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Converting Read Only files to editable ones

by grandpaw7 / October 11, 2004 2:29 AM PDT

I recently had a computer reformatted. The data was saved to a folder which is now on the reformatted hard drive, and is at C:\backup. But they are all Read Only files and I want to conver them to editable files.

Is there some way I can convert them all to editable files at one time, rather than have to deal with each one individually?

If I have to deal with each one individually, do I just go to Save As and change the name of the file, for example, from C:\backup\My Documents\Whatever to C:\My Documents\Whatever, that is, just by deleting the word "backup" from the file name? I say that because when I open a particular file and then click on Save, I am told it is a Read Only file and that I should save it with another file name or to another location.

Thanks, grandpaw

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Grandpaw, Is This The XP Machine?
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / October 11, 2004 2:36 AM PDT

If XP is the operating system, then you should be able to RIGHT click on the "Backup" folder, choose "Properties", then UNCHECK the "read only" box, then click on "Apply". A small window will load asking if you want to make the changes on the "folder only" or on the "folder and all subfolders and files". Choose the second option and all files inside will have their attributes changed.

Hope this helps.


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It's my Windows 98 computer
by grandpaw7 / October 11, 2004 3:00 AM PDT

Once again, Grif, I fail to provide adequate informtion. Sorry about that.

Is there anything I can do in the Properties box on the 98 machine that will change the files to editable ones?

Thanks, grandpaw

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Re: It's my Windows 98 computer
by Steven Haninger / October 11, 2004 3:20 AM PDT

Win 98 works the same. You will find that files copied from CD ROMs and such will be read only. This is because you cannot change them on a CD ROM disk. People have this happen when they backup to CD ROM and then restore data. The files are read only. This is one of several file attributes. It's also a good thing to be able to make files read only. Such is when you create a template and do not want it changed. Good luck.

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What to do in backup Properties?
by grandpaw7 / October 11, 2004 3:45 AM PDT

When I go to Properties for the backup folder, I see that Read Only is unchecked and Archieve is checked. Given my propensity for doing the wrong thing, I'm leery about unchecking Archive and seeing what that does for me, if anything, without someone saying that won't blow up my computer.

If that is of no use, then I still don't know how to best convert the files to editable ones.

Thanks, grandpaw

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Grandpaw, Can You Do This?
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / October 11, 2004 4:15 AM PDT

There's no need to change the "Archive" settings.

I'm not at a Win98 machine at the moment, but this should do it.....Open the "Backup" folder. In the upper left, click on "Edit", choose "Select All". Now RIGHT click on one of the highlighted files, choose "Properties". If the "Read Only" box is UNCHECKED, place a CHECK it, then click on "apply", then Ok. Now close the "Backup" folder. Open it again, follow the same procedures to "Select All", RIGHT click on a highlighted file, choose "Properties", then UNCHECK the file. (If the original "read only" box is CHECKED, UNCHECK it, then click on "Apply", then OK.)

Hope this helps.


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Making Read only files edible
by Jube / July 6, 2005 5:39 AM PDT

I am running on a XP system and have tried this several times and the files always go back to read only. The CD was formatted was not formatted as a read only cd but somehow it got changed to that. Now some of the files are read only and some are not.

Any ideas?

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Jube, CD's Tend To Do That...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / July 6, 2005 6:48 AM PDT

The simplest fix, when you're ready to use them, is to copy the files to your desktop/hard drive, then change the properties of the files while there. (RIGHT click on the file, choose "Properites", UNCHECK the "Read Only" box, then click on "apply", OK, etc.)

Because formatted CD-RW disks are not a reliable method of making backups, (it's a problem with the general make-up of packet-writing software) they tend to create issues sometimes. Formatted disks are great for temporarily saving or transferring files but using them as permanent backups isn't wise. If you're going to use formatted disks, BE SURE to have a secondary backup CD which contains the same data.

It's better to simply resign yourself to editing files while on the hard drive then copying them back to the disk.

Hope this helps.


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Read/Write CD's
by Jube / July 7, 2005 2:11 AM PDT

Thanks for your reply to my note about undoing read only on cd's. I use cd's to store embroidery designs on rather than put them on the hard drive. I changed computers and the old system had Windows 98 and my new system has Xp. I was thining maybe it was my formatting software on the new system that was causing the problem.

Thanks for your help and I will move them to the hard drive and change the status there. Hopefully I can move them back to the cd and they will stay as R/W.

Thanks for your help.

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read only files
by hotchick72 / August 22, 2005 5:05 AM PDT

I am sole user on my computer with Windows XP. When I open and create a file and I open it again, it says This document is for read pnly. You may edit it, but you must rename it. I do not want to rename it. Wheat can I do to convert these files.
Marilyn Beatus

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Marilyn, What Kind Of File?
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / August 22, 2005 6:03 AM PDT
In reply to: read only files

...and are where are you saving the file to? You might describe the exact procedure you are taking to create the "read only" file. What is the file extension of the file in question.

I am not familiar with any program, (Notepad, Microsoft Word, Wordpad, etc.) that will save a document by default as "read only" UNLESS you're saving those files to a CD. If the documents are saved to your hard drive, they should be find.

Hope this helps.


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converting read only cd file
by rottiesrme51 / March 9, 2009 6:05 AM PDT

I put the file onto my hd and it still comes out like it does on the cd. any other suggestions?

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Did You UNCHECK the Read-Only Box
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / March 9, 2009 6:21 AM PDT

AFTER you place the file on your computer desktop, RIGHT click on the file, choose "Properties", then UNCHECK the "Read Only" box, then click on "apply", then OK.

Unfortunately, you've chosen to post your question in a REALLY OLD thread, (over 4 years old), and you've posted nothing specific about your computer or the exact file type you're having problems with.. If the steps above don't fix the problem for you, please be sure to reply with your computer's operating system, and the specific file type you're referring to.. For example, if the file is an Adobe PDF file, then it won't be editable no matter what you do.. They are protected files and can't be edited without the appropriate permissions from the document creator.

Hope this helps.


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convert read only cd file
by rottiesrme51 / March 9, 2009 6:40 AM PDT

my os is xp pro the doc is office word. I moved the doc from my cd to desktop as told to do. when I went to properties the read only was NOT check. I click ok then clicked on the file on my desktop and still appears with little blocks instead of words exactly as on my cd. now what can i do?

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Please Continue The Discussion In Your Other Thread
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / March 9, 2009 9:41 AM PDT

Continued posts here will simply confuse folks. I'll delete any further responses to your topic that occur here.

Hope this helps.


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by rottiesrme51 / March 9, 2009 9:52 AM PDT

I don't know how I got here I made my own thread as you know.

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Re: Converting Read Only files to editable ones
by swisse / October 11, 2004 5:30 AM PDT

Hello grandpaw,
Why don't you open a DOS command in Win 98 and when you're in the C prompt or in whichever directory in C type attr -r C:\backup\*.*. For example:

C:>attr -r c:\backup\*.*

This will cancel the read attribute of all files found in the C:\backup directory. They won't be Read-Only files anymore. Perhaps you could edit them thereafter.

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Swisse, I Think The Command Is....
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / October 11, 2004 11:31 AM PDT

...slightly different than what you posted, although I don't have a Win 98 machine here at the moment. Your suggestion is a good one, but I believe the correct command looks like this:

C:>attrib -r c:\backup\*.*

"attrib" NOT "attr".

Hope this helps.


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Mission Accomplished (no, really)
by grandpaw7 / October 12, 2004 3:03 AM PDT

I used Grif's suggestion and since it worked I didn't need to pursue Swisse's. But I thank both of you.

I add this because it so amazed me, though there is nothing that can be done about it.

I am finding that somehow the guy who reformatted and did the backup backed up to a point prior to what was in My Documents when I took the computer to him. His My Documents contains documents that I deleted, fails to contain some recent documents that I added, and contains old versions of other documents. I thought about killing him but I'm afraid the jury might think I acted imprudently. I knew from reading that somehow stuff that gets "deleted" is still somewhere on the hard drive, but I didn't know it was so easily accessible so as to confuse a conputer tech into thinking it was the current data.

For the more mature among you: The reason you no longer see Joe Btfsplt, the guy in Lil Abner who always had a dark cloud over him (see ), is that the dark cloud is now over me; or at least over my computer.


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Re: Mission Accomplished (no, really)
by Kees Bakker / October 12, 2004 3:13 AM PDT


You're not the only one not knowing that the attributes on the property screen can be set for a whole selection, not just one file at a time. It's very useful, sometimes.

You're story about backing up old versions, deleted files and forgotten new files is amazing indeed. I'm even inclined to say: impossible.
But it seems to show your own backup strategy wasn't perfect, if you lost information due to this incident. With winzip (or a comparable free program) and say 10 diskettes you can easily backup 50 Mb of Word and Excel documents for yourself.

Now you've got an XP computer and a USB stick, consider using that to transfer files between the machines. Then you can use the one as a backup place for the other, and vice versa. If anything happens, with whatever machine, you always have the most recent version of everything. A simple network is even easier to use, but more difficult to setup, and - you don't mind me saying so - I think you should have somebody do it for you if you feel it might be handy to have.


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Backed up too far
by grandpaw7 / October 12, 2004 6:51 AM PDT

Kees, the only possible explanation I can think of, from the standpoint of someone who rarely gets computer stuff right, is that I did my changing in Works and not in My Documents (though I sure thought I did deleting in My Documents), and somehow My Documents retained the old versions instead of the updated versions in Works. What floored me was when I opened up my will. The version in backup is one I had changed at least three times in Works. I have hard copies of my final will and of the version immediately preceding it and the one in the backup file is quite different, being an earlier version that I replaced. But there are a number of other documents that are different in the backup than what was in Works, some of which I also have in hard copy.

I don't know if it's a commentary on the guy at the shop for not doing it or me for not giving him more specific instructions than saving all of my data, or both, but he didn't back up favorites or Works Calendar, where I had some things scheduled for the future. His back up includes the icons which were on my desktop, which I didn't think would normally be included in a backup.

The reason I had the shop do it rather than myself is that I had been spending untold amounts of family and other productive time holed up trying to fix my computer, and I was just sick and tired of trying to fix things and then finding out I was just digging the hole deeper. So, I wanted someone to do it who could do it right.

I did reformat my computer a couple of years ago, and, as expected for me, ran into a number of glitches which reguired me to spend a considerable amount of time in telephone and email contact with the MS support people. That also played into my unfortunate decision to use the shop.

Going to a real expert would have been the right thing for me to do under the circumstances, but I happened to end up with an unreal expert. I wish there were a machine that could tell the difference. It's like picking out a doctor. Unless you're lucky enough to get a good and reliable reference, you're just throwing darts blindfolded and hoping for the best.


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How I do backups
by TONI H / October 12, 2004 7:09 AM PDT
In reply to: Backed up too far

First I create new folders called OLDMAIL 10-12-04 and FAVS 10-12-04 and keep going with names for the folders that relate somehow back to what the original folder name is and always date it.

Once all those folders are created, I create a new folder called BACKUPS 10-12-04 and drag all of those folders to it. The I go to the original folders where the information is located, open the folder, click Edit, Select All so that they are all highlighted, and then right drag those files to the folder that I created that goes with it....let the files go and choose COPY HERE.

Once all of my documents, pictures, favorites, mail, etc. are all copied over to the new backup folders, I open my burn program, choose a DATA type cd, and browse to the BACKUPS folder and burn the whole thing to a cd. It can be burned to either a regular cdr/w type disk or even a dvd type depending on how much you have to backup.

I do this at least once a week......once I have new folders dated for the current date of the backup, AND I have burned THAT backup to a cd, then I delete the older BACKUPS folder and leave the current one alone for another week until I'm ready to back up again. And empty the recycle bin so you can reclaim your harddrive space each time.

Don't forget to also date your cd you burn so it tells you right away when you did it.


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Thanks, Toni, for the input
by grandpaw7 / October 12, 2004 7:32 AM PDT
In reply to: How I do backups

I've printed off your post. grandpaw

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Thanks for the input, Kees
by grandpaw7 / October 12, 2004 7:31 AM PDT

While the Dell memory key won't work on my 98, I will be giving it away shortly, so that I won't be able to use the networking. But I need to get familiar with using my CD burner to save data on my XP.

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(NT) (NT) Grandpaw, Good Job & Glad We Could Help !
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / October 12, 2004 5:11 AM PDT
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Re: Converting Read Only files to editable ones
by sulu / October 15, 2004 2:39 AM PDT

In Explorer, select all the files, right click, go to Properties, uncheck "Read Only" under attributes

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Re: Converting Read Only files to editable ones
by faxylady / October 16, 2004 3:37 AM PDT

The answer here is quite simple. I reformat my hard drive frequently and have this problem also. On each folder and file that you want to edit, select the file, then right click and choose Properties. This will take you to the General tab, which is the default. At the bottom of the General tab across from Attributes, you will see a Read-Only box already checked. Remove the check mark, click Apply, then OK. You will then be able to edit or use the file as you wish.

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Converting read only files to editable ones
by CathyM / August 6, 2005 1:35 AM PDT

Thanks for the tips on converting. I did just what you suggested and got the message "an error occured adn access is denied" and there was an error applying attributes. So I copied the files back to the hard drive, moved the read only and moved back and they are still read only. Can you help? Thanks!

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You wrote
by glb613 / August 6, 2005 1:38 AM PDT

So I copied the files back to the hard drive, moved the read only and moved back and they are still read only.

Moved where?

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Defragment problem
by doowle / December 16, 2004 3:20 AM PST

HP vectra VL18, win 98. When I start defrag, it starts, go to 1% and then starts over. goes to 1% and starts over again, never finishes. HELP

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Hi doowle
by roddy32 / December 16, 2004 6:36 AM PST
In reply to: Defragment problem

You should start your own thread for this problem. The thread that you have replied on is 2 months old and has nothing to do with your problem. You will get more help if you do that.

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