Error Message When You Open a File on NTFS Volume

This article was previously published under Q262320
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
When you attempt to open a file on a Windows 2000 NTFS volume, you may receive the following error message:
"The file cannot be accessed by the system"
If you try to copy the file, you may receive the following error message:
Error Copying file or folder

Cannot copy filename: The file cannot be accessed by the system.
If you right-click the file and view its properties, only the General tab may be present and other tabs (for example, the Security, Summary, Version, or Custom tabs) may be missing, depending on the file type.
The Windows 2000 NTFS version 5.0 file system supports reparse points that can be used to extend the capabilities of the file systems. When a reparse point is added to a file or folder, an NTFS $Symbolic_Link attribute contains a unique TAG value. This unique TAG value is associated with an application or filter driver. When an application requests that a file be opened, NTFS passes the I/O request to the correct filter driver responsible for that specific TAG. If the filter driver that is responsible for opening the file is not installed or running, the error message is displayed.

Restoring a full backup of a remote storage managed volume to an unmanaged system restores reparse points.
Before you can determine which filter driver or application is associated with the file, you need to know what the TAG value is. No tool currently does this, but the following two native Windows 2000 services use reparse points: Remote Storage and Remote Installation Service (RIS).If you installed either of these services and then later removed them, or if either of the services is currently stopped, you need to reinstall or restart the service before you can gain access to the affected files.

For additional information about resolving remote storage problems, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
235071 Cannot Open Files After Removing Remote Storage Service
235469 How to Restore the Remote Storage Database
RIS uses a filter driver called Sis.sys that is required to open files on a RIS managed volume. If you removed RIS or reinstalled the operating system, you can re-enable the single instance storage (SIS) filter driver using the following steps:
  1. Use the Expand.exe tool to expand the Sis.sy_ file from the Windows 2000 CD-ROM\I386 folder to the %SystemRoot%\System32\Drivers folder on your hard disk:
    expand sis.sy_ c:\winnt\system32\drivers\sis.sys
  2. Using a text editor, create a script file that contains the following text, and then save the file as Sis.ini:
    \Registry\Machine\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\SISType = REG_DWORD 0x00000002Start = REG_DWORD 0x00000000ErrorControl = REG_DWORD 0x00000001Tag = REG_DWORD 0x00000001ImagePath = REG_EXPAND_SZ System32\DRIVERS\sis.sysDisplayName = Single Instance StorageGroup = File systemDescription = Provides the ability to conserve disk space.					
  3. From a command prompt, use the Regini.exe tool from the Microsoft Windows 2000 Resource Kit to import the registry information created in the script file:
    regini sis.ini
  4. Restart the computer.
  5. Try to open a file that originally did not work. The file should now be accessible. If the file is not accessible you may need to restore the file again from the backup or copy it back to this volume.
NOTE: Third-party application manufacturers can use custom reparse points along with their own unique TAG value to enhance NTFS functionality. If you suspect a third-party application is causing file access problems, please contact the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) for support.
For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
245044 Warning: The Restore Destination Device... During Restore
Grovel RSS W2000FS

Article ID: 262320 - Last Review: 12/05/2015 20:08:28 - Revision: 3.2

Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server, Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition

  • kbnosurvey kbarchive kbenv kbprb KB262320