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Windows 7: Can't Access External HD To Change Security Permissions

25 Feb 2012   #11
mtnpoet7

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Marvelous, another new suggestion for which I'm grateful and will try.

The essentially irreplacable data is a music collection that took me around 15 years to accumulate. This external HD was the backup to all my music. So though I own all the CDs, I can't imagine what kind of time it would take me to backup this all up again.

The moral to this story is " Never assume that two backups should be good enough, in case of user stupidity."

I think it would have been a easy rescue mission if I'd not stopped the changing permission process part way through leaving something incomplete or way out of whack. But this is merely another guess on my part.

I'm off to try your newest suggestion.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
25 Feb 2012   #12
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

What about trying to boot with a Linux disc to see if you can access and copy the files that way?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2012   #13
mtnpoet7

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

I'm not sure which of these are the 'OWNER' and can't identify the owner using another way into drive properies for external HD.

So here is what is in the Advanced Security Box -

Administrators - Full Control
SYSTEM - Full Control
Users - Read & Execute
Authenticated Users - Special
Authenticated Users - Create folders/app....

Which one of these is the one I should change in your directions below?
Adminisrators or SYSTEM?

Thanks.



Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dsperber View Post
I realize this is frustrating, and that you have essentially irreplaceable data on that drive... which unfortunately has no secondary backup (e.g. to DAT tape as I have, for my invaluable data backups, along with external USB drive for everyday recovery convenience).

Here's yet another "recipe" for trying to acquire permissions and control over the drive, from another MS article:

Grant ownership and permission to the administrator and to the system


To assign permissions to the system:
  1. Open Windows Explorer. To do this, click Start, click Programs, and then click Windows Explorer.
  2. Expand My Computer.
  3. Right-click the system drive (this is typically drive C), and then click Properties.
  4. Click the Security tab, and then click Advanced to open the Access Control Settings for Local Disk dialog box.
  5. Click the Owner tab, click to select the Replace Owner on Sub containers and Objects check box, and then click Apply.

    If you receive the following error message, click Continue: An error has occurred applying security information to %systemdrive%\Pagefile.sys
  6. If you receive the following error message, click Yes: You do not have permission to read the contents of directory %systemdrive%\System Volume Information - Do you want to replace the directory permission - All permission will be replaced granting you Full Control
  7. Click OK to close the dialog box.
  8. Click Add.
  9. Add the following users, and then grant them the Full Control NTFS permission:
    • Administrator
    • System
    • Creator Owner
  10. After you have added these NTFS permissions, click Advanced, click to select the Reset permission on all child objects and enable propagation of inheritable permissions check box, and then click Apply.
  11. If you receive the following error message, click Continue: An error has occurred applying security information to %systemdrive%\Pagefile.sys
  12. After you have reset NTFS permissions, click OK.
Now I would modify this recipe in step 9 to also add EVERYONE.

Does this also fail, the same way your other attempts have failed?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

25 Feb 2012   #14
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Yet one more idea...

I use a backup/restore program for my ordinary data named NovaBackup (I use Macrium Reflect for my "system image" backups). As with all similar programs I've used over the years, NovaBackup has the ability to optionally backup the ACL permissions for NTFS or not.

Furthermore, in the restore functionality, there is again the option to restore the ACL permissions for NTFS or not.

The product is available for trial, so it can't hurt for you to at least install it and see if it can solve the problem.

For the experiment you'd set up a backup say of one folder, try to run the backup to see if the program can even read that folder or if it also gets the equivalent of "access denied" and fails to even be able to read the data you want backed up. I'd un-check the "backup ACL permissions" option.

But if it can read the test folder, you can thern restore it to a second location, and see if you can then read the restored data from that second location.

If this is successful, now the issue is how to plot out the logistics for doing this backup-without-ACL and restore-to-new-location for the large volume of data you have. I'd probably use Partition Wizard to shrink your existing partition and create a new second partition on that external drive (or put the backup output onto a second drive, somewhere, if available) as the output target for this migration process.

Of course it might be just as unsuccessful as all of your current attempts have been to deal with these problem folders. And if NovaBackup can also NOT read them, then the whole idea can be tossed.

But... you might try it. You might even decide to buy NovaBackup.

You can download the trial version of NovaBackup here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2012   #15
mtnpoet7

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

You are simply wonderful. That too is a very good suggestion.

In the midst of our chat I decided to try the backup software I already had installed on main computer which is Acronis Home Image 2011 just to see if there was someway to backup onto another drive. In setting this up Acronis did give one error message initially which their website tech instruction said to Ignore.

I did that and this back up image is being made as I write this... but your suggestions sound better. But I'm afraid to abort this imaging process given what happened when I aborted the last one leading to this mess.

What do you think? Should I move on to your 2nd suggestion, and on to #'s 3 & 4 if that one doesn't work?

The point being I'm willing to wait for Acronis to finish but don't want you to wait around in case you come up with the wonder solution, at which point I will be back proclaiming your wisdom to the moon... ? :-)

Thanks again.

Cynthia
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2012   #16
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mtnpoet7 View Post
I'm not sure which of these are the 'OWNER' and can't identify the owner using another way into drive properies for external HD.

So here is what is in the Advanced Security Box -

Administrators - Full Control
SYSTEM - Full Control
Users - Read & Execute
Authenticated Users - Special
Authenticated Users - Create folders/app....

Which one of these is the one I should change in your directions below?
Adminisrators or SYSTEM?
Well, my guess would be to use Adminstrators, but either of the two that show "Full control" probably would work.

Here's my current "Permissions" for my own external USB drive (that supports full access):



And here's my current "Owner" for the same drive:




I've never done any manual adjustments for this drive, so whatever is there got installed automatically by Win7 and apparently fully supports unlimited access to me, from both of my machines.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2012   #17
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mtnpoet7 View Post
In the midst of our chat I decided to try the backup software I already had installed on main computer which is Acronis Home Image 2011 just to see if there was someway to backup onto another drive. In setting this up Acronis did give one error message initially which their website tech instruction said to Ignore.

I did that and this back up image is being made as I write this... but your suggestions sound better. But I'm afraid to abort this imaging process given what happened when I aborted the last one leading to this mess.
I don't use Acronis. Tried it when I went to Win7 (and had to give up Backup MyPC which I'd been using for years) and couldn't figure it out. Tried various others, and finally decided to go with NovaBackup. It's not perfect, but it gives me what I need for folder/file backup capability. I use Macrium Reflect for "system image" (i.e. my boot drive), using NovaBackup for the rest of my data... doing normal monthly FULL backups and daily INCREMENTAL backups to external USB, with secondary monthly backup to TAPE.

Anyway, I am not surprised that if you're running an Acronis "image" backup of some type, that it's just copying sectors and doesn't care what's in those sectors. So I wouldn't hold out too much hope for any different result if you then restore that "image" to a second drive or disk area somewhere.

The only way you can truly deal with the ACL permissions problem is to drop them... either in the backup or the restore... by a "data backup" of folders/files, not an "image backup". That would be my guess.


Quote:
What do you think? Should I move on to your 2nd suggestion, and on to #'s 3 & 4 if that one doesn't work?
Well, I've found several optional approaches from the web (which I, myself, have never used personally, so I can't vouch for any of them). Certainly that command-prompt "takeown" idea is easy enough to try.

And the second "icacls" idea could also be easy enough to try, although the warning about possible misuse if not careful kind of frightens me.

For sure, the Windows backup idea is similar to what I suggested using NovaBackup (where I KNOW the options regarding ACL are present), but I have been unable to learn where in Windows backup or restore you can deal with the NTFS permissions. So I don't understand how that is supposed to work.

And of course all of these ideas may be thwarted by whatever happened to your external drive that now has an apparent "hybrid" situation for NTFS permissions.


Quote:
The point being I'm willing to wait for Acronis to finish but don't want you to wait around in case you come up with the wonder solution, at which point I will be back proclaiming your wisdom to the moon... ? :-)
Well, let's just try one thing at a time until we're completely out of ideas.

The key, of course, is if any of these proposed ideas and possible solutions can actually overcome the apparent obstacles which have shown up when trying the earlier possible solutions... where you see something like "access denied" when it would be completely unexpected, since that's what the steps you're taking are intended to overcome.

Anyway, I think "takeown" would be the easiest next possible solution. I'd never heard of it before now:
Takeown

The takeown command is used to regain access to a file that that an administrator was denied access to when reassigning ownership of the file..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2012   #18
mtnpoet7

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

OK, I think I'll try Administrator since messing with the SYSTEM this way makes me a little nervous.

After all this is said and done I'll be making new images and backups of all my external drives which is how I backup as a default position for the past few years after having internal RAID drives fail.

Now I am going to wait for Acronis to image the drive just in case this could acually work. It just might because it appears that this software could access the drive even though it does not show up in My Computer like it used to. I wonder why that is!?

The external HD did show up in My Computer along with all the other drives until I rebooted hoping to reset something. Now the only way I can even see the drive is through the Network icon in Windows Explorer.

I mention this only because I do not understand why this happened, and is this even an important factor to consider?

I'll be back sometime later as I'm not sure how long the Acronis imaging will take on 1.5 TB. It said one and a half days (eek) but it's already showing to be over a third of the way done.


Ever onward....
Thnx

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dsperber View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mtnpoet7 View Post
I'm not sure which of these are the 'OWNER' and can't identify the owner using another way into drive properies for external HD.

So here is what is in the Advanced Security Box -

Administrators - Full Control
SYSTEM - Full Control
Users - Read & Execute
Authenticated Users - Special
Authenticated Users - Create folders/app....

Which one of these is the one I should change in your directions below?
Adminisrators or SYSTEM?
Well, my guess would be to use Adminstrators, but either of the two that show "Full control" probably would work.

Here's my current "Permissions" for my own external USB drive (that supports full access):



And here's my current "Owner" for the same drive:




I've never done any manual adjustments for this drive, so whatever is there got installed automatically by Win7 and apparently fully supports unlimited access to me, from both of my machines.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2012   #19
mtnpoet7

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

A very good point and you're probably correct in that imaging the drive won't change the problem with the hybrid permissions. A very good way to put it BTW. But since I'm afraid of another abort, will move on directly to the Takedown option when done.

I appreciate all your suggestions about what you use since I've only been using Acronis for a year or two and have never had to restore something using it. I do try to be careful, but sometimes one can get ahead of oneself. I realize now that I was doing two tasks when I made the wrong call, as in major whoops.

I'm going to download NovaBackup because I do want something better now.

Ever onward and upward....?
We shall see.
Thnx


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dsperber View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mtnpoet7 View Post
In the midst of our chat I decided to try the backup software I already had installed on main computer which is Acronis Home Image 2011 just to see if there was someway to backup onto another drive. In setting this up Acronis did give one error message initially which their website tech instruction said to Ignore.

I did that and this back up image is being made as I write this... but your suggestions sound better. But I'm afraid to abort this imaging process given what happened when I aborted the last one leading to this mess.
I don't use Acronis. Tried it when I went to Win7 (and had to give up Backup MyPC which I'd been using for years) and couldn't figure it out. Tried various others, and finally decided to go with NovaBackup. It's not perfect, but it gives me what I need for folder/file backup capability. I use Macrium Reflect for "system image" (i.e. my boot drive), using NovaBackup for the rest of my data... doing normal monthly FULL backups and daily INCREMENTAL backups to external USB, with secondary monthly backup to TAPE.

Anyway, I am not surprised that if you're running an Acronis "image" backup of some type, that it's just copying sectors and doesn't care what's in those sectors. So I wouldn't hold out too much hope for any different result if you then restore that "image" to a second drive or disk area somewhere.

The only way you can truly deal with the ACL permissions problem is to drop them... either in the backup or the restore... by a "data backup" of folders/files, not an "image backup". That would be my guess.


Quote:
What do you think? Should I move on to your 2nd suggestion, and on to #'s 3 & 4 if that one doesn't work?
Well, I've found several optional approaches from the web (which I, myself, have never used personally, so I can't vouch for any of them). Certainly that command-prompt "takedown" idea is easy enough to try.

And the second "icacls" idea could also be easy enough to try, although the warning about possible misuse if not careful kind of frightens me.

For sure, the Windows backup idea is similar to what I suggested using NovaBackup (where I KNOW the options regarding ACL are present), but I have been unable to learn where in Windows backup or restore you can deal with the NTFS permissions. So I don't understand how that is supposed to work.

And of course all of these ideas may be thwarted by whatever happened to your external drive that now has an apparent "hybrid" situation for NTFS permissions.


Quote:
The point being I'm willing to wait for Acronis to finish but don't want you to wait around in case you come up with the wonder solution, at which point I will be back proclaiming your wisdom to the moon... ? :-)
Well, let's just try one thing at a time until we're completely out of ideas.

The key, of course, is if any of these proposed ideas and possible solutions can actually overcome the apparent obstacles which have shown up when trying the earlier possible solutions... where you see something like "access denied" when it would be completely unexpected, since that's what the steps you're taking are intended to overcome.

Anyway, I think "takedown" would be the easiest next possible solution. I'd never heard of it before now:
Takedown

The takedown command is used to regain access to a file that that an administrator was denied access to when reassigning ownership of the file..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2012   #20
mtnpoet7

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Just FYI...when I moved the external drive to another PC it asked if I wanted to format the drive?! It couldn't be read on another computer at all - for whatever that's worth.

This is Hybrid hell, ha.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Can't Access External HD To Change Security Permissions




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