I have upgraded my Windows 7 to Windows 10 (final) just 2 days ago.

As I can see, all the files for Win7 are now located under C:\windows.old folder. That's great of course, but now I want to backup this folder on another HDD I have in this PC.

When I'm trying to copy this entire folder to drive E for example, I get an error message that I need to set the proper permission for this action.

As far as I can see, the current user is part of the Administrators group and should have full access to everything. That's the way it was originally on Win7 before the upgrade and I expected it to remain this way also after this upgrade.

Why am I getting this weird error message and how can I perform the action I need, as described here?


1 Answer 1


I need to set the proper permission for this action

Your new Windows Admin account has a different SSID to the old Windows Admin account.

You need to take ownership of the files/directories on the hard drive.


  • Do not take ownership of C:\. Doing so, could result in Windows becoming very unstable.

Take Ownership of an Object using TAKEOWN Command

This command will take ownership of the folder or drive, and all files and subfolders in the folder or drive.

Open an elevated command prompt.

To grant ownership to currently logged on user:

takeown /F "full path of folder or drive" /R /D Y

To grant ownership to the administrators group:

takeown /F "full path of folder or drive" /A /R /D Y


takeown /F "C:\windows.old" /A /R /D Y

Take Ownership of a Folder or Drive and All Contents using ICALCS Command

Open an elevated command prompt.

To set any user as owner:

icacls "full path of folder or drive" /setowner "user name" /T /C

To set administrators group as owner:

icacls "full path of folder or drive" /setowner "Administrators" /T /C


icacls "C:\windows.old" /setowner "Administrators" /T /C

Source Take Ownership of a File, Folder, Drive, or Registry Key in Windows 8

  • The description for TAKEOWN says "...and all files and subfolders..." and ICALCS says "All Contents". What else are "contents" besides files and folders? That is, what is the difference between TAKEOWN and ICALCS?
    – wrlee
    May 22, 2016 at 2:43
  • @wrlee There is no difference in that respect. The all contents is a way of describing that the /T options means recursive (Search the pathname including all subfolders. (/TREE))
    – DavidPostill
    May 22, 2016 at 7:41

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