You receive a "Copy Error: Setup cannot copy the file Atapi.sys" error message when you try to install a Windows XP service pack, Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005, or Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1


When you try to install one of the following programs, the installation stops:
  • Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2)
  • Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3)
  • Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1)
Additionally, you receive the following error message:
Copy Error

Setup cannot copy the file Atapi.sys

Ensure that the location specified below is correct, or change it and insert 'Windows XP System Files' in the drive you specify.
Note Do not click Retry or change the Copy file from location if you receive this error message.


This issue may occur if you have one of the following programs installed:
These programs lock the Atapi.sys file and prevent Windows XP SP2, Windows XP SP3, or Windows Server 2003 SP1 from backing up the existing version of the file.

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To work around this issue, follow these steps:

Note In these steps, you can substitute Windows XP SP2 with the service pack that you want to install.
  1. In the error message dialog box that is described in the "Symptoms" section, click Cancel. You then receive the following message:
    Do you want to continue Setup without copying this file?
  2. Click No. The Windows XP SP2 installation will roll back to your earlier Windows installation.

    Note If you click Yes, the Windows XP SP2 Setup program will continue without creating a backup copy of the Atapi.sys file. If you later remove Windows XP SP2, the Atapi.sys file will not revert to the earlier version, and your Windows XP-based computer may become unstable.
  3. Remove the programs that are described in the "Cause" section.
  4. Install Windows XP SP2.
  5. Reinstall the programs that you removed in step 3.

More Information

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