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W10 PC suddenly 'Read Only" files?

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W10 PC suddenly 'Read Only" files?

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:57 pm
by james090
Using a W10 laptop fine, and formatted a USB3 drive with exFAT so I can access my files with my W10 PC and MacOS.

All is fine, however in Windows 10, after I have dragged some large folders to this drive, W10 in 'properties' is telling me these folders are suddenly 'Read-Only' ??

I did untick this and APPLY, and it went through all the files in the folder for 10 minutes, and seemed fine. Just checked again and its gone back to 'Read-Only' ??

I am the only user, so would like to access, read, modify and have full permissions for these files (mine!) on this drive regardless of Mac or PC access?

Am I doing something daft? or is there an easy way to rectify this?

Thanks!

Re: W10 PC suddenly 'Read Only" files?

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:25 pm
by Eddy Deegan
This sounds like an inheritance issue with file permissions. Annoying, I know.

Try this:

  • Plug the USB drive in
  • Right click on the drive icon in for the USB device (you can find it under "This PC" in the left hand panel of a file window), and select Properties
  • Select the Security tab
  • Click Advanced
  • Click Change permissions
  • If your username is shown, skip the next step
  • If your username is not listed, click Add and in the resulting dialogue box click Select a principle, type your username into the box and then click Check Names. If you do this correctly, your name will appear underlined in the box and you can click OK to add your name to the list and return to the previous dialogue box
  • Select your username and click the Edit button that will become active when you do
  • Ensure that the "Applies to" drop down is set to This folder, subfolders and files
  • Ensure the Full control box is checked
  • Click OK

This should recursively reset all the permissions associated with the drive for your username from the root down. It might take a little while depending on the number of files on the USB device. Hopefully will solve the issue - but if not, let us know.

Re: W10 PC suddenly 'Read Only" files?

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:21 pm
by james090
Thank you Eddy. I will try this and let you know how I get on.

Also on this subject, as I’ve formatted as exFAT I don’t seem to get the option to “eject” anymore on W10?

Do I just put the laptop to sleep in order to remove the drive or is there another way?

I don’t really want to just disconnect and this do damage over time and I lose all of my files in 6 months due to disconnecting wrongly!

Re: W10 PC suddenly 'Read Only" files?

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:53 pm
by Eddy Deegan
Hmm, no idea why you can't eject it - you should be able to. I wouldn't consider putting the computer to sleep to be that safe to be honest, really the only guaranteed way would be to shut the system down altogether.

Are you sure you can't eject it? Maybe the icon just isn't showing on your taskbar. If you right click on the drive icon the 'eject' option should appear in the context menu, or alternatively if you click on the little icon that looks like an arrowhead pointing upwards, right at the end of the task bar then you should be able to find an eject icon in the little group of icons that pops up.

Re: W10 PC suddenly 'Read Only" files?

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:57 pm
by Eddy Deegan
james090 wrote:I don’t really want to just disconnect and this do damage over time and I lose all of my files in 6 months due to disconnecting wrongly!

Uhh... you really should have these files backed up somewhere else as well, not just on a single drive!

Re: W10 PC suddenly 'Read Only" files?

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:58 pm
by Wonks
If in any doubt, turn the PC off and pull the drive out then.

Re: W10 PC suddenly 'Read Only" files?

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 7:18 pm
by james090
Thanks for the replies.

1. Yes I do have these files backed up elsewhere.

2. I can't see any 'Eject' on the drive. I usually right click the drive in question, and i see eject?
But not this time. I think it maybe the exFAT format?

This does seem weird, as something as hot swappable as a USB drive, really disrupts your workflow if i have to keep fully re-booting each time to remove?

Re: W10 PC suddenly 'Read Only" files?

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:51 pm
by James Perrett
I find the same thing with Windows10. I can eject USB memory sticks but not USB hard drives.

Re: W10 PC suddenly 'Read Only" files?

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:53 pm
by CS70
Do you have "desktop.ini" in the folders that are read only directories? (you may need to enable "show hidden files" to check).

Re: W10 PC suddenly 'Read Only" files?

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:09 pm
by CS70
Also, if you don't see the eject option is usually because the disk is in "quick removal" mode and the caching is disabled. Meaning all write ops are committed immediately and you can just unplug the disk whenever you like.

Re: W10 PC suddenly 'Read Only" files?

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:18 pm
by james090
CS70 wrote:Also, if you don't see the eject option is usually because the disk is in "quick removal" mode and the caching is disabled. Meaning all write ops are committed immediately and you can just unplug the file whenever you like.

Oh really? maybe its this then with regards eject? So i can just pull it at anytime? (I'd never heard of this til now, so was always told to be super cautious) :)

Re: W10 PC suddenly 'Read Only" files?

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:31 pm
by wireman
CS70 wrote:Also, if you don't see the eject option is usually because the disk is in "quick removal" mode and the caching is disabled. Meaning all write ops are committed immediately and you can just unplug the disk whenever you like.

I'm amazed this is an option in the OS for anything other than a read-only device.
Who has the skill to know that Windows or some app is not writing to a device at any given time?

Re: W10 PC suddenly 'Read Only" files?

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:42 pm
by CS70
wireman wrote:
CS70 wrote:Also, if you don't see the eject option is usually because the disk is in "quick removal" mode and the caching is disabled. Meaning all write ops are committed immediately and you can just unplug the disk whenever you like.

I'm amazed this is an option in the OS for anything other than a read-only device.
Who has the skill to know that Windows or some app is not writing to a device at any given time?

I guess that's why it's become the default.

Back in the times, solid state memory in the form of USB sticks was quite slow (and expensive and not so common) so having the caching mechanism gave a real edge. And the idea of waiting before unplugging, or "ejecting" the disk comes exactly from there.

Synchronous write has been the default since Windows 7, I think (but not sure, it's been a while now).

Re: W10 PC suddenly 'Read Only" files?

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:48 pm
by Wonks
If you can remember floppy disks, you simply ejected them once the system had stopped writing to them, with no issues at all. Unless your external hard drive is configured as a system drive, it should be pretty safe to unplug once any file transfer procedure is completed. For some reason USB stick handling is different, with windows writing to and checking the drive's file tables fairly constantly. Probably a good reason behind it but it still seems rather stupid to me.

Re: W10 PC suddenly 'Read Only" files?

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:49 pm
by CS70
james090 wrote:
CS70 wrote:Also, if you don't see the eject option is usually because the disk is in "quick removal" mode and the caching is disabled. Meaning all write ops are committed immediately and you can just unplug the file whenever you like.

Oh really? maybe its this then with regards eject? So i can just pull it at anytime? (I'd never heard of this til now, so was always told to be super cautious) :)

Yes. Well no, don't pull it when you're writing a file, or you will lose that one file. But if you aren't doing anything on the disk , it's fine. Open Device Manager and right click on you disk - one of the tabs is the "policies". If it's in "quick removal" you're alright.

I keep my USB disks on write cache because I also work with video and it's still a little advantageous (and the disk is never removed anyways), but with USB3.0 I could probably use the synch write.

Re: W10 PC suddenly 'Read Only" files?

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:56 pm
by james090
CS70 wrote:Yes. Well no, don't pull it when you're writing a file, or you will lose that one file. But if you aren't doing anything on the disk , it's fine. Open Device Manager and right click on you disk - one of the tabs is the "policies". If it's in "quick removal" you're alright.

I keep my USB disks on write cache because I also work with video and it's still a little advantageous (and the disk is never removed anyways), but with USB3.0 I could probably use the synch write.

Oh yes i know not to pull this while its writing anything, but apart from that if its just sitting there, it can just be disconnected from Windows and its fine? I'm sure this is the exFAT format I used (as was told this was the best for MacOS and Windows swapping).

I'm sure this does have an 'eject' in MacOS so there's no problem on that side. It was just the Windows side really.

I just now need to sort out the read only thing as described above to see if that works :)

Re: W10 PC suddenly 'Read Only" files?

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:56 pm
by CS70
Wonks wrote:If you can remember floppy disks, you simply ejected them once the system had stopped writing to them, with no issues at all. Unless your external hard drive is configured as a system drive, it should be pretty safe to unplug once any file transfer procedure is completed. For some reason USB stick handling is different, with windows writing to and checking the drive's file tables fairly constantly. Probably a good reason behind it but it still seems rather stupid to me.

Yes, It was an issue of speed. The I/O operation could terminate (allowing the application to continue working) very quickly as the data was written to ram, and then the OS then wrote the cache at the first moment the I/O bus became available. It made applications much smoother when used on/with a flash disk. Nowadays with fast SSD controllers and on board cache is redundant. Would have been cool for sticks to have a led as well, but that was when led were very new and expensive as well..

As a note, certain applications may keep a write handle open (for example, Windows Explorer under certain circumstances, or the standard shell when you are located in a directory) without showing any indication of it to the user.. You can still remove the disk, but depending on what the application does with that handle, it might end up confused. That's not an issue with either explorer or the shell, and generally not a common problem in my experience.

Re: W10 PC suddenly 'Read Only" files?

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:04 pm
by CS70
james090 wrote:
CS70 wrote:Yes. Well no, don't pull it when you're writing a file, or you will lose that one file. But if you aren't doing anything on the disk , it's fine. Open Device Manager and right click on you disk - one of the tabs is the "policies". If it's in "quick removal" you're alright.

I keep my USB disks on write cache because I also work with video and it's still a little advantageous (and the disk is never removed anyways), but with USB3.0 I could probably use the synch write.

Oh yes i know not to pull this while its writing anything, but apart from that if its just sitting there, it can just be disconnected from Windows and its fine? I'm sure this is the exFAT format I used (as was told this was the best for MacOS and Windows swapping).

I'm sure this does have an 'eject' in MacOS so there's no problem on that side. It was just the Windows side really.

I just now need to sort out the read only thing as described above to see if that works :)

Just check if you have "desktop.ini" in the read-only directory. "read only" is really a misnomer for directories (or better, its meaning has been extended to the point of being totally mangled) as for folders "read only" means "read the properties from desktop.ini" and it's changed if even look at the directory. I am not sure but I guess it's for backwards compatibility - the much bigger property set that you can have on a folder nowadays (e.g. sharing, folder type) probably don't fit in the older file system node structure so putting them in desktop.ini allows them to exist while also allowing the disk to be read by, say, and old Windows NT (NTFS was born quite a few years ago).

The folder is "read only" because you aren't supposed to modify it directly but only thru an application or shell which is aware of desktop.ini (e.g. explorer or the implementation of command line security and sharing commands, such as net.exe etc).

By taking ownership you then prevent the operating system to change it back to "read only" - but it's not a good thing.

On the other side, if you find that you cannot write files in the directory then of course you do have a different issue.

Re: W10 PC suddenly 'Read Only" files?

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:09 pm
by james090
Right so if it isn't an issue, i'll leave it as is. I'll be honest, I never tried read/write, just saw the Read only' kept showing as default - maybe it doesn't mean anything when in this format for Mac/PC?

I shall test all this tomorrow, and report back, as it could be a storm in a teacup :)

Re: W10 PC suddenly 'Read Only" files?

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:23 pm
by james090
Ok so, with regards my questions, it looks like I am ok to just unplug this exFAT drive as the posts here suggest without ejecting (as I don't have an eject!) as long as its not writing/light on, i should be ok to remove.

The Read Only is still on for folders in this drive, but again this maybe a default of the format i need to use? I did drag another file from Desktop to the drive/read-only folder and it copied over fine. So it did write to the drive.

I am yet to write/read from the Mac though.

My only problem now though is suddenly all my folders that i open, the sidebar, (with favourite locations/folders) is now completely blank and missing on every folder i open in W10? Whats happened here??
:madas: