Can't run excutables from my external HDD or flash USB

  1. Posts : 6
    windows 10

    Can't run excutables from my external HDD or flash USB


    I am facing this strange issue that started since I updated to the latest build ( creators update) as I am now unable to run any exe file from any removable storage... I can save, copy, past, rename, and open all kind of files, I just can't execute the .exe

    this is driving me crazy! I tried all the registry and group policy settings related to removable storage... and also checked NTFS permissions still I could not solve this...

    Can't run excutables from my external HDD or flash USB-usb.jpg
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 194
    Windows 10 Pro

    Try disabling antivirus, install programs then turn antivirus back on.

      My Computer

  3. Posts : 6
    windows 10
    Thread Starter

    I have only the windows defender installed, disabling the real time protection did not help...
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 194
    Windows 10 Pro

    Do the applications run if you copy them to the desktop and run from there?
    Have you tried running as Administrator from the external device?
      My Computer

  5. Posts : 6
    windows 10
    Thread Starter

    - yes I am able to run them if I copy to the local drive
    - won't run from external HDD even if I run as administrator
    - I gave my self full permissions on the files, even then I can't run them from external hdd
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 194
    Windows 10 Pro
      My Computer

  7. Posts : 6
    windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Thank you for your reply, no I have not seen that particular article, but I have tried and checked everything in it... all of the points mentioned are generic points and were the first things that jumped to my mind when I first faced the issue...

    I am working on servers, security, and client support since 25 years... but I was not face with this situation... it is as if I lost the "execute" permission only to my whole external storage... even though windows is showing I have "full permissions"

    only executing... I can do whatever i like with the files... just not execute.

    If I have an exe on the C drive, which I can run it in there, if I copy and paste it to the external drive or flash storage, then I cannot run it from there! the same file!

    and get this: even if the external drive is formatted as FAT32! so even if the NTFS permission thing is taken out of the picture, I still get the message that I don't have access or permission to the file when I run it!
      My Computer

  8. Posts : 194
    Windows 10 Pro

    Really does point to permissions for the external devices and not so much the applications on them.
    I understand you have what appears to be full rights, but you know permissions and their peculiarities as well as the next guy.
    Try setting the external device(s) to only have "everyone" assigned with full permissions.

    Are the external drives connected to Servers or Workstations?
    Is your PC on a Domain?
    I assume there is sufficient space on the external device to run !

    Does this happen to all exe files no matter of the location or device?
    Do they run if you plug the external device into another PC or laptop?

    If it is all EXE files, regardless of the location of the external device, then your reg entry for exefile maybe corrupt.
    to try and resolve... Backup registry first... then,
    If you have access to another PC where you have no issues and is the same version and build, then export the registry entry [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile] from the working system and run as a reg file on the issue system.

      My Computer

  9. Posts : 6
    windows 10
    Thread Starter

    well... I had some hope since you suggested something I did not think of, which is the exefile reg key, I exported one from my other working laptop, and tried importing it to the one with the problem... no change... but you may be on to something... I will pursue the issue of the registry further...

    and to answer your questions...

    this is my home laptop, not joined to domain, no group policies are applied...

    even if I put the exe on an empty USB flash key or and empty external hard drive, it won't run. so free space is not the issue...

    even if the drives are fat32 and not NTFS, still the exe will not run... FAT32 has no permission... it simply gives everone the full permissions.

    and yes, if I plug the same external hard disk in another laptop, all exe files on it will run without a problem... the issue happens only on this one laptop.

    the problem is definitely in the OS and not in the storage...
    Last edited by samerlias; 17 May 2017 at 06:35.
      My Computer


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