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"Cannot copy file" error when copying over a Local Area Network


Applies To

  • Handheld PC 2000


When you attempt to copy a file from a remote Local Area Network file share you receive the following Error Copying File message.

Error Copying File

Cannot copy <File Name.ext>:
Executable and resource files in ROM cannot be copied.

The message is displayed even though the files are located over a LAN irrespective of your permission status on the remote computer.

More Info

This problem is caused by the Microsoft Windows Indexing service that is present in Windows 2000, XP and Server 2003.

The Indexing services is a system level process that extracts information for files stored on a computers hard drive and compiles an index around that information, with the aim of providing faster, more relevant data searches.
The indexing service process is enabled by default under Windows 2000 and above and is constantly cataloguing files. The indexing service can be enabled or disabled in several ways:

  • By disabling the entire process
  • By disabling indexing activity on a single or multiple Volume (Drive)
  • By disabling indexing on an individual File or Folder

Files that are under the scope of the indexing service are flagged with a special bit in the file attributes header stored within the file allocation table of the volume. The default state is for this bit to be disabled, allowing the Indexing service to map the file.
By specifically disabling the indexing service at the Volume, File or Folder level the bit is changed to enabled. Meaning that the Indexing service will not catalogue the file.

Under Windows CE this information is read as being the Windows CE ROM protection attribute that prevents users from reading Operating System level protected data from the ROM chip. As a result when you attempt to copy or paste a file between the LAN share and the local filing system Windows CE will present a Copy Error.

In the case of associated mime types, you are not prevented from opening the document.


To work around this problem

1. Enable the Indexing service on the Volume, File or Folder that is causing the problem. To do this:


  1. Open 'My Computer'
  2. Right Click the letter of the drive you wish to enable the Indexing service for
  3. Click 'Properties'
  4. Place a check in the box next to 'Allow Indexing Service to index this disk for fast file searching'
  5. Click OK

File / Folder

  1. Right Click the file or folder that you wish to enabling the Indexing service for
  2. Click 'Properties'
  3. Click the 'Advanced' button
  4. Place a check in the box next to 'For fast searching, allow Indexing Service to index this file'
  5. Click OK twice

2. If this isn't preferred or isn't an option due to group policy restrictions:
NB: The effectiveness of this work around may depend on your user permissions on the remote server.

On the Handheld PC in Windows CE Explorer before you copy the file

  1. Alt tap the file / folder in question
  2. Tap 'Properties'
  3. Remove the check mark in the box next to 'Archive'
  4. Tap OK
  5. Perform the Cut / Copy operation on the file

This method will in essence initiate the attribute change remotely from the CE device. The indexing service flag will be removed by the share to allow the file copy. The procedure can now occur without any intervention on the server.