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Windows 7: Can't see files on Drive C Windows 7

14 Apr 2014   #1
GdougG

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 
Can't see files on Drive C Windows 7

I recently managed to lose access to every aspect of Drive C on my brother's computer. I came to this forum to get some help, and while I found plenty of things to try, none of them worked. BUT...I was able to solve my problem so I thought I'd document what I did so the next hapless soul will possibly get an idea that MIGHT work for them.

Here's the story. My brother has had a stroke and is living in an assisted living facility. He gets a lot of joy out of messing around with his computer, so I try to keep it running. As time has progressed, however, things keep disappearing on his computer that I can only surmise were deleted by him. Of course, he strongly denies that he's deleted anything, so it must be a hardware problem, right? So I decided that I would add an admin account with a strong password and change his account to just a user (in case you're wondering, he's extremely upset about this). Then, I got the bright idea to set up the C drive so that he would not even be able to see it. So I headed off to the security tab on the C Drive and told it that only the Administrators should have access to it. No lowly user should ever be able to even see the C Drive contents. Everything looked up to snuff, so I clicked on OK and praised myself at my obviously superior intelligence. Of course, that's when you-know-what hit the fan. As soon as I got out of the C Drive properties window, it became painfully obvious that it wasn't just my brother that didn't have access to the drive. I, as GOD OF THE COMPUTER, er, I mean Administrator, could not see any file whatsoever on the computer. Gosh Darn! Off to Google! That's when I found this forum and it's plethora of "THINGS TO TRY". None of them worked. Now, I don't doubt the sincerity of the folks that posted possible solutions to my problem, I'm sure they're fine people. They just didn't appreciate the fact that Windows 7 has a major flaw in it's programming like I now do.

So here's how I fixed my problem. It should be noted that I also run Windows 7 Professional 64 bit on my computer. I took my brother's C Drive and hooked it up to my computer as an external drive. I then made an image of the C Drive onto another external drive. That's probably not required, but I didn't want to try anything without first trying it on something that I didn't care if it got destroyed. On the image of his drive, I went in and told it to give ME AS THE ADMIN OF MY COMPUTER permission to see the drive. After I clicked Apply, all sorts of magical things seem to happen as I could actually see all the files on that drive!!! So I went back to his drive (knowing I could always restore it with the copy I made) and did the same thing. That seemed to work too! I then moved the drive back into my brother's computer, and when I booted it up, it let me as the admin see the drive, AND the user account for my brother NOT see the drive. Nirvana!!! Well, if you ignore the fact that it took me over 3 months to come up with this solution.

So, I have found a solution to my problem. Just so you know, I took the computer back to my brother yesterday. I have already had 4 calls from him demanding that I remove the Admin account. Keep in mind that him walking down to the office to make the call is the equivalent of a normal person running a marathon. So I feel I have accomplished what I wanted to do. Who knows? Maybe the hard drive IS magically deleting files. Without me having to worry about him having the ability to royally screw things up, I can make that assessment in a few weeks. Thanks for listening!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Apr 2014   #2
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Hello and welcome Doug well done and here is another method if you get stuck with yours

BOOTABLE UBUNTU

Make a bootable Ubuntu disk http://www.ubuntu.com/download

Set the BIOS to boot from theoptical when the machine boots it will show you a screen with TRY or INSTALL> select TRYnot INSTALL

When it is finished - it takes verylittle time you will get a screen like in the pic .

Open the drive you want > Userand dig down until you get to the data / settings you may be able to copy /paste the material you want to an external source or other installed drive doingthis.

I am not sure if it will but I haverecovered tons of data etc using this method both on "dead" or justplain drives that you cannot get data from using Windows.
I prefer a disk but it can be done with a stick see screen pic for what you get


Attached Thumbnails
Can't see files on Drive C Windows 7-ubuntu-screen.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2014   #3
GdougG

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

I actually tried that, but it too didn't work. I was able to make myself happy that the files on C were really still there by running Ubuntu, but I could't find anyway to replace the file permissions that would have any effect in Windows 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Can't see files on Drive C Windows 7




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