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Help reclaiming my files from windows permission prison?

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posted on Jan, 6 2013 @ 02:15 PM
I need some help folks.

I have a 1.5 Terra external drive I need to get files from. I'm not sure how or where this happened and at this point? It's irrelevant since I can't determine it now. Attempting to access this drive under Windows 7 has about 50% of the folders saying I don't have sufficient access permission to even open them to see a directory list.

Now, as many know, I'm trash canning ALL things Windows....this is part of why. However, that doesn't help at the moment for gettting access restored to millions of files I have on this drive and many, irreplaceable. I'm sure the process to FORCE a change down windows throat on a single file or directory is easy enough ... How does one do it to over a full Terrabyte of countless individual files spanning 100's of thousands of directories? These include uncompressed and full file to file backups of over a dozen separate machines that were copied onto this drive to access later without any additional software as most backup programs require.

I need help though.. How do I brute force this issue without spending the next 10 years going directory by directory, one by one, to do this? There has to be a way....and I ought to know it, I know. It's just lost to me now.

Any solid and proven solutions someone can offer will be greatly appreciated. The immediate need is a catalog for the 1000 or so movies I've got in DVD and VHS...and that's a real immediate need. My Sister in law spent days scanning them into a database Windows has now determined I'm not special enough to even see the directory of anymore.

Thanks in advance for any help!
edit on 6-1-2013 by Wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 6 2013 @ 02:19 PM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

Hmmmm, I remember something similar happening to me....

The best I can recall was that I had to log in as admin, before it allowed me to do what I wanted! Strange? Absolutely, because I am the only person who uses this computer...

posted on Jan, 6 2013 @ 02:23 PM
reply to post by seeker1963

Is that opening your computer in "safe mode"?

posted on Jan, 6 2013 @ 02:24 PM
reply to post by intrepid

Hold on...........looking something up, brb

Okay..............Click here

Look for the blue words that say "Show all" click it and it tells you exactly how to fix things.....

No need for safe mode......

I was able to do it, so it definately is not hard or challenging to do!

Basically, you have to set windows up and tell it that YOU are the administrator, after that, it will never bother you again....

edit on 6-1-2013 by seeker1963 because: (no reason given)

edit on 6-1-2013 by seeker1963 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 6 2013 @ 02:26 PM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

hello friend,

Yes I have an idea. Since you are trashing Windows I assume you are moving to Linux, have I got that right?

*will continue based on answer*

posted on Jan, 6 2013 @ 02:26 PM
A quick fix can be to burn a linux live CD and then you can sort all your stuff out such as copying away data without worrying about windows permissions too much

posted on Jan, 6 2013 @ 02:28 PM
reply to post by Xoanon

Yes.. I am moving to Linux. In fact, I'm moving that movie catalog off a Linux machine now where I'd forgotten I had it backed up. My Ext 1.5t is still sitting locked to me.

posted on Jan, 6 2013 @ 02:28 PM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

These resources will surely help you here.It is better to link you than to post solutions here :-



posted on Jan, 6 2013 @ 02:31 PM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000
For the past couple of months I've been using Ubuntu as an operating system (OS). It's pretty good for just about everything I need to do apart from I have to boot the W7 OS for the snipping tool and minor things like Adobe PDF or ripping YT vids.

You could try partitioning your internal HD to run an Ubuntu OS for free. It was a doddle to do and took no time at all. From there, it's possible to use the external HD and gain access to all your files without Windows sticking its nose in and bleating.

posted on Jan, 6 2013 @ 02:31 PM
edit on 6-1-2013 by Kandinsky because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 6 2013 @ 02:31 PM
'tweaking .com - windows repair all in one' has a utility to reset all file permissions ... that might do it.

posted on Jan, 6 2013 @ 02:36 PM
Okay... There is a bit of a hassle getting this connected to the linux machine so before doing that, I just wanted to confirm what I'm hearing? (Obviously.I'm still very much in the learning as I go phase of Linux transition) .. Linux will access this and override or bypass the Windows permission issues I'm currently hitting as a brick wall?

(Checking the other solutions offered here through Windows while waiting on confirmation to the above)

This will be so much easier when Windows is gone and I all have to work with is Android on my tablet and Linux on my machines. Until then? Life's little challenges, eh?

posted on Jan, 6 2013 @ 02:50 PM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

Dude Linux is obviously better than windows and therefore recommended.
But if your windows previously messed up with your hard disk than even using Linux may not solve your problem.

Here is what I get when I want to connect to one of external hdd form Linux Backtrack. Its mounted but it says that it's not and therefore wont connect.

Therefore firstly try to solve your problem using windows. But if that doesn't solve it,use Linux.

posted on Jan, 6 2013 @ 02:58 PM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

Theoretically this should work in windows:

- Connect another drive either internal or externally (sata,ide or usb)
- make sure the drive is formatted to NTFS.
- Log in as administrator
- Create a folder on the new drive
- on the new folder right click and choose properties > security tab and set the permissions to 'full control' to 'users' and 'authenticated users'
- Copy all the files and folders into the new folder on the new volume.

The files will then inherit the permissions of the new folder (parent folder) on the new drive.

I say theoretically because i have not tried this with a LOT of files at one time in a complex hierarchy .

The logic behind this method is : when you copy files to a folder on a separate volume they will inherit the permissions of the new folder. This is from Microsoft :

When you copy or move a file or folder on an NTFS volume, how Windows Explorer handles the permissions on the object varies, depending on whether the object is copied or moved within the same NTFS volume or to a different volume. This article describes how Windows Explorer handles file and folder permissions in different situations.

By default, an object inherits permissions from its parent object, either at the time of creation or when it is copied or moved to its parent folder. The only exception to this rule occurs when you move an object to a different folder on the same volume. In this case, the original permissions are retained.

So if the permissions on the new folder are set to full control to users they should change and the folder is on a different drive. But of course you need to have permission to copy them in the first place and for that you will need to be logged in as an administrator.

Where you might encounter problems:
By default files and folders are set to inherit the permissions of the parent folder or volume BUT you can set folders to not inherit permissions. So if there are any folders in the hierarchy that have this set then they probably wont be changed by sending them to the new folder. But you can try it an see.

edit on 6-1-2013 by PhoenixOD because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 6 2013 @ 03:01 PM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

*Sorry got pulled away to the phone, So if someone has not solved this yet...*

Ok good,

Maxatoria is on the right track.

But I would like to suggest that you go a step further.

You need to get the biggest thumbdrive you have and then go get a version of Knoppix.

Get it on to a thumbdrive with either this or this.

Then you can get in your BIOS and tell the macheen to boot from USB

You need to tell it to create a 4gb persistent drive at boot.

Have you done this before?

You will be able to read your 1.5 and any other backup drives from Knoppix and begin file transfer.

This is very simplistic and if you wish to go this route I will stick around.

Others may be able to modify these basic instructions to streamline this so we can help you get it done fast.

You are doing the right thing.

I'm a Linux newb (2+ years) but anything I can do to help.
edit on 6-1-2013 by Xoanon because:

posted on Jan, 6 2013 @ 03:04 PM
Thank you for you help everyone. I went ahead and moved the drive and cables around to hook it to my Linux-Mint machine and it opened it with 100% full access to everything as if there'd never been a problem. Now after I've gotten everything off it that I need to get off this, I'm going to hook it back to the Win 7 machine and play with the solutions offered using only Windows to see which may have worked if that'd been my only I may help friends that run into this little nightmare.

There is nothing ...nothing..more frustrating in my mind than being told by my own local machine, on my own drive that for whatever reason it deems suddenly necessary, I can't even see, let alone work with my files. (slowly tries putting back the little tufts of fur pulled out in frustration during this experience).

It wouldn't annoy me in a network setting I didn't build myself ...but my local home box and a drive that has never left the 4 walls of my house? err... Sometimes security goes so far over the cliff of anything like common sense .. Well... This is the best example of why I'm disposing of windows entirely, just as quickly as I can do it in a controlled and proper way.

* For the sake of insuring others that come across this thread by title in the help forum get their answer too..I will be sure to return to this and ultimately end it by adding what worked and what didn't for me when I put this back on the windows box and have nothing to lose on it by experimenting until it unlocks what it locked.

Thanks again everyone for your QUICK response and input! It's a life saver!

posted on Jan, 6 2013 @ 03:09 PM
linux LIVE DISK is probably the right approach . It works 99% of the time unless you have encrypted your drive.

This approach also has synergy with your future shift to linux.
dont get into the nitty gritties of installing a distro. Just download an image , burn to disk and reboot.

(was late anyways) have fun with linux . you'll never stop loving it
edit on 6-1-2013 by thinkingmind because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 6 2013 @ 03:10 PM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

Glad you got your data Wrabbit. I'll go ahead and leave you this little bit to play with as well...
Take Ownership...

One word of caution to Windows users. Never use this on a working Windows machine unless you know what you're doing. It is however, great for changing permissions en masse on a drive you need to get data from.

edit on 1/6/2013 by Klassified because: emphasis

posted on Jan, 6 2013 @ 03:11 PM
reply to post by Xoanon

Indeed.. What I'm doing now is a variation and it works! (sigh of relief)

I'm a Linux noob in the extreme ..but at the same time I'm not. It's weird to say it that way, but easier to put this way. I've been having to work here and there with bits and pieces of Linux commands on web servers as far back as my time with web sites goes ... and wow I can say it's been a learning experience in itself just finding what a difference in worlds it is between a shell access to a remote web server running a Linux variant and actually learning to use this as my laptop's operating system. I can't wait to make it my primary desktop O/S as well and make the transition complete.

*Stars for all who've replied to help. I'm blown away by how fast help comes here when I finally break down sometimes to ask for it. You guys are priceless for that!

edit on 6-1-2013 by Wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 6 2013 @ 10:42 PM

windows can be so badly behaved sometimes it forgets who's in charge!

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