"Access Denied" Error Message When You Copy or Rename Files in the Recovery Console


By design, the Recovery Console only allows access to the following:

  • The root folder.
  • The %SystemRoot% folder and the subfolders of the Windows 2000 computer that you are currently logged on to.
  • The Cmdcons folder.
  • Removable media drives such as CD-ROM drives.
However, when you use the Recovery Console to rename, delete, or copy a file in the %SystemRoot% folder or one of its subfolders, you may receive an "Access Denied" error message.


This issue can occur if the Everyone group has been removed from the %SystemRoot% folder or the volume that contains the %SystemRoot% folder.


To resolve this issue:

  1. Install a new installation of Windows 2000 onto a separate partition or drive.

    NOTE: If the permissions have been changed on all partitions and disks on the computer, you may receive copy file error messages when you try to install Windows 2000. If this occurs, you may need to move the affected drive to another working Windows 2000-based computer to make permissions adjustments.
  2. Start Windows 2000 (the new installation).
  3. Use Windows Explorer to give the Everyone group full control of the original volume's root folder and all system files and folders. You should now be able to boot to the original installation of Windows 2000.
  4. After a successful reboot into the original installation, use the information in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article to re-apply default NTFS permissions to the computer:
    237399 Default NTFS Permissions Not Applied to Converted Boot Partition

More Information

When you try to boot into Windows (before you start making the preceding repairs), you may receive a "STOP 0xC000021a STATUS_SYSTEM_PROCESS_TERMINATED" error message. This can occur when the system account does not have adequate permissions to provide access to the system files and folders. This condition also effects file rename, delete and copy file operations when you are using the Recovery Console.

For additional information about the Recovery Console, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

229716 Description of the Windows 2000 Recovery Console