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Cannot create favorite or tab group favorite on USB hard drive

Posted on 2009-04-14
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Good [After] Morning All,
I have a newly formatted USB hard drive - 160GB. I copied all my files from another drive to it.
The filenames / directories appear in blue type when viewed in Win explorer (using WIN  Vista Ult.).
I also redirected all my documents, downloads, favorites etc to the relevant subdirectories on that drive.
While using IE7, I wanted to save a favorite and received a message: "Unable to create <favorite>; Unspecified error"
I tried with a group of tabs and received a message: "The directory could not be created".
Does ths have something to do with the 'blue' directories?
Question by:PeterNagler
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Expert Comment

by:Nathan P
ID: 24144355
Hi Peter,

No, this is not anything to do with blue directories.

A blue text directory means that it is set to Compressed.   See my attached screenshot as proof.

If every folder on your drive (even when you make a new one) is written in blue text, it means the whole 160Gb HDD is set to turn on file and folder compression.

Your concern seems to be about file access rights, mostly that your Windows Vista user account isn't allowed to write to the drive in any way.

1:  To turn off the blue folders, right click the drive in my computer, and find the option for Compress Disk space (See the second screenshot)

2:  To check your access to the drive, right click the drive in my computer, select properties, then go to the security tab.  Your user account (especially if your user account is a local administrator) should allow Read, Write, Read&Execute and Modify, at the VERY LEAST, if you want to me able to make new files and folders.

I hope this helps.
LVL 66

Expert Comment

ID: 24144679
Nice explanation.....


Author Comment

ID: 24146226
...concur, John6767... Nicely explained, LectricX!
Still no joy.
I checked the security settings of the external drive and found that all permissions you mentioned were checked (true). I was able to copy and delete files and directories between the internal and external drives using Win Explorer.
Just to be sure, I attempted to change the permissions for the 'Authenticated users' to include 'full control'. This resulted in the imediate display of an error message: "An error occurred while applying security information to F:\$Recycle.Bin; access is denied". allowing the process to continue, the same error appeared for a number of other random files until I cancelled the process. The resulting error warned of inconsitencies.
I used Windows Restore to go back in time a few days to rid the PC of a number of programs.
I then, leaving personal folder redirection at the default (local drive) settings, successfully saved favorite web pages and sets of tabs.
I re-established the personal folder redirections.
The problem with saving favorites returned.

...with an added extra!... My email (Outlook 2003) has lost all its account details!... and I can't get them back!

Next? <wide, respectful grin>

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Accepted Solution

Nathan P earned 1000 total points
ID: 24154662
Suggestion one, wipe and reformat the external drive.
This will get rid of bad rights.

Suggestion two, ask yourself why you are redirecting user account data to an external drive, rather than a server?

Suggestion three, no, really, why?  because i hope you're not using it to point multiple pc's worth of user account data to the one set of folders, because if they aren't both on a domain, you're going to run into user account rights issues.

If you don't have rights to edit the rights of your recycle bin, it seems to me that theres definately NTFS rights issues at hand.

Suggestion one is the easiest fix.  Suggestion four would be to try to take ownership of all files and folders in the drive.  of course, this may break stuff if you take it back to another pc that it was working with.

As for outlook?  I guess just re-create the account, theres no likely possible way to re-retrieve account data after a windows restore.

Author Comment

ID: 24155057
Thanks LectricX.. I re-imaged the C drive on the laptop. The only reason I wanted to use the external drive was for the storage of files [and maybe settings] in case of a problem with the laptop. I've not redirected any of the personal folders. I will, instead, use SyncToy to update the data on the external drive.

Your 'red and blue' help was invaluable. BTW, are there any drawbacks to using compression on a data-only drive?

The issue with Outlok appears to have been the inability to 'just replace' the outlok.pst created at installation with one saved before re-imaging the laptop. Still getting my head around that one. I'll post another question if I'm unable to resolve it.

I award you the points, sir/madam and thank you kindly for your assistance.

Best Regards,


Expert Comment

by:Nathan P
ID: 24155134

The biggest drawback to compressing data on a data only drive is that computers that can't read NTFS natively may struggle to read the data.

EG: Most Macs and Linux operating systems do read NTFS, but I do not know if they will read compressed NTFS.

Secondly, Performance when working with compressed files can be degraded compared to regular files, as a result of the overhead required to compress and decompress the file on a regular basis. On the other hand, compressing a file means that it takes up less space on the disk, which reduces the amount of time required to write to the volume or read from it, potentially counteracting the compression overhead. In general, since hard disks today are quite large, most people use NTFS compression only on infrequently-used files. For example, if you have large numbers of old database files that you aren't using, you can save a lot of space by compressing them. Of course, you might be better off archiving them, to CD-RW or other storage media.

Good Luck with your computing.

Sir LectricX.  :)

Author Comment

ID: 24156315

Thankfully, all my computing is performed on WIN OS based PCs.
I wonder if there is any degradation with multiple writes to compressed image files stored on a compressed volume.

It looks like the Outlook dilemma has been resolved. After reinstallation of Outlook, I recreated the mail accounts and renamed the default folder to 'dummy'. I then imported he previously saved .pst file and made it the default in 'Tools>Account Settings>Data Files tab'. That caused consistent hanging whenever I clicked anywhere in the Outlook window.  I then made the 'Dummy' a/c the default (after multiple hangs) and waited for the changeover to happen... it eventually did.  I then used 'Change folder' in the 'Tools>Account Settings>E-mail tab'. so all my incoming mail delivered to the old .pst file. Works like a treat! I'll just have to recreate all my mail rules and alerts. I have seen elsewhere here [at EE] talk of methods of saving the email settings... that's where I'm going next.

And, with your help, I learned new things as well.  Thanks!


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