Error Message: "Access Is Denied" When You Try to Open NTFS File System Folders


When you install Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, and then you try to open folders on a different logical drive on your computer, you may receive the following error message:
Access is denied.


This issue occurs because the folders that you are trying to open are located on a different NTFS drive, and were created by a previously installed operating system, such as Microsoft Windows 2000 or Windows NT4. Each NTFS folder is assigned the Security Identifier (SID) numbers of those users who have the correct credentials to use the folder. The folders that were created and shared by the previously installed operating system do not recognize the SID numbers of new users.


To resolve this issue, follow these steps:
  1. Start Windows in Safe mode. To do so, follow these steps:
    1. Restart the computer, and then press F8 while the computer starts.

    2. On the Windows Advanced Options Menu, use the ARROW keys to select Safe Mode with Networking, and then press ENTER.

    3. Use the ARROW keys to select what operating system to start, and then press ENTER to start Windows XP in Safe mode.
  2. Log on as a user with administrative credentials.
  3. Locate a folder that you want to open, right-click it, and then click Properties.
  4. In the Properties dialog box, click the Security tab, and then click Add.
  5. Under Enter the object names to select, type your user name, and then click OK.

    This step adds your SID number to the permission settings for this folder.
  6. Under Permissions for the user name that you added in step 5, click to select the Allow Full Control check box.
  7. Repeat steps 3 through 6 for each folder that you want to open.
  8. When you have added your user name to all the folders that you want to open, restart your computer as usual.


For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
315222 A Description of the Safe Mode Boot Options in Windows XP

Article ID: 823306 - Last Review: Sep 23, 2011 - Revision: 1

Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition