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Windows 7: Read Only External HDD AFTER Clean Install?!

04 Jul 2012   #1

7 Ultimate SP1 x64
Read Only External HDD AFTER Clean Install?!

So I've just had to clean install today, and after this - ALL of my files on my external hard drive are apparently no longer my own. I have already tried taking ownership - it didn't work. Just keeps telling me I don't have permission.

Somebody, PLEASE help!

This has NEVER happened to me before... EVER. And I have done countless restores (this is my first clean install, but I've done countless factory restores).

I have far too many files to lose over this - very important ones to me. I need them.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64


There is an easy fix for this, but I can't recall what it is - I have asked for more help. Don't worry - you won't lose the files.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2012   #3

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit

Isn't it the taking ownership tut?: Take Ownership Shortcut - created by Mark

Note the tip box in that tutorial about permissions

I did read where you aren't able to take ownership, but try this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

04 Jul 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP


Take Ownership should work if you follow the tutorial closely.

If not you can always boot in with Win7 DVD or System Repair Disk to Copy & Paste - in Windows Recovery Console, or use Paragon rescue disk to recover data. There are no permissions in boot copy mode since the OS is inert.

Once your files are backed up I would run Disk Check then wipe the HD with Diskpart Clean Command
to reformat in Disk Mgmt: Partition or Volume - Create New

If you lose ability to copy out your files try running Disk Check, if it fails install free Partition Wizard to check the file system on the HD. This will often set the HD file system right if Windows can't. If not, run the PW HD surface scan to see if it's got irreparable sectors.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2012   #5

7 Ultimate SP1 x64

Alright, I simply just do not understand. I merged that registry value for "take ownership" and I'd already attempted to change the permissions, which it apparently is falsely claiming I have full control and ownership of it.

"You'll need to provide administrator permission to copy to this folder" on this E drive.

And when trying to alter or copy back, in any way, any file on here it simply says:

"Access to E:\[file name] was denied"

ALSO, my external F drive is doing THE SAME THING!?

So... what do I do now? I don't have enough room to move everything off of both of them to reformat and move them back over! And it is simply unfeasable that I would be able to simply copy the contents of all of these files and just recreate them into new files... it would take me years.

And now I'm wondering... could I have done something wrong with the clean install to cause SOMETHING to still have carried over from the old install to this "clean" install??? I did NOT write 0's to this C drive before doing the custom install OR reformat it (blank) prior to the beginning of this new OS install - HOWEVER, I DID tell it to delete the C drive (all one partition) before commencing with the new install, and it said it was at 0% before that as well.

That all said, BOTH of these two external drive were 100% functional prior to this clean install. 100% health, everything. Never had a problem with either of them before.

EDIT: I'm looking at the "Select User or Group" tab and there are at least TWO DOZEN listings (same for the other drive)??? Most of them are in "COBALT" folder, which is in fact this computer's name and there are multiple Administrator, ANONYMOUS LOGON, Authenitcated users, etc. there is ONE Administrator that has a little down-arrow on the icon to the left of it at the very top, is this the one I need??? I just don't understand how there are so many when this is the ONLY account on this system apart from the "guest" that can't be removed...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2012   #6

7 Ultimate SP1 x64

I managed to FINALLY get ownership and full control permissions for both drives by using "Everyone" (would not work with ANY OTHER account or whatever)... HOWEVER... now I am getting this:

The Recycle Bin on F:\ is corrupted. Do you want to empty the Recycle Bin for this drive?
[Yes] [No]

What do I do now? Swear to God I'm just about at my whit's end here... never missed XP more in my life.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2012   #7

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit

Miss XP or not, it is gone in less than 2 years.

Just clear the recycle bin out. Run this command in CMD prompt to clear it (run as administrator with the drive attached [F:]) - "rd /s /q F:\$Recycle.bin" (WITHOUT quotes).

Both XP and Windows 7 list "other accounts". You have built in administrator account, the admin account you use, and often times programs create their own hidden limited user accounts, such as Nvidia. You also give permissions to account 'types', such as administrators, everyone, etc. But why the administrators accounts were having trouble is beyond me.

"How to Run a Program as an Administrator..." Tutorial created by Brink
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Read Only External HDD AFTER Clean Install?!

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