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Old 07-05-06, 02:25 AM   #1
Prime
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Default Need help accessing data

My friend's computer crashed the other day. It looks like the hard drive's fine, just the PC itself died. They bought another computer, and we installed the HD from the old PC as a slave on the new PC so that we could get the data off of the drive (it's a work computer). For some reason, all of the folders in My Documents will not allow us to open them. They show to be empty (even though they are not), and will not allow access to read, write or copy them. All of the other folders on the HD open up fine. She didn't have anything password protected on the old computer, so I'm kind of stumped as to why we can't access them. I've done the same thing on other HDs before with no problems. Anyone have any ideas???
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Old 07-05-06, 04:27 AM   #2
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Default Re: Need help accessing data

I never had this happened to me before, it look like all the files in My Documents were hidden. To view hidden files, open My Computer and click on slave hard disk icon, go to the title menu, click on Tools and scroll down to Folder Options, click on View tab and tick Show files and folders then click Apply.
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Old 07-05-06, 06:08 AM   #3
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Default Re: Need help accessing data

It can happen if Documents were made personal.

Windows 2000/XP uses NT File system. This type of file system has security measures to help prevent unauthorized persons from accessing other peoples files. Even though your friend owns the data, the new system can see it as someone elses because you now have a different user ID (same username does NOT always have the same User ID). As you see, NTFS file permissions correspond to User IDs, not necessarily usernames themselves.

In 2000/XP, you can right-click on the folder in question and go to properties > security tab. (If the security tab is not there in XP you will need to disable simple file sharing in My Computer > Tools > Folder Options > View). On the security tab, give yourself full permissions on the folder, as well as all subfolders and files.

As an alternative method, NTFS file permissions can also be modified from the command line with the cacls command. For example,

C:\>ECHO Y| cacls "X:\My Documents\" /T /C /G Administrators:F

It should give all Administrators Full access to the folder and all subfolders below it.


Hope this helps!



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Last edited by rewt; 07-05-06 at 06:34 AM.
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Old 07-07-06, 05:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: Need help accessing data

Rewt...I tried that. Unfortunately, it did not work. I tried it under the owner's logon, and then tried again in safe mode under the admin logon. Kept getting ACCESS DENIED for all folders in My Docs.

Any other ideas?
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Old 07-08-06, 12:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: Need help accessing data

Folder permissions should end up looking like mine. (note: I blanked out my computer name beside \Administrators and \Users)



Ask your friend if he/she has gone through the process of encrypting the files. It usually takes a few steps unless he unlocked the "Encrypt" option on the context menu. The following shows how to encrypt a folder the normal way (without the unlocked "Encrypt" context menu).

Don't do this! I'm just showing how it is done.




Do this:

Go to My Computer > Tools > Folder Options > View and check the box that says "Show encrypted or compressed NTFS files in color" > OK

If the folder name shows up in green, then the files are encrypted and will be more difficult to recover. But if you still have the encryption keys (they would be on the old Windows partition) you still have a good chance of recovering the files.

If the folders names are not green, then they are not encrypted with EFS and you should be able to access them simply by taking ownership and setting the correct file permissions. You can do this by again right-clicking on the My Docs folder > Security tab > Advanced > Owner > Click "Administrators (comp_name\Administrators)" > Check "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects" > Click OK > Be sure to apply the changes to all subfolders and files if it asks.

Then, if necessary, try running the cacls command again, from command prompt;

ECHO Y| cacls "X:\My Documents\" /T /C /G Administrators:F

Good luck!



~rewt
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Last edited by rewt; 07-08-06 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 07-12-06, 06:29 AM   #6
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Default Re: Need help accessing data

The "Security" tab is not visible on the folder properties. I tried turning simple file sharing off, but cannot find that option anywhere. When I go to "My Computer - Tools - Folder Options - View", the "Use Simple File Sharing" option is not in the advanced window. I have no idea why not, as I just looked on my machine and it's there. On that machine, it's just not there.
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Old 07-12-06, 06:15 PM   #7
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Default Re: Need help accessing data

http://www.filerecovery.com/
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Old 07-12-06, 11:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: Need help accessing data

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prime
The "Security" tab is not visible on the folder properties. I tried turning simple file sharing off, but cannot find that option anywhere. When I go to "My Computer - Tools - Folder Options - View", the "Use Simple File Sharing" option is not in the advanced window. I have no idea why not, as I just looked on my machine and it's there. On that machine, it's just not there.
You're using XP Home then. Reboot in safe mode, log on as Administrator to access the security tab. Then give the Administrators group full permissions and ownership. Voila!

BTW all of this can actually be done in normal mode via the command line in XP Home. But you need the takeown.exe utility from Windows 2000 Resource Kit, because cacls.exe (the utility I mentioned earlier) shipped with Windows XP does not handle ownership.

Consider this:

If userA owns folder "My Documents" and has full permissions,

userB may not be able to access the folder, even if userB is an Administrator of the system!

The solution is for the Administrator, in this case userB, to;

1) Take Ownership of the My Documents folder, subfolder, and files. This is done under the Security > Advanced > Owner tab. Make sure to check the box beside "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects" before clicking Apply!

2) Add an ACE (Access Control Entry) for himself, granting full access to all folders, subfolders, and files. This is done under the Security > Advanced > Permissions tab. Make sure to check the box beside "Replace permission entries on all child objects with entries shown here ..." before clicking Apply!
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Last edited by rewt; 07-13-06 at 12:57 AM.
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