in windows 7 all files in external drives open in read-only mode


  • I have the following problem in Windows 7 in both computers that I work in:

    when I connect an external hard disk, when I open a document (either word, or excel, or autocad) and I work in it, then when I save it there is a message telling me that the file is read-only and I cannot update the same file but only save as.. so I have to create a different file. Does anybody know what to do to remove this write protection. I would like to clarify that when I copy files in the hard disk I do not encounter any problems.


    Sunday, February 05, 2012 8:10 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Please check the security settings of these files.

    Also, I would like to advise that some external drive has a read-protected switch, check the slide switch is on off side.

    Juke Chou

    TechNet Community Support

    Wednesday, February 08, 2012 4:08 PM
  • Hi thanks for the answer.

    The problem persists. I would like to note that when I put the same external drive in a machine running vista I don't encounter the same problem. It doesn't have to do with the settings of the files but with some setting windows 7 have.

    Monday, February 20, 2012 6:50 AM
  • Hi,

    Maybe the administrator has not been given read permission, so Windows 7 cannot access these files. Please check security tab of these files, give administrator full control.

    Juke Chou

    TechNet Community Support

    Thursday, February 23, 2012 10:38 AM
  • i had this problem, with my external drive and win 7.  since i am the admin, i right-clicked to get to properties of the drive, and edited the permissions. i added myself as a specific user with my username, and gave myself all permissions (although it would not allow Special Permissions). then i applied and ok'd it, and it worked. system took a few minutes to process and change all the files on the drive.  now i can edit my graphics without a problem. Previous to this change, i had only the usual owner, system, admin, and users in the list of  permissions, but adding my specific username in the list of permissions , with all priviledges, did the trick. now i have owner, system, admin, users, and my username, and all have different permissions. Apparently even though i am an admin, the system still does not recognize me as such for opening read only files on this drive, it recognizes me as user instead. so this one user, by username,  has to be added and given all read/write/modify etc permissions as a "user".

    one caution, i don't know that it is really a good idea to give such all-encompassing, whole drive permission if this were an internal main drive such as drive C. but it seems quite safe and ok for an external ( mostly storage) drive. partly since i am the only user who has permission to even access the drive.

    • Proposed as answer by mrsminx Sunday, April 21, 2013 2:53 AM
    • Edited by mrsminx Sunday, April 21, 2013 2:57 AM
    Sunday, April 21, 2013 2:43 AM