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Internet Explorer Error Copying File

Receiving an error regarding the copying of a file after it is has downloaded in Internet Explorer. This would read in effect: “Error copying file or folder – There is not enough free disk space” and will typically indicate an issue with available space on the target drive and not an issue with hard drive diagnostics needing to be performed.

This is not a very common issue today but it used to occur more frequently on much older used laptops which were running a FAT32 setup. This would generally be most likely to apply to laptops running a Windows operating system previous to Windows 2000 Professional on the consumer side. This would be even more unlikely on a Domain client in given business scenarios today.

In this scenario Internet Explorer first downloads the file to a temporary subdirectory and then will copy the file to the intended location. This obviously means that twice the file size is required in available hard drive space and when the temp directory and the destination location are on the same partition then this can be an issue if there is minimal available space on the partition.

Taking a look at just how much free space is available on the drive through the properties of My Computer will give you an indication of whether this is the obvious reason for the laptop error. If this is the case you may want to begin a thorough clean up process on the drive but always consider what data is important before you delete anything. You should always make backups of your data.

On much older used or refurbished laptops there may be the possibility that they are using the FAT32 file system which will have a file size limit of 4GB and would likely cause this exact error message. A 4GB file is a huge file even by today’s standards. This almost fills an entire standard DVD disc so keep in mind that this is still a very large file.

Typically the older computer operating system would be for example Windows ME, 98 or 95 as these were not designed to use NTFS. If you’re old laptop uses Windows NT, 2000, XP or above then you are more than likely running on the NTFS file system and not FAT32 so there is not a set 4GB file size limitation. In other words Win2k, XP and Vista laptops are most likely gong to be running on NTFS and this applies to Windows 7 as well.

If this is the case you could try using Firefox to download the file as it is designed to basically adjust to foregoing any temporary directory and DL straight to the destination if hard drive space is an issue.

If you had to DL a 4GB file with an old laptop computer using the FAT32 file system then you could attempt to change the IE Temporary Internet files location to a drive formatted with NTFS. You could also grab the file using FTP in DOS making sure that there was enough room on the destination drive.

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