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Error: Cannot Create or Replace a File or Folder

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This document applies to Windows 95, 98, Me, and XP.
One of the following error messages occur:
  • Cannot create or replace (filename). The directory or file cannot be created.
  • Cannot create file or folder, disk may be full or write protected.
These errors usually occur because the same file name already exists or was typed wrong or because the file is bigger that than the remaining free space. Use the following steps to resolve these error messages.

Step 1: Retyping the filename

Windows does not allow two files with the same filename to exist in the same folder. Use the following steps to retype the filename:
  1. Retype the filename using eight characters or less.
  2. When typing the filename only use hyphens, alphabetical, or numerical characters.
  3. If the filename was entered correctly, and the file cannot be created or replaced, go to the next step.

Step 2: Saving files to a new folder

Files cannot be saved to a folder that contains too many files or to a folder that contains corrupted files. Use the following steps to create a new folder, and to save the file:
  1. Click File and Save As from within the software application you are using.
  2. Remember the name of the folder. Do not create the new folder inside the old folder that is not accepting the file. If necessary, use the Up one level icon to exit the old folder.
  3. Click the Create New Folder icon in the Save as window.
  4. Type a file name.
  5. Click Save when finished.
  6. If the file does not save, and the error message still displays, go to the next step.

Step 3: Finding out if the drive is out of space

If the hard drive does not contain enough unused space, the file will not save. Perform the following steps to find out if there is enough unused hard drive space:
  1. In Windows XP, click Start and then click My Computer.
    In Windows 95, 98, and Me, double-click the My Computer icon on the desktop.
  2. Right-click the hard drive (C:\ is most common), and click Properties.
  3. If the amount of free space is less than the size of the file to save, then continue to the next step.
    If the amount of free space is at least more than the twice the size of the file to save, then restart the PC and try again. Otherwise use the next section to make more free disk space.

Step 4: Making more drive space available

If the drive does not contain enough unused space, the file will not save. Perform the following steps to make more hard drive space available:
  1. Click Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and then click Disk Cleanup.
  2. Select the drive that you are trying to save the file on (probably C:\) and click OK.
  3. Wait while Disk Cleanup calculates available disk space.
  4. Select items under Files to delete to remove all files of the listed type. For example, select Temporary Internet files to delete old Internet files. Removing temporary files will not cause damage to any software applications.
  5. Click the More Options tab to remove unused Windows components, software applications, and restore points.
  6. Click OK and restart the computer. For more information on increasing hard drive space, refer to the HP support document Increasing System Resources and Performance Without Adding Memory .

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