I love Vista, hate the way it handles flash drives. Obi-Wan, Help Me!
December 18, 2008 8:51 AM   Subscribe

I love Vista, hate the way it handles flash drives. Obi-Wan, Help Me! I use a Vista laptop and an XP desktop for work. When I copy anything from the XP machine on my flash drive and use it on my Vista Laptop, it won't let me delete or re-save it after editing, saying the file is Read-Only. Even if I copy something to it from the Vista machine it always asks to confirm things. I know UAC is a pain in the neck but is there anyway around it's behaviour on flashdrives?
posted by damiano99 to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Does this happen with all flash drives or just that particular flash drive? If it's just that one, copy all the data from it to a safe location, then try using the Vista machine to reformat the flash drive.
posted by sinfony at 11:24 AM on December 18, 2008

I use a flash drive between XP and Vista (and OS X for that matter) and have never seen this. XP, and Windows in general, applies Read-Only to files copied from a CD/DVD. That wouldn't happen to be playing a part in this, would it?
posted by niles at 2:01 PM on December 18, 2008

Best answer: I think what's probably happening is that you've formatted that drive NTFS on your XP machine, and your Vista machine is running foul of the default NTFS permissions applied to files and folders on that drive. Unless you've changed them, these will typically be set up to give CREATOR OWNER (i.e. whatever user account created a given file or folder) Full Control over it, and give everyone else Read permission only. Windows user accounts are universally unique, so when you create a file on machine A and then move the media to machine B, all the user accounts on B will get only read access to those files.

See this thread for the fix.
posted by flabdablet at 3:50 PM on December 18, 2008

By the way, this is precisely the reason why flash drives all come preformatted with FAT32, which doesn't support any kind of access control. However, FAT32 has its own problems (no support for big files, easier to corrupt than NTFS) and provided your flash drive is only going to be used with Windows or Linux machines, formatting it with NTFS is fine (not sure about the current out-of-box state of play with NTFS on Macs).
posted by flabdablet at 3:54 PM on December 18, 2008

Response by poster: Aha, I think the last two guys have it right! I'm off to reformat right now and fix it!
posted by damiano99 at 10:41 PM on December 18, 2008

Both those guys are idiots. Don't trust them.
posted by flabdablet's sock puppet at 1:44 AM on December 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

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