Question How to Access Files from my Old System Drive?

Dec 10, 2019
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I have / had a 9+ year old system that was running Win 7 up until a couple of weeks ago when it lost the will to live. The motherboard died and given it's age there was no way I'd be able to get the same one or even one with the same socket so I decided to scrap it and build new. Besides, Win 7 is going EoS soon so I'd have been upgrading to Win 10 and why not start fresh, not to mention that I have no idea whether the CPU or RAM were impacted by whatever went wrong with the system.

So, I've built my new system and did NOT reuse the SSD from the old system but instead set it aside in the hope that I'd be able to recover so files from it. Right now the OS is running off a new SSD and I have the SSD from my old system installed as a second drive in the new system. I can see the old SSD and can access its contents but when I try to access anything in the Users folder I get the Windows "You don't have permission to access this folder" warning and can't get any deeper into the folder to look for the files I'm trying to recover.

How can I get access to the contents of that folder or any folder where I encounter the permissions block?

My next experiment may be to remove the new SSD and try to boot off the old SSD in the hope it will come to life. But I have low expectations for that since the system is filled with all new hardware from the motherboard on up. The only other device I harvested from the old system was the DVD drive.

I'm hoping someone has a better solution they can offer that will allow me to access the drive from the current configuration so I won't have to go through what will undoubtedly be a rough process booting from the old drive in the new system...if it can even be done.

Oh, one other thing, I have the Win 7 install CD that was used to build the old system so if that helps in resolving the issues we have that at our disposal.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Chris
 
Reactions: wpgwpg
Dec 10, 2019
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Thanks for the suggestions...gives me some options to try tonight.

Will provide feedback once I've had a chance to give it a go.
 
Dec 10, 2019
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I'm sure if I keep digging I'll find the answer but I have to run out for an appointment so hoping someone here will know the answer.

Looks like Mint Xfce is the most lightweight version so if I go the Linux route I'd probably go with it for this. But the question I don't see immediately answered on their website is how big the USB stick needs to be in order to create the bootable stick.

Anyone know how big the stick needs to be?
 
I'm sure if I keep digging I'll find the answer but I have to run out for an appointment so hoping someone here will know the answer.

Looks like Mint Xfce is the most lightweight version so if I go the Linux route I'd probably go with it for this. But the question I don't see immediately answered on their website is how big the USB stick needs to be in order to create the bootable stick.

Anyone know how big the stick needs to be?
The difference in size between Xfce and Cinnamon is all of 100MB, I personally have always used Cinnamon. Xfce is a 1.8GB download and Cinnamon is 1.9GB. Since you would create a bootable ISO from it, you might be able to get by with a 2GB USB Stick, but going with a 4GB would be plenty.

There are two choices for making your bootable ISO that are easy to use: Win32DiskImmager and Rufas. Either one should work but between the two one of them will work for sure.
 

wpgwpg

Honorable
If that solution doesn't work, download a copy of Linux (I like to use Mint or Knoppix for this) and make a bootable USB drive out of it. Boot to the USB and both the new SSD and old SSD should mount automatically. You will then be able to navigate the old SSD and copy the files to the new SSD.
Linux Mint on a USB flash drive always works for me. I have it on an 8 GB stick, but like you say, 4 GB should work. When you can buy 16 GB ones for as little as $3 these days, size shouldn't be a problem!
 
Dec 10, 2019
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I had an adequate USB so I gave that a shot as it was pretty easy to setup and execute. I can see both drives and the fails in the folders I was blocked from. When I have some time I'll start searching for the files I need and copying them out of the old location. If I'm not fully successful I'll give the other method a try.

Thanks to all.

More to come once I have time to really dig in and confirm that I can find and access everything.
 
I had an adequate USB so I gave that a shot as it was pretty easy to setup and execute. I can see both drives and the fails in the folders I was blocked from. When I have some time I'll start searching for the files I need and copying them out of the old location. If I'm not fully successful I'll give the other method a try.

Thanks to all.

More to come once I have time to really dig in and confirm that I can find and access everything.
You might have to right click on the folder and change permissions to allow everyone full access. I don't think it will overwrite the permissions on Windows, just make a temporary change in Linux.
 
OK...thanks...I will give it whirl, hopefully tonight.
If it won't allow you to change permissions in the GUI you will have to go into Terminal and change them. Enter the following commands:

This command will let you know the mount point for the SSD, you will have to know how large the SSD is to figure out what the correct one is.
df -h

After knowing the SSD run these commands:
This changes you to root (unless you are already root which you will see the name where you enter commands)
sudo su - root

This changes the permissions of the file system to everyone having full permissions
chmod -R 777 <mount of SSD>
 
Dec 10, 2019
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OK, don't ask me why but when I encountered the "You don't have permission to access this folder" issue tonight I also was give a Continue button that would theoretically allow me to get permanent access to the folder so I clicked it and the OS ran a process that went on for several minutes and at the end of it all I had access to the folder and all of its content. I'm not sure why the Continue button wasn't there the other night or if I was just tired and missed it (repeatedly) but in any event the issue is fixed and mostly likely I just wasn't paying close enough attention.

Thanks everyone for their contributions!
 
OK, don't ask me why but when I encountered the "You don't have permission to access this folder" issue tonight I also was give a Continue button that would theoretically allow me to get permanent access to the folder so I clicked it and the OS ran a process that went on for several minutes and at the end of it all I had access to the folder and all of its content. I'm not sure why the Continue button wasn't there the other night or if I was just tired and missed it (repeatedly) but in any event the issue is fixed and mostly likely I just wasn't paying close enough attention.

Thanks everyone for their contributions!
Glad it worked and you were able to access the files without having to do anything else.
 

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