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Getting cannot copy error when I try to copy files

By triiifashions · 11 replies
Feb 21, 2009
  1. i had an issue with windows that required a reformat !

    i had a empty hard drive (b) so i disconnected my windows drive(a) and did a windows install on the empty drive(b)!

    now that i am trying to copy my files to the new drive(b) to reformat the old drive(a) they are all going fine but i have a file that contains several different file types , pictures, pdfs,emails, etc. when i try to copy this file i get a cannot copy thumbs access denied error!!!

    can anyone help me fix this problem???

    or am i going to have to copy files one at a time???

    thanks in advance!
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 6,908   +10

    Acronis will do it, and other copy programs might be able to do so.
  3. triiifashions

    triiifashions TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 126

    i was just reading that this may be a service pack 1 problem

    i tried to copy right after install

    may be now that i have sp2 and 3 it will work now?

    (this computer is not here)
  4. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,430   +185

    Could you be very specific about the error message: Does the error message actually refer to a file? called thumbs.db? If not certain,
    => try to capture a screen shot (simply press Print Screen button along upper left of your keyboard)
    => you can then paste into Microsoft Paint save the file and attach the file with the screen shot to next pot
  5. triiifashions

    triiifashions TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 126

    cant do a screen shot right now

    i think once it actually had the .db but usually did not just said

    cannot copy thumbs: access denied file may be in use......
  6. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 6,908   +10

    Doubt it would be a Service Pack 1 problem. You would be limited to 137 GB with SP1, but it should boot, partition, and format to that level without problems.
    The Thumbs error is suspicious of a hardware configuration issue. Normally, that is an image processing error. Are you using a USB drive, or a homebuilt ISO disk?
  7. triiifashions

    triiifashions TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 126

    it is a sata drive
  8. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,430   +185

    => What's a "homebuilt ISO disk"????
    (and, yes, i know what ISO stands for and is.. but not sure i understand what homebuild ISO disk is?)
    => Corruption is possible but there are many other explanations as well (things to check well before you start dealing with if its corruption)
    You receive a "cannot copy: access denied, file may be in use" so would suggest we start by looking a file access permissions - which is exactly what the message is about and what you can get if access permissions aren't correct

    1. It's normal to have a thumbs.db file in every folder which stores one or more image files
      => Thumbs.db contains the thumbnail view of each image
      => Thus each folder has its own thumb.db file containing the thumbnails for the folder
    2. You normally don't see thumbs.db files as they're "hidden" files. We need change some of your Explorer folder options so that they will become visible
    3. An access denied message might occur for reasons just as decribed in your error message pop-up: If a process has the thumb.db file open for read/write other processes will be blocked from access. and voila! Access denied!
    4. Also, If the access permission for the thumbs.db file don't match your user access permissions then once again you're blocked acess. and voila! Access denied!
    All of these can be check fairly easily to determine what's going on but require some instruction. Would take me a bit of time (can't just now) to post instruction but will as soon as i can (or others do)

    Things to be done:
    a) Change folder options to display all hidden files
    b) Download OpenedFilesView tool allows you to see that status of all opened files on your computer so you can see if the thumbs.db file in question is in fact being held open (and you can see by who has it held open!)
    c) Other simple tools (i forget the name) that checks your user access permission against every file/folder access permission to tell you if there are any access violations due to simple permissions issues thereby letting you know if its a simple permissons issue to start with (e.g. maybe the thumb.db file was created under a different user id.. and your current user id doesn't allow its access)
  9. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,430   +185

    Do you still need further instruction? Here's some info to start.. let me know if you still need help/instruction
    To show hidden files
    Change explorer settings to not hide ANY files (change back when you;re done)
    From an explorer window, Tools->Folder Options->View
    ===> Check Show hidden files and folders
    ===> Uncheck Hide protected operating system files
    ===> Uncheck Hide extensions for known file types

    To find the files/directories that are open / find access conflicts for thumbs.db file
    Install OpenedFilesView
  10. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 6,908   +10

    From OfZen of Computing:

    Thumbs.db is a system file generated automatically by Windows XP when you view the contents of a folder in “Thumbnail” or “Filmstrip” view. Thumbs.db contains a copy of each of the tiny preview images generated for image files in that folder so that they load up quickly the next time you browse that folder. Thumbs.db also stores your settings with regard to thumbnail and filmstrip view.

    Despite the fact that Thumbs.db is a hidden system file, it annoys people because it tends to show up in places where it’s not wanted. Many times you’ll try to zip up a folder full of images and e-mail them to a friend or upload them to an FTP site, and Thumbs.db goes along for the ride.

    To stop your computer from generating and regenerating future Thumbs.db files, do the following:

    If you’re on the desktop…

    1. Click Start
    2. Double-click Control Panel
    3. Double-click Folder Options

    Or, if you have My Computer open and are browsing any folder in your system…

    1. Click Tools (next to File, Edit, View at the top of the screen)
    2. Click Folder Options

    After performing either of those two operations, the “Folder Options” window will open up.

    1. Click on the View tab
    2. Check off the circle next to Do not cache thumbnails
    3. Click the Ok button

    Once you click the Ok button, your computer will cease to generate Thumbs.db files. If you delete any of the existing Thumbs.db files, they will not return. Be forewarned though, if you browse a folder that contains a large quantity of image files (or extremely large image files), it will take a long time for that folder to load even if you have previously browsed it because the thumbnail images will not have been cached in Thumbs.db.
  11. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,430   +185

    Hmmm.. all that info about what thumbs.db files are sounds vaguely familiar.. but as far as new information, here's still another set of instructions one can also follow...

    Though at least then does this imply we've finally agreed that none of the following have little or anything to do with solving the user's problem? ;)
    • Hardware configuration issues
    • Image processing errors
    • Home built ISO disks

    /** EDIT **/
    All that said, raybay's post highlights a good point so let me modify earlier instructions to simply get past your current problem
    1. Unhide files (instructions per my earlier post). You should then be able to see thumbs.db files in any folder it occurs
    2. Simply delete all the existing thumbs.db files in all the folders (or at minimum, any which are causing you copy problems)
    3. Do your copy again
    4. Hide files again

    Since you don't (normally) have a problem with thumbs.db files
    => I'd advise not changing current settings
    => This allow windows to continue to create and save/maintain thumbnail images if you like having all those thumbnail views immediately available each time you switch to a new folder
    => Otherwise, Windows will have to take the time to recreate all those thumbnail images each time you return to a folder containing images
  12. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,231   +234

    You could download and install the hard drives install software from the drives support site and clone the old drive's contents entirely to the new drive
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