W10 suddenly denying access to manipulate my own data files
Thread poster: Sheila Wilson

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:12
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Sep 22

I'm trying to get all my data files in good order before changing over to a new computer, and I'm afraid I might have done something very bad . I'm totally illiterate in the IT area so although I've found lots of almost-helpful advice on Microsoft forums etc, I don't really understand enough of that advice to go ahead and start changing things. I did quite a few things today in terms of deleting and moving files around, and even discovered that I was displaying hidden files, so I changed that setting in Explorer. I thought one of those key presses might have been the problem, but I just looked at the backup copy of the entire hard disk I did on 7th September and I've found that the same problem existed then - what I thought was a copy of the entire C disk doesn't contain any of my data files.

When I do a copy of the C disk onto a backup external disk, it has always come to a point where it says that access to copy a particular file is denied. It never really worried me as it's always seemed to be files that aren't data but rather program files that I'm not really interested in copying anyway. So I've got into the habit of saying skip that first one, and skip all others like it, and not worrying about it further. My data files have always been copied... until now! Although I didn't notice it last time, the Users folder is no longer being copied over - and all my data is within that folder!!!

It's my own personal computer; nobody else uses it. I'm not really sure of the terminology, but I believe that there's only one user account, and that's me. I guess I'm the Administrator too. I haven't done anything major lately in terms of downloading new software, changing operating system, etc. However, W10 does frequently update itself.

I've looked at the properties of several folders and files and I can see that there might well be a problem there for me as a user, as the security settings have a tick in the "allow" column for:
- read and execute
- list folder contents
- read
but the others are blank (they aren't denied either). Is it a simple matter of highlighting the Administrator line, clicking on "edit", and then updating the security settings? Somehow I doubt it. Anyway, I've learned not to click on things once it all goes pear-shaped. I don't know how to sign on as Administrator or start my computer in Safe Mode - two things that seem to be advocated frequently.

I apologise for the rambling content of this post but I'm way out of my comfort zone and panicking. Can anyone help with some step-by-step instructions to get my data copyable?


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Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:12
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
A couple quick things you can try... Sep 22

First, try to run explorer.exe as administrator. Navigate to C:\Windows, right click on explorer.exe and then on 'Run as administrator'. See if that makes a difference with permissions/copying.

Second, if you want to try with Safe mode: http://www.avira.com/en/support-for-business-knowledgebase-detail/kbid/1778 ('Start Safe Mode directly out of Windows').

HTH


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:12
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the input, Mirko Sep 22

Mirko Mainardi wrote:
First, try to run explorer.exe as administrator. Navigate to C:\Windows, right click on explorer.exe and then on 'Run as administrator'. See if that makes a difference with permissions/copying.

Second, if you want to try with Safe mode: http://www.avira.com/en/support-for-business-knowledgebase-detail/kbid/1778 ('Start Safe Mode directly out of Windows').

I'm sure either or both would help if only I really understood how.

- I right-clicked on explorer.exe but I dare not click on Run as Administrator as I have no idea what the consequences would be.

- The instructions in the link are really clear, so I think I could follow the "Start Safe Mode directly out of Windows" option. But where would that get me, and how do I get out of it again?


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Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:12
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
No risks Sep 22

Using 'Run as Administrator' has no consequence other than running a specific program in 'elevated mode', that is to say, with added permissions, as admin. It could or could not help you with your problem, but it won't have any nefarious consequence.

If you follow that procedure to go into Safe mode, then you can switch back to normal by simply restarting W10.


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Hedwig Lugaro  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 05:12
Spanish to French
+ ...
Another option Sep 22

Dear Sheila,

I don't have step-by-step instructions to copy your data in Windows directly, we did it differently because it was too complicated.

We used another program for all our backup and recovery and it worked fine. Really easy to use and setup. I hope it helps: https://www.todo-backup.com/ The free version was enough for us.

Good luck!


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:12
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks to both of you Sep 22

For tonight I'm treating a severe stress headache to some paracetamol and a few beers (hopefully not too many!), but I'll give your suggestions a try tomorrow morning.

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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
French to Danish
+ ...
Try this Microsoft solution Sep 22

When I upgraded my daughter's Windows 7 system to Windows 10 (I used her as guinea pig), it made all her files read-only. This happened to many other users.

It wasn't too difficult to solve; I just don't remember exactly how I did, but I found this article for you:

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-files/document-folders-marked-read-only-after-upgrade-to/4f00d3fe-82b0-4e6d-a92a-f81751aa6f51?auth=1

After seeing Windows 10 in action on her computer, I decided I didn't like it, so I kept Windows 7 on my own computer, but since Windows 7 doesn't support the new processors, there will be no way around Windows 10 on my next computer (ugh!). I hope they have fixed the worst teething problems by now.


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Adrien Esparron
Local time: 12:12
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
What is you Users' folder structure? Sep 23

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Users folder is no longer being copied over - and all my data is within that folder!!!



Hi Sheila,

Sorry to see you have such problems. Before attempting to have a possible answer, could you describe the folder tree structure?

As an help, you could first have a look here:

https://www.groovypost.com/howto/windows-10-files-folders-file-explorer/

Could be interesting.

Good luck!


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:12
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I'm learning a lot Sep 23

I now know how to change to administrator, how to change some permissions (with care), how to enter safe mode. It's all good stuff. Knowing that I can do these things without any risk is great. I managed to copy all my data files to an external disk, albeit in a rather long-winded way. But it had to be done in a bit of a hurry as I've spent most of today doing the basic switch to a new computer - something I only do every 5-10 years when the hardware starts threatening to fail. I had a bit of expert help today and it's going well, although I still have all the extra programs to download, settings to set, and signing on to everything to do.

Everything is in a state of constant change at the moment as I get things back to the way of working I'm comfortable with. I still have to sort out backups etc., but most of that's for tomorrow (the 'mañana' sort of tomorrow as well as tomorrow, Sunday). Someone else recommended that software too, Hedwig, so thanks for that confirmation that it's good. At least I've now got my data on my new and old computers as well as backed up to two other places. And I now have a very straightforward folder tree, Adrien: C disk; Users; SheilaW; and then my various folders of data. And it looks as though they're all set to give full control to User SheilaW. So I think I'm very happy with the way things are going (crossing fingers and touching wood as I type). A Saturday night out on the town is called for, I think, with lots of live music from my friends.

I owe you all a beer - cheers .


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 04:12
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
External hard drive full Sep 23

Hi Sheila, from one computer illiterate to another, I commiserate with you, being faced with a problem like this. When my PC crashed a year ago, I called on a computer expert. He fixed everything, installed a new hard drive, retrieved programs and files, and reassured me that I didn't need a new computer just yet. I would definitely recommend getting some expert help and save yourself that stress headache.

He told me at the time that my external hard drive was full. Apparently my previous external hard drive copied everything each time in a new folder until it was full of old material and then it stopped without notice. Now I have a new external hard drive that replaces what was there before and only adds what is new, so it won't be full for a long time. The program for that is called WD SmartWare. It allows me to see for myself whether everything is working properly.

[Edited at 2017-09-23 22:27 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:12
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The experts are here on ProZ.com, not where I live Sep 26

Tina Vonhof wrote:
I would definitely recommend getting some expert help and save yourself that stress headache.

I would just love to do that, Tina. Do you think your expert would like a busman's holiday in Fuerteventura? Honestly, it's a mega-problem locally. I did find one a couple of years ago but his English was not good, and my Spanish at that time was pretty non-existent. He was unfortunately one of those people who show how expert they are by racing around the keyboard (which was a French AZERTY layout) and not bothering to read the screen. He ended up doing terrible harm to my set-up, and some of the problems I'm hoping to finally see the back of today are ones he caused. This time I managed to find a retired English hardware engineer. Not brilliant for the future, when most of my problems will be related to software, and of course I can't set his "invoices" against my tax bill, but he has helped enormously, not least because he insisted on reading and understanding everything before touching mouse or keys, and checking to see what I wanted.

I'm just immensely relieved to have some experts from around the world willing to help from time to time. My husband is very thankful too. He says he's been watching my skin colour carefully during all this. Back on 22/9 when I started this thread, he says I was literally grey. Since then, it's been getting better and I now have my rosy cheeks back .


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Rolf Keller
Germany
Local time: 12:12
English to German
Copying files between different PCs is not a straightforward task Oct 1

-- The Windows File Explorer refuses any access to certain protected files - even for Admin users. Microsoft calls this a "security feature". That can't be helped by any means.

The only solution: Use a different file explorer. So, use a third-party explorer or (if you are sure about what you are doing!) use the "Notepad trick": Run Notpad as Admin and mis-use it's tiny built-in file explorer via the File/Open command.

-- Don't keep all your personal files in c:\users\yourName. Avoid this folder **if possible**, e. g. do not store your translations and personal configuration files there. Instead create a different folder or (even better!) a different volume (e. g. E:\) and set the read&write rights to "Anybody". This folder can be copied to anywhere without any problem.

Caution: "Anybody" doesn't mean "any user" but "any user who is authentificated (e. g. by a password)".

Caution 2: In Windows, user tokens are "unique in space and time" even if they carry identical user names with them. That's why you often find cryptic user names ("S-1-...") after copying files to a different PC.




[Bearbeitet am 2017-10-01 09:16 GMT]


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Maija Cirule  Identity Verified
Latvia
Member (2014)
German to English
+ ...
Maybe Oct 1

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Tina Vonhof wrote:
I would definitely recommend getting some expert help and save yourself that stress headache.

I would just love to do that, Tina. Do you think your expert would like a busman's holiday in Fuerteventura? Honestly, it's a mega-problem locally. I did find one a couple of years ago but his English was not good, and my Spanish at that time was pretty non-existent. He was unfortunately one of those people who show how expert they are by racing around the keyboard (which was a French AZERTY layout) and not bothering to read the screen. He ended up doing terrible harm to my set-up, and some of the problems I'm hoping to finally see the back of today are ones he caused. This time I managed to find a retired English hardware engineer. Not brilliant for the future, when most of my problems will be related to software, and of course I can't set his "invoices" against my tax bill, but he has helped enormously, not least because he insisted on reading and understanding everything before touching mouse or keys, and checking to see what I wanted.

I'm just immensely relieved to have some experts from around the world willing to help from time to time. My husband is very thankful too. He says he's been watching my skin colour carefully during all this. Back on 22/9 when I started this thread, he says I was literally grey. Since then, it's been getting better and I now have my rosy cheeks back .


you should try to find a computer guru who can help you online via TeamVeawer or other remote access program. I know this is scary but it is worth it. Maybe some ProZ member should help?

[Edited at 2017-10-01 14:13 GMT]


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