up empty.
But I just went back and wentthrough everything again, and found that in haste I neglected to tick the box to apply changes on all children under the folder. I did that and the files became copiable.
Unfortunately, the copied files are stil not able to be opened by Outlook '03.
Was trying to import my OEcpress email to Outlook, but it just says that it can't read the files.
Nothing else is using them, and the permissions seem fine.
I give up on Outlook import. Never really liked that interface anyway, so
I take this as a sign that I am wasting my time on it.
Will go on looking for a W7 replacement for OE email client.

Thanks for your suggestions. Forced me to look one more time ;^)

I am liking W7 less and less with each passing moment.
I'd like to leave Windows altogether given how much W7 and W8
are not an improvement on XP for my needs, but the alternatives
are not any better.
Hate wasting time for no good reason.
Change for the sake of change is not progress.

I liked Windows 7 fine, it was stable and fast, I'm regretting my decision to switch to Windows 8.

It has some advantages performance wise but too many hassles with the interface.
It looks like the went out of their way to add unnecessary steps to everything.

By the way I use Classic Shell and still use the Windows XP interface, in Windows 8, same as I did in Windows 7.

Welcome to Classic Shell

You might find that it makes Windows 7 more bearable.
I didn't like the scrolling start menu in Windows 7, not great when you have a list 100 programs long to scroll through in a small window.

It makes Windows Explorer work better too.

And you should try using Agent Ransack as a search engine, the one in Windows 7 is really weak. Why, when the one in XP worked really well I'll never figure out.

Agent Ransack - Free File Searching Utility

Try using the standard Windows Live Mail client, or Mozilla Thunderbird, which I use.
Both work fine with Windows 7.

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Mike I didn't find anything compelling enough for me to upgrade to Windows 8 the speed increase was very small. I'll deal with it when I have to get another PC. Permissions and ownership in Vista and later can be a major headache.
Hi, Mike.
I am already using Classic Shell. I found it a couple weeks ago when I bought (and returned 2 days later) a W8 equipped laptop. Its a significant improvement.
One problem I have with it is that when I try to delete a file in classic explorer. If the file is on a usb drive, it will only send it to the recycle bin, while when deleting files on the internal drive it deletes immediately. I have never used recycle bin, nor found it helpful. Have you found a way to make classic explorer delete files when the user wants to?

I am trying out Agent Ransack, too ;^)
Thanks again.

I think MSFT has lost its way, as most businesses do when they grow, forgetting the core of users that created the success and morphing into an organization that excells at nothing.
This is nothing new.
They have made default 'security' changes that destroy usability for most outside large corporate environments. They have made interface changes that appear to have been done merely to justify the employment of a generation of programmers and managers who want bragging rights without making any contribution to progress. They have multiple versions for sale purely for marketing reasons. It would be easy to have a version for the market segment that includes people who can see, copy, and modify files on their own computers and never damage the OS (especially since MSFT puts no effort into supporting this segment technically.) Some windows users actually are capable of doing math and understanding technical issues (as well as marketing ones.)
All the internal improvements of W7 and W8 would have been just as easy to implement without the interface change that was simply for the sake of change (in the case of laptops and desktops.) I would have been a buyer of an OS that improved on XP long before this, but I am not a satisfied buyer of any MSFT OS released since XP.

To skip the recycle bin right click on it and select Properties.
Check the box "Don't Move Files to the Recycle Bin. Remove files immediately when deleted."

Your right, Microsoft has forgotten that the reason to create a new operating system is to make it better, not just different.

They would have done a lot better to build on their old interface and solve the issues it had, instead of doing something new that removes usability.

It really looks like they sat around and said how can we do this so that it's more complex and less useful then it was before.

Regarding the recycle bin, I have already done that procedure to turn recycling off. That does work with deleting files on C, but not with files on external USB drive, like WD's My Passport. For some reason classic explorer wants to put deleted files from an external drive into recycle bin, but immediately deletes those on the C drive (as instructed.) I even tried changing the recycle switch again, and switching it on and off from within classic exporer does not fix this (at least not here.)

I never noticed that, because I always let stuff go to the recycle bin anyway.
There have been a few times when I was glad that I had the opportunity to change me mind.

I run CCleaner every day when I turn off the computer and it takes care of clearing the recycle bin along with a lot of other stuff.
So I never really think about it.


I just tried it on my computer, I copied a folder with a couple of gigs of stuff to a flash drive.

Then I changed the settings for the recycle bin to delete file immediately and then went back to explorer and deleted the folder from the flash drive.

When I deleted it, it just deleted, it didn't end up in the recycle bit.

I'm running Windows 8 so I don't know if the same thing normally happens on a Windows 7 computer.
When I get a chance I'll try it on my wifes laptop.

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Mike, if you don't mind, one more query...
In XP, I always set up my own folders on the start menu with shortcuts in them to the apps I used, naming the folders by category like, utilities, DVD, audio, video, etc. That way I knew where to start the app I wanted quickly and reliably without going through windows Start-Programs long list of unrelated disorganized folders. I could start any app I cared about in 1 to 2 clicks.
W7 is even worse at assuming that the OS can decide for me which apps I care about. So far I see no obvious way to organize my own choices. W7 now decides for me what goes on the start menu and I have to go search for my fave apps to start them... typing a search term is like going back to DOS and a waste of time as far as I am concerned. For people who have little organization skill it may be better, but I don't want "Hal" to take control of my computer.
My question:
Have you found any way in W7 that I could organize my own apps in the start menu by category and get to those categories (and to shortcuts of favorite apps) in one mouse click like I could on the XP start menu?

I have 2 ways of handling that.

The main one is Rocketdock.
It adds an additional taskbar that can be placed wherever you want and made any size.

Desktop Image.JPG

On my computer I put anything I need to open when I'm online or in another program on the Taskbar, Word, Chrome, Skype, Windows Explorer etc., and all of the other software I use on a regular basis on Rocketdock.

Things like Photoshop, all my current games, Windows tools, etc, arranged by category, with dividers in between.

Any other seldom used software I access from the Programs menu.

But you can also place a folder on the desktop with as many program icons as you want in it. I have one folder on my desktop that I put a copy of every other icon in, just to make it easy to retrieve it, if I need to.

The Flask of Files and the Jug of Junk are my storage places.
I created the icons too.

To put files on Rocketdock I send the .exe link to the desktop, drag it to Rocketdock and then drag the left over icon to the folder on the desktop so I only have to have the one folder there with all the icons inside it.

I've used Rocketdock for a number of years and can't imagine being without it any more.

Here's the link...

About RocketDock -

I love it, everything is one click away.

Thanks, Mike.
I will download Rocketdock and check it out ;^)
I also took some time to create some custom items on the Classic Start Menu using the folders of shortcuts (as you mentioned you created on your desktop.)
Now I have the folders of shortcuts in Classic Start Menu (just as desired) AND Rocketdock to play with.