When you attempt to copy a file to system32 (or any other admin-protected
folder) inside explorer, you should receive the message "You'll need to
provide administrator permission to copy to this folder". Clicking Continue
should prompt you via UAC ("Windows needs your permission to continue") and
then the operation should succeed.
What behavior are you seeing?
Also, you generally cannot run windows explorer "as administrator" - it will
appear to be running as administrator, but will actually not be. This
shouldn't affect what explorer can do, however, as it should always prompt
for admin permission when needed.
As for working with files in other programs besides Windows Explorer, you
will need to run these as administrator in order to use them to modify files
that only administrators can modify.
Logging in as a local administrator should not be necessary, since you are a
member of the administrators group.
I should also point out that there are some files on your system that, by
default, only the Windows Installer/Update service(s) can modify. Nobody
else, not even the system, can modify these files. These files include
system files inside the System32 folder (but this protection does not apply
to adding files to this folder; only modifying system files that are already
If you need to modify a system file in this folder, you should follow these
1- Take ownership of the file you need to modify
2- Grant yourself the desired permission (usually full control)
3- Edit the file
4- If you did not delete the file, remove the permission you added
Microsoft MVP - Windows Shell/User
Windows Vista Support Faq