Windows 7 Forums

Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.


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

26 Feb 2012   #21
dsperber

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

Well... looks like the earlier "guru" post I quoted from had mis-spelled the two commands it talked of.

It's not "takedown". It is "takeown".

Here is another more accurate and similar description and example, this time to take ownership of a specific system file in order to be able to delete it.

==================================

You need to take ownership of the files, and then assign yourself rights to delete or modify the file. For this, we’ll use the command line.

Open an administrator command prompt by typing cmd into the start menu search box, and hit the Ctrl+Shift+Enter key combination.





To take ownership of the file, you’ll need to use the takeown command. Here’s an example:
takeown /f C:\Windows\System32\en-US\winload.exe.mui
That will give you ownership of the file, but you still have no rights to delete it. Now you can run the cacls command to give yourself full control rights to the file:
cacls C:\Windows\System32\en-US\winload.exe.mui /G geek:F
Note that my username is geek, so you will substitute your username there.


At this point, you should be able to delete the file. If you still can’t do so, you may need to reboot into Safe Mode and try it again. For the filename in the example, I was able to overwrite it without safe mode, but your mileage may vary.


NOTE: the CACLS command in the above [old] example has been replaced by ICACLS


=======================================

Here's another TAKEOWN example, taking ownership for a system folder and then giving permission to SYSTEM:

takeown /f C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\*.*

cacls C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\*.* /G System:F

Note that the proper use of the CACLS command and its operands is very important.

========================================

take ownership of a folder:

Start a Command Prompt box (cmd) as administrator, and enter:

takeown /f /r d:\test

cacls d:\test /t /e /c /g username:F

==================================

Official TAKEOWN command syntax:

TAKEOWN [/S system [/U username [/P [password]]]]
/F filename [/A] [/R [/D prompt]]

Description:
This tool allows an administrator to recover access to a file that
was denied by re-assigning file ownership.

Parameter List:
/S system Specifies the remote system to
connect to.

/U [domain\]user Specifies the user context under
which the command should execute.

/P [password] Specifies the password for the
given user context.
Prompts for input if omitted.

/F filename Specifies the filename or directory
name pattern. Wildcard "*" can be used
to specify the pattern. Allows
sharename\filename.

/A Gives ownership to the administrators
group instead of the current user.

/R Recurse: instructs tool to operate on
files in specified directory and all
subdirectories.

/D prompt Default answer used when the current user
does not have the "list folder" permission
on a directory. This occurs while operating
recursively (/R) on sub-directories. Valid
values "Y" to take ownership or "N" to skip.

/? Displays this help message.

NOTE: 1) If /A is not specified, file ownership will be given to the
current logged on user.

2) Mixed patterns using "?" and "*" are not supported.

3) /D is used to suppress the confirmation prompt.

Examples:
TAKEOWN /?
TAKEOWN /F lostfile
TAKEOWN /F \\system\share\lostfile /A
TAKEOWN /F directory /R /D N
TAKEOWN /F directory /R /A
TAKEOWN /F *
TAKEOWN /F C:\Windows\System32\acme.exe
TAKEOWN /F %windir%\*.txt
TAKEOWN /S system /F MyShare\Acme*.doc
TAKEOWN /S system /U user /F MyShare\foo.dll
TAKEOWN /S system /U domain\user /P password /F share\filename
TAKEOWN /S system /U user /P password /F Doc\Report.doc /A
TAKEOWN /S system /U user /P password /F Myshare\*
TAKEOWN /S system /U user /P password /F Home\Logon /R
TAKEOWN /S system /U user /P password /F Myshare\directory /R /A

==============================================

Official ICACLS syntax:

ICACLS name /save aclfile [/T] [/C] [/L] [/Q]
stores the DACLs for the files and folders that match the name
into aclfile for later use with /restore. Note that SACLs,
owner, or integrity labels are not saved.

ICACLS directory [/substitute SidOld SidNew [...]] /restore aclfile
[/C] [/L] [/Q]
applies the stored DACLs to files in directory.

ICACLS name /setowner user [/T] [/C] [/L] [/Q]
changes the owner of all matching names. This option does not
force a change of ownership; use the takeown.exe utility for
that purpose.

ICACLS name /findsid Sid [/T] [/C] [/L] [/Q]
finds all matching names that contain an ACL
explicitly mentioning Sid.

ICACLS name /verify [/T] [/C] [/L] [/Q]
finds all files whose ACL is not in canonical form or whose
lengths are inconsistent with ACE counts.

ICACLS name /reset [/T] [/C] [/L] [/Q]
replaces ACLs with default inherited ACLs for all matching files.

[NOTE: in following examples, the items with smilies are actually : p]

ICACLS name [/grant[:r] Siderm[...]]
[/deny Siderm [...]]
[/remove[:g|:d]] Sid[...]] [/T] [/C] [/L] [/Q]
[/setintegritylevel Levelolicy[...]]

/grant[:r] Siderm grants the specified user access rights. With :r,
the permissions replace any previouly granted explicit permissions.
Without :r, the permissions are added to any previously granted
explicit permissions.

/deny Siderm explicitly denies the specified user access rights.
An explicit deny ACE is added for the stated permissions and
the same permissions in any explicit grant are removed.

/remove[:[g|d]] Sid removes all occurrences of Sid in the ACL. With
:g, it removes all occurrences of granted rights to that Sid. With
:d, it removes all occurrences of denied rights to that Sid.

/setintegritylevel [(CI)(OI)]Level explicitly adds an integrity
ACE to all matching files. The level is to be specified as one
of:
L[ow]
M[edium]
H[igh]
Inheritance options for the integrity ACE may precede the level
and are applied only to directories.

/inheritance:e|d|r
e - enables inheritance
d - disables inheritance and copy the ACEs
r - remove all inherited ACEs


Note:
Sids may be in either numerical or friendly name form. If a numerical
form is given, affix a * to the start of the SID.

/T indicates that this operation is performed on all matching
files/directories below the directories specified in the name.

/C indicates that this operation will continue on all file errors.
Error messages will still be displayed.

/L indicates that this operation is performed on a symbolic link
itself versus its target.

/Q indicates that icacls should supress success messages.

ICACLS preserves the canonical ordering of ACE entries:
Explicit denials
Explicit grants
Inherited denials
Inherited grants

perm is a permission mask and can be specified in one of two forms:
a sequence of simple rights:
N - no access
F - full access
M - modify access
RX - read and execute access
R - read-only access
W - write-only access
D - delete access
a comma-separated list in parentheses of specific rights:
DE - delete
RC - read control
WDAC - write DAC
WO - write owner
S - synchronize
AS - access system security
MA - maximum allowed
GR - generic read
GW - generic write
GE - generic execute
GA - generic all
RD - read data/list directory
WD - write data/add file
AD - append data/add subdirectory
REA - read extended attributes
WEA - write extended attributes
X - execute/traverse
DC - delete child
RA - read attributes
WA - write attributes
inheritance rights may precede either form and are applied
only to directories:
(OI) - object inherit
(CI) - container inherit
(IO) - inherit only
(NP) - don't propagate inherit
(I) - permission inherited from parent container

Examples:

icacls c:\windows\* /save AclFile /T
- Will save the ACLs for all files under c:\windows
and its subdirectories to AclFile.

icacls c:\windows\ /restore AclFile
- Will restore the Acls for every file within
AclFile that exists in c:\windows and its subdirectories.

[NOTE: in following examples the smilies are actually : (]

icacls file /grant AdministratorD,WDAC)
- Will grant the user Administrator Delete and Write DAC
permissions to file.

icacls file /grant *S-1-1-0D,WDAC)
- Will grant the user defined by sid S-1-1-0 Delete and
Write DAC permissions to file.

============================================


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
26 Feb 2012   #22
dsperber

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

Use "takeown" to access certain files

Vista/7 protects many system files for security reasons and even an administrator may not allowed to access certain of them. If you are denied access to a file while in an administrator account, you can use the command line tool "takeown.exe" to reassign ownership. You will need to run the command from a command prompt with administrator privileges.

The syntax is:
takeown /f some_file [/a] [/r]
The specified filename can contain wildcards. You can also specify a folder.

The optional switch "/a" transfers ownership to the administrators group. If omitted, the default is to transfer ownership to the present user account.

The switch "/r" recurses subdirectories. Although this command assigns ownership, it does not give control rights. Thus if you wish to modify a system file (often not a good idea) you will probably have also to apply the "icacls" command discussed next.


Obtain control rights to a file with "icacls"

(Icacls.exe supersedes the "cacls" command of Windows XP. The older command is still available, however.)

This command has a rather complex set of options. They can be displayed by entering "icacls /?" in a command prompt.

One example is the command to grant full access rights to an account named user:
icacls file_name /grant user:F
=========================================

Takeown has more options than just /f, of course.

To take ownership of an entire tree of folders and files, you can add the /r option. Thus, if you wanted to take ownership of a folder named C:\documents, as well as any files and folders inside C:\documents, you'd type
takeown /f C:\documents /r
If you've ever tried to take ownership of a tree of folders, you might have run into something of an annoyance—namely, Windows' tendency to ask if you really, truly want to take ownership.

Suppose, for example, that you not only don't own C:\documents but you also don't have permission to look in C:\documents. In that case, taking ownership of C:\ documents wouldn't equip you to take control of any subfolders in C:\documents for the simple reason that although you would now own C:\documents, you would still lack the NTFS permissions necessary to list its subfolders.

Feasibly, you could take ownership of each directory, one at a time, then add a list folders permission to that folder, which would let you see the subfolders in that folder, which in turn would let you take ownership of the subfolders.

Thankfully, such manual labor isn't necessary: Whenever you use the /r option with Takeown, the command pauses at each folder and asks whether you'd like Takeown to add the list folders permission to that folder's NTFS permissions. That's a nice touch, but it means that taking control of a folder containing dozens of folders could get a bit tedious.

The good news is that you can configure Takeown so that it doesn't ask you if you want to add the list folders permission and instead just assumes that you'll answer yes or no. To do that, you use the /d option, followed by a y or an n. So, to take ownership of C:\documents and all its subfolders, while granting yourself the list folders permission, you'd type
takeown /f C:\documents /r /d y
=========================================
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2012   #23
mtnpoet7

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

More worthy instructions, thank you so much!


Believe it or not Acronis is still backing up the drive. I let it run all night and now it's saying 20 more hours. I so want to get back to trying all you've suggested but figured it wouldn't hurt to have the drive backed up even if it is an image with permission access issues...just in case everything else fails. I actually started this backup after realizing the drive couldn't be read on another computer which wanted to reformat it. This could be a big waste of time (its beginning to feel that way) but I'm going to wait until it's done before charging ahead. After all, I've gone this far...*sigh.


Thank you again for all the great suggestions....I still think I may try the Takeown first and appreciate the Command instructions. Its been ages since I've done any, so everything you've said is a big help.


I'll be back soon as I can to report what worked or didn't work.
Have a nice day.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

26 Feb 2012   #24
mtnpoet7

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Dear DSPERBER,


After re-reading your instructions for Takeown I just realized there may be another problem in trying to do this. Before I searched out this forum I did try a couple of basic commands in the ole command box and couldn't access the drive since it doesn't have a letter showing anymore because it can only be seen in the Network.

Therefore my question is, can these commands be done starting with something like //touch-pc/NAME of Drive ?

Or how do I write this starting with c:/ in the command box?

If memory serves I couldn't access the drive by command even when I could see a drive letter, though at that stage of this mess I may have typed the command wrong. In any case, can I get to the drive even when it isn't showing up in My Computer?

Instead of pulling out all my hair today, I think I'll take to smashing my forehead on to my desk, ha. This is a poet's poor attempt at trying to keep a sense of humor
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2012   #25
dsperber

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

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mtnpoet7 View Post
After re-reading your instructions for Takeown I just realized there may be another problem in trying to do this. Before I searched out this forum I did try a couple of basic commands in the ole command box and couldn't access the drive since it doesn't have a letter showing anymore because it can only be seen in the Network.

Therefore my question is, can these commands be done starting with something like //touch-pc/NAME of Drive ?
Well, we're now sailing in uncharted territory. I, myself, have never used these particular commands.

Hunting around for yet more outside world experience, I get a slightly different more compact and not quite as verbose presentation from a MS site, which talks about using an IP address and NOT using back-slash in the "remote system" specification area, when using the /S
operand. So it would seem you can't use the conventional backslash-dependent network-type notation for your drive that has-no-local-letter.




Then there is another example actually using the /S parameter, but specifying LOCALHOST as the system, which seems to be a way to identify the local machine itself if I interpret it properly, without actually using a drive letter:

takeown /s localhost /u "NT Service/TrustedInstaller" /f "%windir%\winsxs\Catalogs"

which asks for trustedinstaller password, which generates randomly

followed by:

icacls "%windir%\winsxs\Catalogs" /setowner "NT Service\TrustedInstaller" /T /C

But to be honest, I don't know how it might be specified in your situation, where this locally attached drive is not assigned a drive letter.


Then, there's my NovaBackup idea, which has the ability to specify items to be backed up either as (a) local objects, from drives with drive letters, (b) network objects, from network items mapped with drive letters, and als (c) network objects, from generally accessible network shares... both drives and folders.



But again, whether even NovaBackup BACKUP can access anything on this problem drive (assuming it can even see it or its folder contents) since the permissions are in trouble and it's a local device with no drive letter, even if you UN-CHECK the "backup ACL permissions" item on the BACKUP job definition so that the problem permissions will be dropped on the output backup, well I honestly couldn't say.


Uncharted territory, I'm afraid.

If anybody else is following this thread (any longer) who has experience with TAKEOWN, now would be the time to chime in.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2012   #26
UsernameIssues

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

I suggest that you finish trying the steps mentioned in this earlier post.

Select (or add) Administrators.


Attached Thumbnails
Can't Access External HD To Change Security Permissions-owner.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2012   #27
dsperber

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

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by UsernameIssues View Post
I suggest that you finish trying the steps mentioned in this earlier post.

Select (or add) Administrators.
Unfortunately, she no longer sees the drive as a local drive letter in Explorer. It's only visible on the Network view.

But the same Properties -> Security tab -> Advanced, etc. approach appears available even for network objects. So I agree, this approach could actually work even with the obstacle of the drive not being a local drive letter.

TAKEOWN does seem to be something that has even more capability for Power Users, and perhaps was intended to be used as a true "last resort" with ultimate capability to reclaim drive/folder/file ownership rights.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Feb 2012   #28
mtnpoet7

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Greetings Dsperber (& others),


Thanks for the additional suggestions. After over a day and a half I am unhappy to report the Acronis image failed while I was away from the computer. It had been doing just fine a few hours before, but then it terminated the job. so I was right earlier today that this image backup attempt was a colossal waste of time.

But moving on... I'm going to read through all of the suggestions again to make sure I understand what to do, and then try them all one by one.


I'm forever grateful for all the help even if none of it works out because this process at least gave me hope, which is more than I had when I first arrived here. So hoperfully by tomorrow we'll know whether a 15 year backup project can be saved or not. My fingers are crossed...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Mar 2012   #29
mtnpoet7

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Greetings Dsperber,

After several days of working on this mess of mine I had to go back to work this past week or so. Today I'm still in the process of moving and backing up several external hard drives so I have room to try and back up the messed up drive which has about 1.5 TB of data on it.

Just creating space for this has taken more time than expected, but I shall be much better organized when I'm done as I have a lot of duplication between drives having never taken the time to remove all the duplicates, or in some cases triplicates. Though this was how all my music ended up on one external hard drive in the first place.

In the meantime I do like that software you recommended NovaBackup. It's definitely superior to Acronis in many respects and is helping me work with other backup drives while I prepare to try and back up the drive only seen in my network.

Anyone else reading this thread...I will report whether or not I am successful or in the end just have to bite the bullet and reformat the drive. It just might take awhile longer. My fingers are still crossed (thanks to you).

Thanks for recommending Novabackup!

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dsperber View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by UsernameIssues View Post
I suggest that you finish trying the steps mentioned in this earlier post.

Select (or add) Administrators.
Unfortunately, she no longer sees the drive as a local drive letter in Explorer. It's only visible on the Network view.

But the same Properties -> Security tab -> Advanced, etc. approach appears available even for network objects. So I agree, this approach could actually work even with the obstacle of the drive not being a local drive letter.

TAKEOWN does seem to be something that has even more capability for Power Users, and perhaps was intended to be used as a true "last resort" with ultimate capability to reclaim drive/folder/file ownership rights.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Nov 2012   #30
cytherian

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Well Cynthia, I hope you were eventually able to get the permissions straightened out. I'm expecting you did, because you didn't come back for more help.


I ran into a similar problem on my system, where I docked a hard drive in my optical bay that contained a full install of a Windows Vista OS. When I tried to access any files under "users", I was denied. Seriously frustrating. Windows apparently does not distinguish between internal and external drives when it comes to security. If I'm an administrator and an internal drive exists, I should have access even if it's READ ONLY.

Well, what I needed to do was explicitly add my user name (Cytherian) with granted permissions to the folder. I could not drill down further to specify exactly which ones, so I was forced to apply this to ALL files under the user. This was annoying as all hell, because I was greeted with hundreds of "Access Denied" modal dialogs that demand a response to continue, so I couldn't walk away.

Thankfully after cancelling the change, whatever had already been applied granted me read access, so I could drill down to the folders I wanted to copy. I wonder if there's a "clean" way to do this, though.


Microsoft really didn't seem to think this security model through when it comes to this kind of situation, of adding a physically attached drive to the computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 Can't Access External HD To Change Security Permissions




Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search




Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Security - User Permissions - Why don't I have access to everything?
UPDATE: I went to the .exe and checked my permissions, I had no "special" permissions just read/write iirc. Set my access to full control and ran the .exe directly (no shortcut) still doesn't work properly. Neither does running as administrator. I should also mention that I'm able to copy...
General Discussion
Can't access my external HD after changing Permissions
I changed the Permissions for my External Hard Drive (I am the Admin in this computer), I actually wanted to passport-protect it, and now Windows doesn’t let me change it back (my HD will not work in other computers either). Please help! First I tried system restore, that was useless, but...
General Discussion
security permissions needed to access files
Good morning all, please i have this problem wid my laptop, i deleted one of my account that i used microsoft to sign in and i have not seen where it kept the user files of that account and i also set security permissions on most of my files through that account so now that the account is no more,...
General Discussion
Security & Permissions Too good? - Error 5 Access is denied.
My not quite 3 months old Win 7 system has taken a notable dislike to me trying to install programs now that I have an actual need to burn some disks of the data and DVD kind. For certain programs I am getting that lovely little message box which states; "Unable to execute file in the temporary...
Software
security permissions
I wish to be able to make files inside a particular folder, and that once a file is created it can't be deleted. So I right clicked to that folder, Properties, Security tab, Advanced, Change Permissions, Add (my user name - "boris"), and then I edited permissions, where I denied DELETE and...
General Discussion
Security Permissions
I "thought" my security permissions were doing OK, but.... I just did a "disk image" to my second drive. It made a folder "WindowsImageBackup". I could not open the folder to see what was inside, so I added me in the security permissions; now I'm down one level and won't let me see the next...
Software


Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 17:23.

Twitter Facebook Google+



Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App