Cannot Copy files from XP

January 7, 2005 at 17:35:10
Specs: Windows 2000 Professional, ?/384 MB

Hey everyone,
I have a Windows XP hard drive from a laptop plugged in through usb port to my computer with windows 2000 professional. when i try to copy the files, the top bar says "Error Copying File or Folder" and then the text is "Cannot Copy [I]filename[/I] : Access is denied. The source file may be in use." I made sure the files are shared, but i can't copy any of these files. Can windows 2000 not support XP files? What can i do to save these files?? These are important, and i have to restore XP on the laptop, so the files would be deleted. I need to save these. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

See More: Cannot Copy files from XP

Report •

January 7, 2005 at 17:48:36

Make sure you have the firewall turn off. Window XP does come with its own firewall utility. To turn off the firewall from Window XP, right click on My Network Place, Choose Properties.

Then right click Local Arean Connection, choose properties. Click on Advanced Tab and uncheck the box.

Report •

January 7, 2005 at 18:12:34

well, i can't get to that. when i meant i have the laptob plugged in, i really meant that i actually have the hard drive installed in a external storage system. The laptop is so screwed up that it will not boot up, so i need to save the files. So instead of slaving the hard drive, i have aa external storage system that uses usb and plug and play. so it looks like an external hard drive and comes up as a drive under My Computer. So the firewall shouldn't be running being that the OS isn't running. Could it maybe be my firewall? I'll turn it off, but unlikely it will work. If you know anything else that can help, i would appreciate it. Thanks

Report •

January 7, 2005 at 21:15:22

Hi Danny,

It's almost certainly not a firewall.

A couple possibilities.

If the laptop is as hosed as you say, the files may have been "flagged" as "in use" when the laptop gave up the ghost.

In that case, you cand boot on a floppy if neither drive is NTFS and do the copy in DOS, which knows little about file locking.

The glitch here is that DOS will truncate long file names [LFN}. If you choose this route, before doing the copy and with w2k running, go to a cmd prompt and:

[let's call the laptop drive U:]

dir/s/b u:\ >> laptop.txt

which will give you a record of the filenames to jog your memory later.

I have USB drivers if you need them.

If either drive is NTFS, you need a different approach.

With w2k running, go to a cmd prompt and:

xcopy u:\myfiles c:\saved\ /s



If at first you don't succeed, you're about average.

Report •

Related Solutions

January 7, 2005 at 21:51:50

thanks. they are both NTFS, but it even says access denied in command prompt during the xcopy. i don't know if i can save these or not.

Report •

January 7, 2005 at 22:16:40

I'm surprised you were denied access.

I just did this:

xcopy \winnt\*.exe s:\sav3\

and it worked.

I guess I'm out of my depth.

Wait for jboy, IVO, Richard, DAVE or...


If at first you don't succeed, you're about average.

Report •

January 8, 2005 at 02:51:30

Possibly... install the drive in another desktop PC (using an adapter). Boot up with a copy of ntfsdos (on a floppy) from:

You should be able to at least access/copy off critical data to another drive. Or boot with a working OS ('9x???) and use the equivalent util that runs from within the working OS (ntfs for windows 98) at:

There are similar utils at:

sysinternals also has a util or two that allow access to hosed drive in other ways too...,: see the above link(s).

The above utils may also work with the drive installed as an external drive (but I'm not sure about access from a floppy-based approach).

Report •

January 8, 2005 at 03:01:43


Good ideas.

I fthis stuff cannot be lost, the problem drive may need to go into a unix box.

My assumption is that unix will not respect any winders "file in use" flag.



If at first you don't succeed, you're about average.

Report •

January 8, 2005 at 03:08:11


The unix/linux angle may be a very viable route. I have found knoppix (linux on a CD) a useful item, but haven't yet used it "under fire" as it were.

Report •

January 8, 2005 at 03:18:51


Yeah, I'd like to get it. It's a free DL so nobody here sells it. My connect is too slow.

Catch 22, the ongoing saga.


If at first you don't succeed, you're about average.

Report •

January 8, 2005 at 03:34:37

Available in the UK for about £5 ($8.00) on a CD: also from other sources/countries.

Details (download it, order a CD version etc.) at:

Report •

January 24, 2005 at 11:04:11

Had the same problem recently, couldn't copy/move files from my Win2K laptop to my XP desktop over an otherwise functioning WiFi network.

Could copy those files within the laptop.
Could copy files FROM the XP to the laptop.

The problem and solution was that the folder sharing permissions on the XP desktop were not set properly to not only allow others on the network to share "see" the specific folders, they also needed to be allowed permission to write "change" those (target)folders.

The Win2K complaint that the "file was in use" is misleading, it's the target machine/folder that was refusing the write access.

Open MyComputer on the destination machine, right-click on the folders/directories in question, go to properties and make sure that the folder/files are not only shared, but also permitted to change/write from other network users.


Report •

Ask Question