Google XP TAKE OWNERSHIP and take ownership of that folder and its files, as described.
Note the small print: in XP Home (you don't tell if you have Home or Pro or Media Edition) you need to boot into Safe Mode.
On my XP sp3 I have an external USB-disk where i keep backups, music and pictures. I can do whatever i want with any file, except those residing within the photo-folder.
The .gif's and .jpg's show up nicely when choosing miniature view, but as soon as I try to open, copy or move any of them I get "access denied".
I wonder: Why only the photofolder-structure? Is there a way around this problem?