Error message when you try to access the My Documents, My Music, My Pictures, and My Videos folders in Windows Vista: "Access is Denied"

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Article ID: 930128 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

After you upgrade Microsoft Windows XP to Windows Vista, you cannot access the following folders in Windows Vista:
  • %systemdrive%\Users\user_name\My Documents
  • %systemdrive%\Users\user_name\My Documents\My Music
  • %systemdrive%\Users\user_name\My Documents\My Pictures
  • %systemdrive%\Users\user_name\My Documents\My Videos
Additionally, you receive the following error message when you try to access the folders:
Access is denied.
Note You may also receive the same error message when you click the links for these folders in the Start menu.

CAUSE

This behavior occurs because files in the My Documents, My Music, My Pictures, and My Videos folders in Windows XP are transferred to the following folders in Windows Vista:
  • %systemdrive%\Users\user_name\Documents
  • %systemdrive%\Users\user_name\Music
  • %systemdrive%\Users\user_name\Pictures
  • %systemdrive%\Users\user_name\Videos
The My Documents, My Music, My Pictures, and My Videos folders in Windows Vista are junction points. A junction point is a protected operating system folder that points to another folder. The junction point is an important part of application compatibility and does not contain any data or other files.

When you upgrade Windows XP to Windows Vista, Windows Vista sets the Read permissions of the My Documents, My Music, My Pictures, and My Videos folders to Deny. Therefore, you cannot access these junction points. However, if you try to access these junction points, you are redirected to the following folders:
  • %systemdrive%\Users\user_name\Documents
  • %systemdrive%\Users\user_name\Music
  • %systemdrive%\Users\user_name\Pictures
  • %systemdrive%\Users\user_name\Videos
By default, a junction point has the following settings after you upgrade Windows XP to Windows Vista:
  • The attribute of a junction point is hidden.
  • The Read permission of a junction point is Deny.
If you change these default settings, the system will become unstable.

WORKAROUND

If the My Documents, My Music, My Pictures, and My Videos links in the Start menu do not point to the Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos folders, you must manually redirect these links to the correct folders. To redirect these links, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    the Start button
    , right-click the link, and then click Properties.
  2. On the Location tab, replace the wrong target location with the correct target location. For example, to redirect the My Music folder to the Music folder in Windows Vista, enter %systemdrive%\Users\user_name\Music.
  3. Click Apply.

MORE INFORMATION

In some cases, when you upgrade Windows XP to Windows Vista, the upgrade does not correctly transfer files from the My Documents, My Music, My Pictures, and My Videos folders in Windows XP to the Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos folders in Windows Vista. If you cannot find these files, search for them in the following hidden folders:
  • %systemdrive%\$INPLACE.~TR\Machine \Data\Documents and Settings\user_name\My Documents
  • %systemdrive%\$INPLACE.~TR\Machine\Data\Documents and Settings\user_name\My Documents\My Music
  • %systemdrive%\$INPLACE.~TR\Machine\Data\Documents and Settings\user_name\My Documents\My Pictures
  • %systemdrive%\$INPLACE.~TR\Machine\Data\Documents and Settings\user_name\My Documents\My Videos
To view files in the hidden folders, follow these steps:
  1. Open Windows Explorer.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Folder Options.
  3. Click the View tab.
  4. In the Advanced settings list, click Show hidden files and folders under Hidden files and folders, and then click OK.
Note These hidden folders may be deleted after you perform a Disk Cleanup task.

Properties

Article ID: 930128 - Last Review: March 15, 2007 - Revision: 1.4
APPLIES TO
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Windows Vista Business 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Enterprise 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Basic 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Starter
Keywords: 
kbexpertisebeginner kbtshoot kbprb KB930128

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