Can't copy/paste or create new folder on secondary hard drive

All Gurus once were Newbies
Forum rules
There are no such things as "stupid" questions. However if you think your question is a bit stupid, then this is the right place for you to post it. Please stick to easy to-the-point questions that you feel people can answer fast. For long and complicated questions prefer the other forums within the support section.
Before you post please read how to get help
Post Reply
MDonovan
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:20 pm

Can't copy/paste or create new folder on secondary hard drive

Post by MDonovan »

I'm completely new to this coming from Win7 which I have loved for years. I sincerely don't want to go to Win10 so giving Linux a try but so far it's been a totally frustrating and hair pulling experience.

Have Linux Mint Cinnamon 19.2 installed with all updates to an SSD. Set up as ext4 with gpt. It works and appears attractive. Installed a 1TB HDD to keep photos, videos, documents, etc. Set it up as gpt and ext4 as well. Everything shows as mounted (used the gnome disk utility) and all show up in the user interface under "Devices", with the proper labels given to each of the partitions.

I can create folders or do copy/paste anything within and between the "Home" set of folders, via right click mouse and use the pull down menu. If I copy a photo from "Home/ Pictures" for instance, then try to paste it into the "Photos" partition I created, the Paste on the pull down menu is greyed out. Also, if I open the "Photos" partition on the 1TB HDD (sdb5) then right click, the pull down menu has Create New Folder greyed out. If I try doing a mouse grab of the photo in the "Home" folder and dragging the photo over then there is a popup with "Error while copying ... .jpg, Error opening file..., and Permission denied".

I really do want to give Linux a chance and avoid Win10 but I am totally lost and confused so far. Help is greatly appreciated!!!
User avatar
WharfRat
Level 21
Level 21
Posts: 13906
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:15 pm

Re: Can't copy/paste or create new folder on secondary hard drive

Post by WharfRat »

Hello MDonovan Image

Welcome to Linux Mint and the Linux Mint forum :)

It's a permission problem. A newly formatted partition will initially be owned by root since the root user is the only one that can do that.

What's needed is for you to claim ownership of the file system.

If that partition is mounted say to /media/Photos then in the terminal run sudo chown -v $USER:$USER /media/Photos

$USER is an environment variable which resolves to your user id.
ImageImage
MDonovan
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:20 pm

Re: Can't copy/paste or create new folder on secondary hard drive

Post by MDonovan »

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!! That was SO simple! I have looked through youtube videos and multiple online help forums and everything kept showing up to 15 lines of info into the terminal with no real explanations or several saying the only way to move a file was to use "cp"... which totally lost me and seemed rather stupid to use since there was a handy pull down menu available. You have made my day. Now maybe there's hope for me, yet. lol
pbear
Level 15
Level 15
Posts: 5656
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:25 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Can't copy/paste or create new folder on secondary hard drive

Post by pbear »

By the way, sometimes you actually have to work with protected files (rather than convert them to ordinary user status). There's a simple way to do that also. Open File Manager, right-click somewhere blank (i.e., not a file), and select Open as Administrator. Will require your password to authorize. Now you have elevated privileges and can do nearly anything, copy, move, delete, etc. Be careful, though, as the system will do whatever you say without warnings, and close the as Administrator file manager once you've done whatever you opened it for.
coyote2
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2020 3:51 pm

Re: Can't copy/paste or create new folder on secondary hard drive

Post by coyote2 »

I must have applied the fix wrong. My secondary SATA hard drives are mounted in /media/bill so in /media/bill I launched Terminal and ran

Code: Select all

sudo chown -v $USER:$USER /media/bill
which succeeded with

Code: Select all

ownership of '/media/bill' retained as bill:bill
yet when I go into one of the secondary hard drives I still see 'Create Folder' as grayed out. (I can't reboot now, might that be it?)(I also tried running the above command after launching Terminal inside of a secondary hard drive.)
sanmig
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 251
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:27 am

Re: Can't copy/paste or create new folder on secondary hard drive

Post by sanmig »

coyote2 wrote:
Sat Nov 14, 2020 12:36 pm
I must have applied the fix wrong.
Likely 8)
Mint is trying to resemble a desktop OS, so you don’t need the Terminal to change permissions.
See pbear’s hint,
in File Manager select the partition you want to change,
without anything selected (folder, file) right click an empty (no text) space,
from the context menu select “Open as Root”, enter your pwd.
On an empty space (no folder, file, text) from context menu select “Properties”, make sure the “Name” reflects the partition you want to change, not a folder / file.
Go to tab “Permissions” and change Owner and Group to your (lowercase) username.

No reboot required.
User avatar
Termy
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1420
Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:49 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Can't copy/paste or create new folder on secondary hard drive

Post by Termy »

WharfRat wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:55 pm
$USER is an environment variable which resolves to your user id.
Just to avoid any possible confusion, $USER contains the current user's name, not ID. :wink:
I use Linux Mint 18.3 with Cinnamon in a VirtualBox VM for testing & sandboxing.

I'm LearnLinux (LL) on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/learnlinux
I'm also terminalforlife (TFL) on GitHub: https://github.com/terminalforlife
coyote2
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2020 3:51 pm

Re: Can't copy/paste or create new folder on secondary hard drive

Post by coyote2 »

Thank you very much for your enlightening reply, sanmig!

The weird thing is, today when I tried to follow your instructions I didn't need to, since Create Folder wasn't grayed out and I was already the owner in Permissions.

But now I know what to do should the issue recurr.

Say, what about my directories with contents that fill the screen in Thunar File Manager, how would I click on a place with no folders or files then?
sanmig
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 251
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:27 am

Re: Can't copy/paste or create new folder on secondary hard drive

Post by sanmig »

All lines full of text up to the end?
Try the icon view if you can’t increase the window width,
right click between the icons 8)
coyote2
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2020 3:51 pm

Re: Can't copy/paste or create new folder on secondary hard drive

Post by coyote2 »

Yes, I sometimes have a very large number of items in a directory.

I see that Icon view (and Zooming out) can help this, great suggestion, thank you! (It also feels kinda weird to have a need to do that lol.)
Post Reply

Return to “Newbie Questions”