|Thank you for the details. |
The size of the "master" folder is not a problem
If the folder contains 3.26 gb total data for all files in it and in sub-folders, there is no file larger than 4 gb that would cause a problem if the partition on the laptop is using FAT32 software partitioning.
" I'm using an older laptop, HP satellite with XP Home installed and around 58 GB free."
It's extremely unlikely that's a FAT32 partition. You don't have the choice in Windows itself of using FAT32 software partitioning if the partition is larger than exactly 32.0 gb ( 32,768 mb) - Microsoft chose not to give you that choice.
You CAN use a third party program and get it to use FAT32 software partitioning for any size of drive partition, Windows will recognize that fine, but the the original brand name supplied software installation, and Windows itself, would have used NTFS software partitioning for any partition larger than exactly 32.0 gb.
Since you seem to be having no problem accessing the individual files and sub-folders inside the "master" folder, and no problem copying some of them, on / from the external hard drive, your problem is caused by something else.
"For ease, I thought I would copy this folder onto the Laptop desktop, but it only does so for a second then I get an error window saying "cannot copy file"
It said "cannot copy file", NOT "cannot copy folder" or similar.
Your info in the title of this Topic is NOT correct !
You problem is caused by one or more files.
I suspect you have one or more files XP won't allow you to copy that Windows 7 had no problem copying.
Windows HALTS the copying process at the first instance of a file you're not allowed to copy.
When it says "cannot copy file" , if the file it can't copy is not specified on the screen, there is something you can click that will tell you which file the problem file is.
Try selecting (highlighting) all files in the folder where the problem file is located (Edit - Select All), then hold down the Ctrl key and click on the problem file's name to de-select that one file, then RIGHT click anywhere on a highlighted file and Copy all the remaining files.
You may need to do that more than once, if there is more than one file XP won't allow you to copy.
Or - you could try RIGHT clicking on the problem file, select Properties, and de-select any System, and/or Read only and/or Hidden file attribute(s) that was (were) enabled, then try copying that file.