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Windows 7: Both internal hard drives marked as read-only - have tried everything

26 Apr 2015   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Both internal hard drives marked as read-only - have tried everything

Hi, I don't know why my computer is so screwy, but now it seems both of my internal hard drives are marked as read-only. All folders are read-only and I am unable to change the permissions of the folders so I can write to them. I have tried changing the read only attribute from the folder using the button for it, but every time I try to do this, an error message pops up saying "Access is denied". I also tried using the attrib command at the command line, and also some third party utilities for changing permissions. None of these options has worked! I am at my wit's end here!!! I even looked in the BIOS settings and there does not seem to be any options for changing write permissions in the BIOS.

For everyone's information, I have a Dell XPS Studio 9100 computer (yes, I know, it's several years out of date as I bought it in 2011). One of the hard drives is from western digital (I replaced a samsung drive that came with the computer which failed about a year and a half after I bought it), and the other is the secondary drive that is a Samsung which still works fine.

Anyone able to help me here?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2015   #2
Anshad Edavana

Windows 7 Ultimate x64


The attribute "Read only" is not applicable to folders - it's only used by Windows explorer to determine whether it's a special folder like system directories.

Source :


Unlike the Read-only attribute for a file, the Read-only attribute for a folder is typically ignored by Windows, Windows components and accessories, and other programs. For example, you can delete, rename, and change a folder with the Read-only attribute by using Windows Explorer.

The Read-only and System attributes is only used by Windows Explorer to determine whether the folder is a special folder, such as a system folder that has its view customized by Windows (for example, My Documents, Favorites, Fonts, Downloaded Program Files), or a folder that you customized by using the Customize tab of the folder's Properties dialog box. As a result, Windows Explorer does not allow you to view or change the Read-only or System attributes of folders. When a folder has the Read-Only attribute set it causes Explorer to request the Desktop.ini of that folder to see if any special folder settings need to be set.

In short unlike a file's read only attribute, a folder's read only attribute is only used to determine whether the settings from "desktop.ini" to be loaded or not. Normally you should be able to save files to that folder without problems.

However if System attribute is also applied in addition to read only, some programs might not be able to save files to that folder. In that case you can try attrib -r -s [folder path] command which may reset both attributes.

Perhaps you might be encountering a NTFS permission issue which can be resolved by taking ownership of the respective partition.

Take Ownership Shortcut
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2015   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

I tried that and no longer get issues about Steam being unable to sync apps :) I am trying to run a program called DeltaCopy which is a wrapper for the rsync command under Linux - I want to be able to sync some files from an rsync server on another computer to a directory on my D: drive. I got errors with the delta copy app about being unable to write files, so hopefully using take ownership will fix that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Apr 2015   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

I still have the permissions issues even after using "take ownership" with all of my folders. Some applications still refuse to recognize the new ownership.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Apr 2015   #5

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

I take it you already tried right-clicking on the install icon and picking "Run As Administrator?"
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Both internal hard drives marked as read-only - have tried everything

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