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Windows 7: Can't copy files from external hard drive

24 Mar 2010   #1
dland2000

Windows 7 Pro
 
 
Can't copy files from external hard drive

So I recently moved from XP to 7. Before I did this I created a backup of some files on my XP box and copied it to an external hard drive. Now that I'm on Windows 7 I've learned that there is really no way to directly restore the backup. So I have restored it onto a Vista box and copied the rehydrated files back onto the external hard drive. Now I just want to copy the files from the external hard drive to the main hard drive on my Windows 7 box. However, when I do this I get the following warning for some (but not most) folders:

"You'll need to provide administrator permission to copy this folder"

My options are Continue, Skip, and Cancel. First off, I am an administrator on this box so I don't understand why it's asking my this. Secondly, if I choose Continue, it tells me that the folder I'm copying over already exists in the destination! What? The system is in the middle of copying it! Why is it asking me this? So I just tell it to proceed, but then it tells me the same thing about a few particular files and asks me if I want to overwrite them or ignore them. I usually say overwrite because they shouldn't be there yet. Anyway, by the time the whole thing is done, the destination folder is actually BIGGER and has more files than the same freaking folder on the drive I was copying from? How is that possible?

What is going on here? Why does a simple copy operation not work anymore?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2010   #2
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

The copy function in Win7 works very well - trust me. When you did your copy operation, the system apprently found files/folders by the same name that already existed on your system. E.g. if you copy a folder named "Music", the system will note that there is already such a folder that comes with the system. But very often those are system files like .ini that are on both the target and the source.
If your folder got bigger, you'll have to look what the additions are. Hard to tell from here what might have happened.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2010   #3
dland2000

Windows 7 Pro
 
 

Probably should have clarified first, but I copied the folder to a totally empty location. There was no file or folder already there with that name.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2010   #4
mitchell65

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dland2000 View Post
Probably should have clarified first, but I copied the folder to a totally empty location. There was no file or folder already there with that name.
What was the location, anew folder on your internal hard drive? if so what did you name it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2010   #5
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dland2000 View Post
Probably should have clarified first, but I copied the folder to a totally empty location. There was no file or folder already there with that name.
"empty location" is not a clear definition. Was it an empty folder?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2010   #6
dland2000

Windows 7 Pro
 
 

Okay, so the external drive containing the XP backup files is called E. I am trying to copy some of the files from the E drive into a new folder I created on the C drive (now under Windows 7), called "XPBackup". At this point the C:\XPBackup folder is totally empty. I just created it. It does not contain any folders or files.

The E drive contains a folder called "Program Files", which contains many files and sub folders. So I grab Program Files from the E drive and drop it into the C:\XPBackup folder.

It starts to work, but at some point during the copy I get all the business I mentioned earlier.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2010   #7
mitchell65

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Is it possible you could have duplicated file names in the original folder?
One or two folders are causing this problem I would guess. Empty the new folder on C:/ and try transferring say 3 folders at a time. This way you should be able to isolate the troublesome ones.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2010   #8
dland2000

Windows 7 Pro
 
 

So what appears to be happening is that for some reason I don't have access to one of the folders on the E drive. I went though and started copying them all over one by one (as mitchell65 said it was a few folder giving me the problem) and eventually I found one that gave me the error. When I tried to open it on the E drive Windows 7 said "You don't currently have permission to access this folder. Click Continue to permanently get access to this folder." If I click Continue I get access to the folder and then if I try the complete copy again of Program Files again, it magically works. No more messages about needing admin privileges or that folders already exist in the destination. Actually I still get messages about needing admin privileges to copy certain files but that does not seem to cause the same problems as needing admin privileges to copy entire folders.

So the question then becomes how can I just get Windows 7 to accept me as an admin and not keep telling me I need admin privileges? I can't do the above routine for all folders, it will take forever.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2010   #9
Bill2

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2010   #10
motc7

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bill2 View Post
I was about to say this sure sounds like a permissions issue. Upped Rep!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Can't copy files from external hard drive




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