# Can't create new files on drive roots in Win8?

Discussion in 'Windows 64 Bit' started by Robbie Hatley, Dec 15, 2013.

1. ### Robbie HatleyGuest

Greetings, group. My first post here. (I used to hang out on
the Win2000 groups a lot, then WinXP; but now that I'm using
Windows 8.1, I figure *this* group is more appropriate.)

I ran into a problem today: I found that I cannot create new
files in the root directory of my C: drive (ie, "C:\").
I've never had reason to try to do so in the 2 months or so
I've had this Asus notebook running Windows 8.1, until today,
when I tried making a batch file called "substs.bat" with
the following content:

subst D: C:\D
subst E: C:\E
subst F: C:\F
subst G: C:\G

(The reason is, I have many makefiles, shortcuts, etc linking
to things on drives D and E, left over from the days when I
had a tower system with multiple physical hard disks. So rather
than manually alter all those references when moving or copying
operations to new computers, I just make folders called C, D,
E, F on whatever large drive is available, copy appropriate
contents to those, and subst the drive letters DEFG to the
folders DEFG.)

I tried to save the file in "C:\", but I got this error message:

"Error 0x80070522: A required privilege is not held by the client."

(I wonder what "client" means in this context?)

On googling that, I found thousands of people with the same problem,
with lots of Microsoft engineers giving them absurd advice such as:
"Just share your root drive with 'Everyone'"
[extreme security breach!!! no way in bloody hell I'm going to share
all my files with my neighbors! and they WOULD get access, as I'm
sharing my network key with the neighbors in my building]
or
"Set security on C:\ to allow 'Everyone' full control, for that
folder, subfolders, and files, and replace permissions on all
subfolder and files with those permissions"
[another extreme security breach].

Lots of people writing back saying "tried that, didn't work",
or "refuse to try that, too big a security breach", or
"tried that, then I couldn't even log onto my machine", or
in one case "An admin can't even write to his own hard disk?
What kind of @#%$@^ OS is this? I'm going back to Linux. Bill Gates can suck my #^#%$^#^%%!!!!!!"

But one observant and resourceful person said:

'Just create the files ELSEWHERE, then copy or move them to "C:\"
Once the file is in "C:\", you can edit it in place at will, or
delete it; it's apparently only attempts to CREATE files on
root directories of drives that causes the error.'

I tried that, and it works.

But I'm curious: Why can't I CREATE a new file directly in "C:\"?
Is there some valid reason for this, or is it a bug? And if it's
a bug, why hasn't it been fixed? (I see complaints from people
on the web having this issue in Windows Vista as far back as 2009.)

And, is there a FIX for this, or do we just have to create files
elsewhere and MOVE them to "C:\" when we want/need to create new
files there?

(Yes, I'm aware that MOST new files should NOT go in "C:\".
But there are some files -- such as batch files intended
to run when Windows or the "cmd" DOS box start -- which just
naturally seem to belong in "C:\".)

anyone may offer. I'm all ears regarding this strange problem.

(PS: I can't find any newsgroups specifically for Windows 8, so I
posted this to several windows groups which looked like they might
be relevant; my apologies if anyone gets duplicates, or if this
post is seen as being off-topic.)

--
Cheers,
Robbie Hatley
lonewolf [at] well [dot] com
http://www.well.com/user/lonewolf/index.html

Robbie Hatley, Dec 15, 2013

2. ### David H. LipmanGuest

It is not "this" group as you cross-posted this to 5 groups which makes it
"these groups" denoting the plural nature.

You can't. The OS will not allow it.
Even if you; Disable UAC, Disable LUA in the Machine Local Policy or take
Ownership.
You can't override that.

David H. Lipman, Dec 15, 2013

3. ### Gene E. BlochGuest

[Verbiage and rants clipped]

Of the five groups you posted to, not one was alt.os.comp.windows-8.

*That* group might have been approriate.

You can't use the root so easily. However, you could make a directory
in the root and put your substitute files their. Or not. Just try it.

Why you'd want to do that is beyond me. Your explanations don't make me
much better...

Anyway, your first job is to learn about the OS you are using.

Gene E. Bloch, Dec 16, 2013
4. ### Gene E. BlochGuest

don't make me *feel* much better

Nor, apparently, make me *think* much better

Gene E. Bloch, Dec 16, 2013
5. ### R. C. WhiteGuest

Hi, Robbie.

The "root" of the Boot Volume (C:\) is a protected area in every recent
Windows version. "Protected" means that we cannot copy a file to C:\. But
we can create a folder there, then copy a file to that folder, or create a
file in that folder.

So, rather than copy File.txt (for example) to C:\text.file, we can create a
New Folder "Texts" in C:\, then copy the file to C:\texts\file.txt. Or open
a Command Prompt window and use the md (Make Directory) command: md
c:\texts, and than copy the file there.

I'm not sure how to do all the things you want to do with your files and
folders, but just remember that C:\ is a protected folder.

This protected area idea is not new, it just wasn't enforced before UAC came
along.

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX

Microsoft Windows MVP (2002-2010)
Windows Live Mail 2012 (Build 16.4.3508.0205) in Win8.1 Pro

"Robbie Hatley" wrote in message

Greetings, group. My first post here. (I used to hang out on
the Win2000 groups a lot, then WinXP; but now that I'm using
Windows 8.1, I figure *this* group is more appropriate.)

I ran into a problem today: I found that I cannot create new
files in the root directory of my C: drive (ie, "C:\").
I've never had reason to try to do so in the 2 months or so
I've had this Asus notebook running Windows 8.1, until today,
when I tried making a batch file called "substs.bat" with
the following content:

subst D: C:\D
subst E: C:\E
subst F: C:\F
subst G: C:\G

(The reason is, I have many makefiles, shortcuts, etc linking
to things on drives D and E, left over from the days when I
had a tower system with multiple physical hard disks. So rather
than manually alter all those references when moving or copying
operations to new computers, I just make folders called C, D,
E, F on whatever large drive is available, copy appropriate
contents to those, and subst the drive letters DEFG to the
folders DEFG.)

I tried to save the file in "C:\", but I got this error message:

"Error 0x80070522: A required privilege is not held by the client."

(I wonder what "client" means in this context?)

On googling that, I found thousands of people with the same problem,
with lots of Microsoft engineers giving them absurd advice such as:
"Just share your root drive with 'Everyone'"
[extreme security breach!!! no way in bloody hell I'm going to share
all my files with my neighbors! and they WOULD get access, as I'm
sharing my network key with the neighbors in my building]
or
"Set security on C:\ to allow 'Everyone' full control, for that
folder, subfolders, and files, and replace permissions on all
subfolder and files with those permissions"
[another extreme security breach].

Lots of people writing back saying "tried that, didn't work",
or "refuse to try that, too big a security breach", or
"tried that, then I couldn't even log onto my machine", or
in one case "An admin can't even write to his own hard disk?
What kind of @#%$@^ OS is this? I'm going back to Linux. Bill Gates can suck my #^#%$^#^%%!!!!!!"

But one observant and resourceful person said:

'Just create the files ELSEWHERE, then copy or move them to "C:\"
Once the file is in "C:\", you can edit it in place at will, or
delete it; it's apparently only attempts to CREATE files on
root directories of drives that causes the error.'

I tried that, and it works.

But I'm curious: Why can't I CREATE a new file directly in "C:\"?
Is there some valid reason for this, or is it a bug? And if it's
a bug, why hasn't it been fixed? (I see complaints from people
on the web having this issue in Windows Vista as far back as 2009.)

And, is there a FIX for this, or do we just have to create files
elsewhere and MOVE them to "C:\" when we want/need to create new
files there?

(Yes, I'm aware that MOST new files should NOT go in "C:\".
But there are some files -- such as batch files intended
to run when Windows or the "cmd" DOS box start -- which just
naturally seem to belong in "C:\".)

anyone may offer. I'm all ears regarding this strange problem.

(PS: I can't find any newsgroups specifically for Windows 8, so I
posted this to several windows groups which looked like they might
be relevant; my apologies if anyone gets duplicates, or if this
post is seen as being off-topic.)

--
Cheers,
Robbie Hatley
lonewolf [at] well [dot] com
http://www.well.com/user/lonewolf/index.html

R. C. White, Dec 16, 2013
6. ### Robbie HatleyGuest

I originally intended to send this to
microsoft.public.windows.64bit.general
only, but decided at the last second to also send it to a few
other related groups; but I forgot to alter the first few lines
of the message.
I sort of figured, as I pointed out in my post. I tried having my
main administrator account seize ownership of C: and propagate
ownership to all children of C: (except for the page, swap, and
hibernation files, which can't change owner because they're
perpetually "in-use"). Didn't hurt anything (that I can see),
but didn't allow me to create files in "C:\".

Which makes me truly flabbergasted to read a webfull of Microsoft
engineers giving egregiously horrible advice telling people to
turn off all their security and share all their files with everyone.
Damages their systems, and doesn't even fix the original problem.
(And even if it did (which it doesn't) the "cure" would be worse than
the original problem.)

And also leaves me puzzled as to *why* Windows 8 (and apparently
Vista and 7 as well) have this... ummm... "bug"?... "feature"?

Is this for some reason? Such as, a security danger somehow
inherent in allowing *creation* of files in "C:\", but not
*copying* files to "C:\" or editing them there? I'm having a
hard time seeing how this feature improves security.

Or is it just some mistake that never got corrected because it
seemed too unimportant to bother with? (I've seen a lot of bugs
of that nature in Windows over the years, from 3.1 to 8.1 and
all versions in between. Not a bad operating system, but it does
have fleas.)

--
Cheers,
Robbie Hatley
lonewolf [at] well [dot] com
http://www.well.com/user/lonewolf/index.html

Robbie Hatley, Dec 16, 2013
7. ### Robbie HatleyGuest

New to cyberspace, I take it? (Either that, or been living in a cave,
or perhaps in prison, for the past 10 years?) Starting a communique
with ad-hominem rhetoric right off the bat is a horrible idea; tips
your hand as an asshole and a troll from the very first second and
their trust in all you say.

You're welcome.
None of my servers carry that group. The only windows-8 group I saw
listed was in Italian (a language I don't speak).
You can always use it for grafting. (I've been looking at the
botanical pictures in the Voynich Manuscript today, you see.
Also, I just like fucking with trolls' minds. It's fun.)
That should be "there". And no need for substitute files. As I
pointed out, you can *put* files in "C:\" all you want (by copying
them there from elsewhere); you just can't *create* them there.
Does that seem idiotic to you? It does to me. But that is apparently
how Windows Vista, 7, and 8 do it, I'm learning.
Is the NOT on the input side of the OR (in which case you meant NAND),
or is it on the output side (in which case you meant NOR)?
As I pointed out in my post, I already found the workaround of
copying files to "C:\" from elsewhere.

(You took the time and energy to blather about alleged excessive
verbiage and "rants" in my post, but you apparently didn't take
the time to actually read it. Seems nonsensical to me. But trolls
often do.)
You mean, 'Why have files in subfolders of "C:\"?'? Where else
would you put them? Don't tell me you're still storing your files
on 3 1/2" crunchies??? How many of those does it take you to backup
a 1TB hard disk???
Aw. I'm so sorry you're having trouble understanding. Perhaps take
some classes in remedial computer science at your local junior
college.
My first job was as an electronics technician, back in 1978.

As for understanding new OSs, Windows 8.1 is in some ways the most
opaque and hard-to-understand OS MS has come out with so far. Most
of its underlying functionality appears to be hidden behind a cutesy
Fisher-Price-like cartoon GUI, with the controls and settings harder
to find than ever. Of all MS's OSs, I liked 2K-pro and XP-pro best.
Those before that were too error-prone, and those after are too
bloated and geared more for tiny screens and mobile apps, rather than
the desktops and notebooks with large screens I prefer using.

--
Cheers,
Robbie Hatley
lonewolf [at] well [dot] com
http://www.well.com/user/lonewolf/index.html

Robbie Hatley, Dec 16, 2013
8. ### Robbie HatleyGuest

Ah, ok, this bug is actually a "feature", then. Thanks for being the
first person I've seen so far on either the web or Usenet to give a
straight answer as to why this bug exists.
Actually, you can copy or move files to "C:\" to your heart's
content; you just can't *create* them there. That's why I find this
feature so puzzling. It weakly attempts to block people (or other
entities) from putting new files on "C:\", but the restriction is
easy to get around:
1. Make a folder, say "C:\Temp".
2. Create desired file in "C:\Temp".
3. Move file to "C:\".
Yes, obviously. If no files or folders were allowed to exist on
a hard disk, it wouldn't be much use. (Well, maybe as a paperweight.)
As I explained in my post, I was trying to put 2 start-up batch
files in "C:\", called "win_init.bat" (which is launched from
HKLM_Run) and "dos_init.bat" (which is launched on clicking a
toolbar shortcut for cmd). The most logical place for these files
is in "C:\", not some subfolder. And indeed, once I learned the
"move" trick, it was easy to do so.
I never asked how to do things with files and folders,
just how to create files in "C:\".

And it now appears that the answer is that you can't do that, but
you can create files elsewhere and *move* them to "C:\".
And that's fine. Not ideal, but I can live with it.
I'm not familiar with "UAC", but I'll look it up; thanks for the
citation.

But since you can copy or move any files you want to "C:\",
I don't see how it's all that "protected". What's the advantage of
prohibiting *creation* of files in "C:\" if you allow files to be
*moved* there from elsewhere?

--
Cheers,
Robbie Hatley
lonewolf [at] well [dot] com
http://www.well.com/user/lonewolf/index.html

Robbie Hatley, Dec 16, 2013
9. ### R. C. WhiteGuest

Hi, Robbie.

is a "protected area" starting with Windows Vista:
http://www.vistax64.com/vista-file-management/163950-cant-save-root-directory.html

UAC = User Access Control

UAC has been the major security feature (AKA thorn in the side) for users
ever since it was introduced. It is what requires us to Run as
Administrator to do many of the simple things that used to not require such
credentials. Only members of the Administrators group can perform some
functions, and only THE Administrator can do a few others. There are ways
to disable UAC, but few experts recommend that because it leaves the
computer vulnerable to many easily avoidable threats. Experienced Windows
users quickly learn how to live with UAC and take advantage of its features.
Generally, the less a user knows about the workings of Windows, the more
eager he/she is to disable UAC.

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX

Microsoft Windows MVP (2002-2010)
Windows Live Mail 2012 (Build 16.4.3508.0205) in Win8.1 Pro

"Robbie Hatley" wrote in message

Ah, ok, this bug is actually a "feature", then. Thanks for being the
first person I've seen so far on either the web or Usenet to give a
straight answer as to why this bug exists.
Actually, you can copy or move files to "C:\" to your heart's
content; you just can't *create* them there. That's why I find this
feature so puzzling. It weakly attempts to block people (or other
entities) from putting new files on "C:\", but the restriction is
easy to get around:
1. Make a folder, say "C:\Temp".
2. Create desired file in "C:\Temp".
3. Move file to "C:\".
Yes, obviously. If no files or folders were allowed to exist on
a hard disk, it wouldn't be much use. (Well, maybe as a paperweight.)
As I explained in my post, I was trying to put 2 start-up batch
files in "C:\", called "win_init.bat" (which is launched from
HKLM_Run) and "dos_init.bat" (which is launched on clicking a
toolbar shortcut for cmd). The most logical place for these files
is in "C:\", not some subfolder. And indeed, once I learned the
"move" trick, it was easy to do so.
I never asked how to do things with files and folders,
just how to create files in "C:\".

And it now appears that the answer is that you can't do that, but
you can create files elsewhere and *move* them to "C:\".
And that's fine. Not ideal, but I can live with it.
I'm not familiar with "UAC", but I'll look it up; thanks for the
citation.

But since you can copy or move any files you want to "C:\",
I don't see how it's all that "protected". What's the advantage of
prohibiting *creation* of files in "C:\" if you allow files to be
*moved* there from elsewhere?

R. C. White, Dec 16, 2013
10. ### Sid ElbowGuest

Interesting. I didn't know this so I started to play with it by creating

- I was unable to save it to c:\
- When saved to the desktop I was unable to copy it to c:\
- I *was* able to move it from desktop to c:\

I wonder why Windows lets you do the latter.

Sid Elbow, Dec 16, 2013
11. ### GSGuest

Not entirely accurate!!!

I don't use Win8 but on WinNT/XP/Vista/Win7 I have no problems creating
new files on C:\ whether I do it manually or programatically! My
systems are networked and so access is restricted as can be, but
doesn't present the problem you describe here. (Note that WinNT is x32,
all others are x64)

--
Garry

Free usenet access at http://www.eternal-september.org
ClassicVB Users Regroup!
comp.lang.basic.visual.misc
microsoft.public.vb.general.discussion

GS, Dec 16, 2013
12. ### Gene E. BlochGuest

I see you're branching off into botany. I enjoyed that...

[Further verbiage & rants from both the OP & me clipped]

I did catch one of my errors, as I posted, but I missed "their"

Sorry you don't have alt.os.comp.windows-8 but I believe some free
servers carry it, such as Aioe & Albasani.

Gene E. Bloch, Dec 16, 2013