Encription of files in Windows XP Home Edition



I’ve experienced a problem with Windows XP Home Edition initiating encription (designating as “read only”) of data and photo files that I have saved on CD-RW discs in both my CD-RW and DVD-RW units, even though I have been saving and modifying files on these discs for some time. I did nothing that I am aware of to initiate this activity. When I try to uncheck the “read only” box for the file or folder, after accessing it through Windows Explorer/Properties/General, then click on “Apply”, I get the error message:

An error occured applying attributes to the file:
Access is denied.

This is a stand-alone PC, and I am the administrator, but even logging on as the administrator results in the same problem. The problem with access to (saving or modifying files) on these discs occurred on several earlier instances, but rebooting took care of the problem. However, rebooting no longer seems to rectify the situation. I downloaded Microsoft’s supposed “solution” to this problem (Article 308993), which didn’t help, and, in fact, applied only to XP Pro. It included instructions to click on “Advanced” under the aforementioned “General” screen, however no such “Advanced” tab is available. I tried removing the “read only” designation by inserting the CDs in a different computer, but had the same results. “My Computer” indicates that the CDs are full, but I know that is not the case, and I cannot drag or copy files to them through Windows Explorer as I was able to do prior to this problem showing up. Any help resolving this situation would be greatly appreciated.


You cannot edit the files nor its status as long as they are on the CD or DVD media, regardless if they are ±R or ±RW.


Sorry Chef :disagree:

As far as the “status” part goes anyway
I use Recordnow all the time to add files to a CD/DVD that already has files and folders PLUS you can also make a CD/DVD so you can drag and drop just like a FLOPPY disc IF they are RW disc

Tim :cool:


Yeah, should be true as long as they are not being finalized or full, or?!?
Reg. InCD.


Thanks for your responses. StormJumper’s right, Chef. I formatted the RW discs as data storage, capable of saving, editing, drag-and-drop via Windows Explorer, etc., using Roxio Easy CD Creator and had been, in fact, successfully performing these operations on these discs for some time. The discs were nowhere close to full (I checked the volume on a regular basis via My Computer), nor were they finalized. The last time I saved/modified the files was on December 25, 2006 and did nothing differently than I had done for nearly two years with these discs. However, the next time I tried to save a file on them I got the attribute error message. The discs were on two different drives, and the problem cropped up on both of them at the same time.


The problem is that packet-writing to CD or DVD is dependent on the life of the physical media and the number of times this can be expected to be written to.

Usually the quoted estimates of average writing to a DVD-RW are 1000 times, but you have to remember that the table of contents may get written more than once per session. Twice per day gives you 500 days of use; less than two years on average. Then the system starts to fail, and the bits that store the file attributes are as susceptible as any.

This is why DVD rewriteable discs, whether -RW or +RW, are not favoured for long-term reliable storage. Your best bet is to copy all the data off onto a hard disk, and at least archive as folders to write-once CD/DVD and finalise it.


Thanks for the advice, imkidd57. I will definitely keep your comments in mind for future reference. I did have a secondary backup of the files on another hard drive, but the CD-ROM drive issue was just bugging me.

I actually stumbled onto the solution to my problem, however. Due to another issue, I had uninstalled Roxio from my computer. I decided to reinstall the program, and the files were unlocked. Apparently Roxio is necessary to have access to these files since it was used to format the discs.


You were using packet writing to drag & drop files onto the discs. Windows cannot natively use packet writing, or read packet written discs.

Hence, if you want to use drag and drop, you must always have some form of packet writing software installed. And it’s not compatible between softwares either.