When you use NTFS, you can grant permissions to your folders and files to control access to those objects. When you copy or move a file or folder on an NTFS volume, how Windows Explorer handles the permissions on the object varies, depending on whether the object is copied or moved within the same NTFS volume or to a different volume. This tutorial describes how Windows Explorer handles file and folder permissions in different situations.
Copying Files and Folders
When copying folder or files from one folder to another folder or from one partition to another partition, permissions for this files or folders may change.
1. When copying a folder or file within same NTFS partition, the copy of the folder or file inherits the destination folder permissions.
2. When copying a folder or file between different NTFS partitions, the copy of the folder or file inherits the destination folder permissions.
3. When copying folders or files to non NTFS partitions such as File Allocation Table (FAT), the files or folders will lose their all NTFS permissions.
Moving Files and Folders
When moving a file or a folder, permissions may get changed depending on the destination folder permissions.
1. When moving a file to a folder within the same NTFS partition, the folder or file will retains its original permissions.
2. When moving a folder or file between different NTFS partitions, the file or folder will inherit the destination folder permissions.
3. When moving files to folders on NTFS partitions to non NTFS partitions the folders and files will lose their all NTFS permissions, as NTFS permissions are not supported by non NTFS partitions.
To preserve permissions when files and folders are copied or moved, use the Xcopy.exe utility with the /O or the /X switch.
The object’s original permissions will be added to inheritable permissions in the new location.
To preserve existing permissions without adding inheritable permissions from the parent folder, use the Robocopy.exe utility.