Publisher Write-Protection Error

The day before yesterday I had no problems.


Today I cannot export my Publisher document to PDF or any other file type. When I Save As or Export, I get a message that says: The disk you are trying to save to is write-protected. Make the disk read/write or use a different disk.


I checked that the folders I am trying to save in are not marked Read Only, and that my user account has the appropriate Access Control Permissions. Indeed, there is no directory on my hard drive that I can export or save to from Publisher, not even directly to SkyDrive.


I checked to see if I have the problem from within Word, Excel, and Notepad, and they save anywhere I select.


I tried repairing my Office installation, but the Publisher problem persisted. I then uninstalled the Office suite and reinstalled it from The Publisher error remains.


What changed? Well, I did do some things on my computer yesterday that could possibly have caused this. I turned on some Windows Features, specifically Internet Information Services 8.0 and Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services. I am running an FTP server now. I turned off the Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services feature after I discovered I didn't need it for my FTP server. I don't know if these changes are the causes of my Publisher save problem, but they are the only major system change that occurred between the problem-free state and my current condition.


The only thing I can think of at this point is to run a System Restore to the point before I turned on Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services. However, I am concerned that doing so will cause my Office installation to become unusable. The reason for my fear is that I performed a System Restore before. I had uninstalled Office after the date of the Restore Point I selected. It attempted to restore Office, but nothing worked, and I could not repair, uninstall, or reinstall Office. All the program links were visible on my Start Screen but they didn't launch the apps. I ended up having to refresh Windows 8. I do not want to have to refresh Windows again if I can help it.


Question Info

Last updated May 13, 2020 Views 6,283 Applies to:

Hello Girish M,


Thank you for responding to my question.


I followed the instructions at to start Windows 8 in Clean Boot. If the Publisher 2013 write-protection error was caused by a start-up service, it must have been a Microsoft service, because after disabling all non-Microsoft services the problem persisted. It grew apparent quickly that disabling the Microsoft services one-by-one and rebooting after each in an attempt to isolate a service, assuming a service was at fault, would be a time-consuming and painstaking chore. After troubleshooting the first 20 or so services with no change to the Publisher error, I decided to try a different approach.


After doing some other reading online, I came to suspect the problem might be related to a corrupted user profile, although there was no documentation I found that specifically matched my situation.


So I used the Windows Easy Transfer utility to copy my profile. I created a new user account, set the account type to administrator, logged in, and then imported my copied profile. Once that was done, I deleted the old user account and all its files, deleted the Windows Easy Transfer profile copy, and linked my new user account to my Microsoft Account.


Now the problem with Publisher is gone. And by the way, I did enable all of those start-up services again prior to copying my profile.

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