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Can't move or copy ANY files -- Vista 64-bit Home Premium

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jeromeramone

New Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2010
Hello,

I've been using Windows computers for 10 years. I'm not a mega-expert, but I can usually fix problems, kill viruses, etc. Never had a problem this difficult to solve.

I got this Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit from Dell a few months ago. Haven't done a thing to it except install software.

For the last few weeks I have been unable to drag ANY files or folders from ANYWHERE to ANYWHERE ELSE! For example, there is a jpg on my desktop. I can't drag it to my documents folder, nor even into a folder on the desktop. Right-click and "move" or "copy" doesn't work. Cutting/copying the file and pasting it into another folder doesn't work. There's no error, no alarm, no alert boxes saying "you don't have permission." It just doesn't do anything. I CAN delete files. But once they're deleted, I can't drag them back out of the Recycling Bin!

There is only one user set up on my machine, and it is an "Administrator" user.

There is no evidence of a virus or anything. I've run a few scans using various programs and they find nothing.

For the last few weeks I've been spending an hour a day googling the problem, reading forums, and trying dozens of remedies. Nothing effects it.

Can anyone help me figure this out?

Thanks!
 

johnz

Member
Joined
May 30, 2004
Maybe try creating another user and see if it'll work from that account.
 

RoC1909

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2009
If it was just ONE file or folder that was was giving me grief, I like to use a program called "[email protected]". They make some cool programs for those "crazy files and / or folders" that don't like to be messed with. It can move, delete or copy them on your next system boot.

Now, the way it sounds is if your system isn't allowing you to do this with multiple files / folders which unfortunately, I have never encountered before. Almost sounds like a file permission problem but seeing how you are Admin, I am not too sure about that. Maybe your user profile is corrupt? As "Johnz" mentions, create another account and see if that will work. Can you manipulate the files in "Safe Mode?"

***Disclaimer - I haven't messed with Windows 7 OR Windows Vista (I am STILL a XP user), so the things I might be suggesting might not pertain to you and if so, please ignore me and my comments*** :)

Good luck
 
OP
J

jeromeramone

New Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2010
I have tried creating another user -- same problem!

I have tried restarting in safe mode -- same problem!

:cry:
 

Deadbot2_1973

Registered
Joined
Nov 30, 2009
Location
Being driven crazy...short drive.
Sounds to me like it's a system attribute flag problem. Try setting all the files that are affected to have no attributes. If the system flag is set on a file you can see it and stuff but file operations usually die quietly. Had to fix this recently for a customer at my wireless access company.

They also had no idea how the flag got set. I still don't have a clue as to the mechanism behind it.:shrug:
 

RoC1909

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2009
If you tried what the other members have said and your system is STILL having problems, I would say it's time to pull out the Install Disks and reinstall the O/S.

If a certain amount of time of troubleshooting hasn't resolved this, then that's what I would do.
 

johan851

Insatiably Malcontent, Senior Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2002
Location
Seattle, WA
If you tried what the other members have said and your system is STILL having problems, I would say it's time to pull out the Install Disks and reinstall the O/S.
Try a repair install first. That way you don't have to start from a blank slate.
 
OP
J

jeromeramone

New Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2010
I tried that registry patch, KnowNuttin -- no luck.

I can't even drag files to an external hard drive, so there's no way to back anything up. So, a clean install is not an option. I GUESS I could FTP 100 GB of files over the next month, but...

johan851, can you point me in the direction of how to do a repair install? I only have this "Reinstallation DVD" that came with the machine, and I'm scared to run that one without knowing if it will wipe everything out.
 

johan851

Insatiably Malcontent, Senior Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2002
Location
Seattle, WA
It'll warn you before you do anything irreversible, but it looks like Vista won't repair install like XP did.

There's one thing you can try to make sure all of your Windows files are the correct version. Put the Reinstallation DVD in the drive, and then go to Start -> Run. In the run box, type in "sfc /scannow" with no quotes. That should start a scanning process - it should take some time. Let us know how that goes.
 

RoC1909

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2009
It'll warn you before you do anything irreversible, but it looks like Vista won't repair install like XP did.

There's one thing you can try to make sure all of your Windows files are the correct version. Put the Reinstallation DVD in the drive, and then go to Start -> Run. In the run box, type in "sfc /scannow" with no quotes. That should start a scanning process - it should take some time. Let us know how that goes.

I thought Vista allowed a repair? Wouldn't the user boot with the Vista installation CD and when the menu comes up, isn't there a prompt for a "Repair?" Again, I am not a Vista user but I thought it could be done.
 

johan851

Insatiably Malcontent, Senior Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2002
Location
Seattle, WA
I thought Vista allowed a repair? Wouldn't the user boot with the Vista installation CD and when the menu comes up, isn't there a prompt for a "Repair?" Again, I am not a Vista user but I thought it could be done.
There are some repair options, but not a repair install like XP. The XP repair install reinstalls all the core files. The closest thing to that with Vista, apparently, is "upgrading" to Vista from Vista, which is pretty clunky.
 

Neuromancer

Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2005
Location
Tau'ri
Right click the drive select properties

on security tab look in the users/groups tab select your account and modify the permissions to full control.

restart
 

johan851

Insatiably Malcontent, Senior Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2002
Location
Seattle, WA
Maybe you should do something like use a linux live CD to allow you to copy files over? or a BartPE type environment?
I don't think you can quite do that - all of the files are packed in CABs, and I wouldn't know where to start. It also installs a machine-specific set of files, I think - it's not just a copy-paste operation.
 

oakstave

Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2007
Location
Oregon
If you are using Windows OneCare, disable it and try again. I read somewhere that this can cause this issue.

If that doesn't work, a total reinstall is probably your best idea.

Consider yourself lucky. I once tried to copy and paste a large movie file in Vista, and had the entire OS self-destruct. I lost everything over a cut and paste. Since then, all of my important files are on or backed up by Linux Mint machines.
 

Neuromancer

Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2005
Location
Tau'ri
Only problem I have had with Vista is the same as the OP, retaking ownership of the drive fixed that though, and all is good with the world again :)
 
OP
J

jeromeramone

New Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2010
Neuromancer -- I did what you suggested, it already showed "full control" for the Administrators group (which my user is in), but I added full control to the Users group too for kicks. It complained about some system files, but went forward. I restarted, but the problem is still there!

I figured out that it will let me add files to .zip archives, so I'm using my girlfriend's computer to drag an empty zip file to my external hard drive, then I'll drag all the contents of my harddrive into that zip file. Not terribly elegant, but it will keep me from losing everything while I reformat my drive and install my old copy of Windows XP. Vista shall never again darken my door.

Thanks anyway for all your help everybody.
 

Deadbot2_1973

Registered
Joined
Nov 30, 2009
Location
Being driven crazy...short drive.
If you are feeling adventurous, might I suggest a drastic alternative? I recently switched to Linux Mint 8"Helena"( Hi. My name is Deadbot, and I was a Windows junkie...).

I won't say there is no learning curve, but I will say that it has been fairly painless. Most all my hardware worked out of the gate, and I've found comparable apps to almost all the software I used most often. Cool thing about Mint is that all the "restricted" stuff(DVD playback, proprietary drivers, etc) is enabled and ready to go. Many people call it Ubuntu done right. I was (still am, mostly) a linux newb, but I can do most anything I did in Windows. Gaming is probably the weak point, but WINE( a compatibility program to run Windows apps in Linux) is making big strides in this area.
 

johan851

Insatiably Malcontent, Senior Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2002
Location
Seattle, WA
Put the Reinstallation DVD in the drive, and then go to Start -> Run. In the run box, type in "sfc /scannow" with no quotes. That should start a scanning process - it should take some time. Let us know how that goes.
Have you tried this yet?