Manually Copy Documents and Settings from to XP to Vista using USB HDD.

Posted on 2007-10-08
Last Modified: 2009-12-16
We are frequently copying data from older XP machines to newer Vista machines. We do this by using a USB attached HDD on the Vista machine. When trying to copy "Documents and Settings" folder from the older XP HDD, a Vista dialog box comes up stating something along the lines of:

"You do not have permission to access this folder, Do you want to continue? Yes / No".

If you hit yes, it starts applying permissions to the folder.  This process can take anywhere from 30mins to a couple of hours to finish -  then only after that it finally starts copying the data!!!

I was wondering if there is a way to either bypass this permission problem, or speed it up somehow?

Thank in Advance, any Help is greatly appreciated.
Question by:crnz
    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    If the USB drive was FAT32, then it would lose the permissions. Then if I'm correct, you'll be ok. However, remember that FAT32 cannot deal with individual files over 4GB. (Well at least I should say if you try to write a backup file to FAT32 and it goes beyond 4GB it fails).
    So I would try and formatting a drive and then copy the XP data to it, then go from Vista.
    LVL 59

    Accepted Solution

    Sounds like a User Account Control prompt.  You could temporarily turn it off:
    Windows Vista uses a feature called User Account Control or UAC to limit the privileges of regular user accounts. UAC ensures that all user accounts that are not part of the local administrators group run with no administrative privileges. This feature is enabled by default. However, in some situations you may want to disable it and there are multiple ways that you can accomplish this. One method is by using the Control Panel.

    To disable UAC using the Control Panel:

    1. Open the Control Panel.
    2. Under User Account and Family settings, click the Add or remove user account option.
    3. Select a user account.
    4. Click the Go to the main User Account page option.
    5. Click the Change security settings option.
    6. Remove the check beside the Turn on User Account Control (UAC) to make your computer more secure option.
    7. Click OK.
    8. Restart the computer.
    You can enable UAC once again by following the steps above.
    LVL 70

    Expert Comment

    Why don't you just use the User State Magration Tool - is is designed specifically for this purpose and the new version 3 supports both XP and Vista
    LVL 2

    Author Comment


    This solution would be great if we were just using the same HDD to copy data to and from, but unfortunately some of the time we use a IDE - USB adapter to copy data directly off the clients computer.


    This sounds like it might work, i will give your solution a go tonight (NZ time) and let you know if it works.


    We have had some problems with the User State Migration Tool not copying encrypted files, and not copying from a damaged drive - or any data outside my documents. We do not want to use it again.
    LVL 2

    Author Comment

    Oops, I forgot to say THANK YOU for all your guys help so far.
    LVL 59

    Expert Comment

    crnz, any feedback?
    LVL 2

    Author Comment


    Sorry to not get back to you sooner, Your solution worked like a charm! Thanks very much.

    And also thanks to the other solutions, they maybe helpful to somebody else.

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