Question How to gain access to files/folders on a drive that originated from another machine . . .

britechguy

Commendable
Jul 2, 2019
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It is particularly perverse that I am asking this question as I was just discussing it with someone else the other day.

Here is the scenario. I have two machines, a brand new one just set up running Windows 10, as well as another that has been running Windows 10 for several years. In times long past, it used to be a cinch to pull the drive from "old machine" then connect it to "new machine" either as an external drive using a USB cable/enclosure or as a secondary internal drive on a desktop. You instantly had access to all of the files, folders, etc., on that drive. Very much like one has on thumb drives to this day.

Move forward and as security has become more important this is no longer the case. Let's say the old machine's drive is connected and known as the K drive. When you first try to access K:\Users\{insert specific user folder here} you get a warning that you don't have permission to do so and asking if you want to grant yourself permission (and this presumes an account with admin permissions is logged in on new machine).

In the past, if I answered that I did want to grant myself permission a process kicked off where Windows spun through the drive and gave said permissions to the account I'm using on all files and folders under K:\Users\{insert specific user folder here}. A green progress ribbon would appear in the address bar and after that had spanned the bar, it disappeared and the permissions to open/read/write were in place.

Now I have run into several instances, including one today, where that is not the case. On attempting to open K:\Users\{insert specific user folder here} the same message about not having permissions, and asking if I'd like to have them granted, comes up again.

Is there some ministration that I should be doing before trying to open that folder, or something that I should NOT do before trying to open that folder, that would prevent this endless permissions circle from occurring at all?

Also, what's the fix? I know there is one, and I've used it, but I'm somehow not coming up with the right "magic search terms" to pull up anything I remember doing.

Thanks much in advance for the insights I am certain will be forthcoming.
 

wpgwpg

Dignified
Two things come to mind. First what happens when you get the message asking if you'd like to have permissions granted? If you get the option to grant permissions, do you get something to click and grant them? What happens if you do?
Now the other thing is that I always keep a bootable version of Linux Mint on a flash drive and a CD. I can boot from that flash drive and be up and running in less than a minute. Mint has a UI close to Windows and it'll let you copy anything on that external drive.
 
It is particularly perverse that I am asking this question as I was just discussing it with someone else the other day.

Here is the scenario. I have two machines, a brand new one just set up running Windows 10, as well as another that has been running Windows 10 for several years. In times long past, it used to be a cinch to pull the drive from "old machine" then connect it to "new machine" either as an external drive using a USB cable/enclosure or as a secondary internal drive on a desktop. You instantly had access to all of the files, folders, etc., on that drive. Very much like one has on thumb drives to this day.

Move forward and as security has become more important this is no longer the case. Let's say the old machine's drive is connected and known as the K drive. When you first try to access K:\Users\{insert specific user folder here} you get a warning that you don't have permission to do so and asking if you want to grant yourself permission (and this presumes an account with admin permissions is logged in on new machine).

In the past, if I answered that I did want to grant myself permission a process kicked off where Windows spun through the drive and gave said permissions to the account I'm using on all files and folders under K:\Users\{insert specific user folder here}. A green progress ribbon would appear in the address bar and after that had spanned the bar, it disappeared and the permissions to open/read/write were in place.

Now I have run into several instances, including one today, where that is not the case. On attempting to open K:\Users\{insert specific user folder here} the same message about not having permissions, and asking if I'd like to have them granted, comes up again.

Is there some ministration that I should be doing before trying to open that folder, or something that I should NOT do before trying to open that folder, that would prevent this endless permissions circle from occurring at all?

Also, what's the fix? I know there is one, and I've used it, but I'm somehow not coming up with the right "magic search terms" to pull up anything I remember doing.

Thanks much in advance for the insights I am certain will be forthcoming.
I have experienced this myself.

You have to manually take acess to the drive under the security tab.
 
Pulling another HD to be read on PC2... is no big deal. Is a file OWNERSHIP thing which can be changed. In this instance MS doesn't provide you any security/privacy, when you can physically move the drive. People wanting this is kind of security/privacy when the chance of misplacing the drive, use encryption. Some portable drives have encryption for this purpose.
 

britechguy

Commendable
Jul 2, 2019
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First what happens when you get the message asking if you'd like to have permissions granted? If you get the option to grant permissions, do you get something to click and grant them? What happens if you do?
I thought I'd described this pretty well with, "When you first try to access K:\Users\{insert specific user folder here} you get a warning that you don't have permission to do so and asking if you want to grant yourself permission . . . A green progress ribbon would appear in the address bar and after that had spanned the bar, it disappeared and the permissions to open/read/write were in place. " So, yes, the dialog appears and I answer (I can't remember if it's a "Yes"/"Ok"/other affirmative response button) in the affirmative and the little green progress bit goes through the address bar until it hits the right end.

After that's done, I'm back at square one.
 

britechguy

Commendable
Jul 2, 2019
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I have experienced this myself.

You have to manually take acess to the drive under the security tab.
Have you done something along the lines of what's shown here:
https://www.windowscentral.com/how-take-ownership-files-and-folders-windows-10
or
https://www.howto-connect.com/windows-10-configure-user-permissions-for-files-folders/

I have found that windowscentral is generally a very reliable source. I'd just like for someone who may have encountered this recently to confirm what works. I will certainly report back on what ended up working.

This is just a grand PITA.
 
Right-click on the drive, then click properties.
Then click on the security tab and then click advanced.
Click on "change" right beside the owner at the top.
Then type your username (or email associated with MS account) into the field and click OK.
Then click "replace owner on subcontainers and objects"

Then from there, you should have permission to access files. If not and you get the "you dont have permission" prompt, click OK and it should give you the permissions.
 
Have you done something along the lines of what's shown here:
https://www.windowscentral.com/how-take-ownership-files-and-folders-windows-10
or
https://www.howto-connect.com/windows-10-configure-user-permissions-for-files-folders/

I have found that windowscentral is generally a very reliable source. I'd just like for someone who may have encountered this recently to confirm what works. I will certainly report back on what ended up working.

This is just a grand PITA.
Yes, thats basically what I am referring to. It has worked on me in order to access folders on a drive pulled from another pc.

If the drive was encrypted in any way (bit locker or otherwise) this won't fix it.
 

britechguy

Commendable
Jul 2, 2019
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Encryption is not involved, thank heaven!!

The craze for encryption has been a disaster, as far as I'm concerned, because so many people have encrypted stuff that didn't need it (and even they recognize this in hindsight) and something goes wrong with the encryption itself. Getting your data back in these circumstances is well-nigh impossible.

If you're going to encrypt it makes sense to be very, very selective about what you apply that to. Encrypting your 30-years worth of pictures and music, for instance, is a very, very bad idea.
 
If you cannot access the drive externally, it may be possible to boot from the used windows 10 drive and then copy the data over.

I threw my SSD (from a Ryzen+Nvidia system at the time) into an Ivy bridge system with intel graphics and it actually booted. It BSOD after log in due to the ryzen master driver, but after taking care of it in safe mode the laptop worked like a champ. So I would suspect you could do the same.
 

britechguy

Commendable
Jul 2, 2019
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Oh, I'm sure I could try that. I just don't want to resort to opening up a client's brand new machine and replace it's SSD system drive with this old HDD system drive.

There are certain cans of worms that I avoid opening if at all possible, and the moment you touch the "stuff inside the case" anything that goes wrong, even if it has nothing to do with your actions, becomes your responsibility.

I prefer to go the external drive route whenever possible. This is even handier when you can use the old PC to power up its HDD while it's connected via a SATA to USB cable to the new machine.

As an aside, why on earth do manufacturers who bother putting in an SSD and separate HDD that's clearly intended as the user data storage location not set up the Windows Image that they use so that the User Libraries are on that HDD from the get go? When I was in the habit of working with 2-drive systems one of the first things I did upon installing Windows was to reset user folder locations to the data drive before doing anything else.
 

britechguy

Commendable
Jul 2, 2019
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for someone else.
Yep. And it drives me insane when brand new hardware misbehaves (client says the DVD drive is not showing up in File Explorer - which I hadn't noticed while on site today) and extracting data from old equipment to new has a hitch in the proverbial gitty-up.

It's been a long time since I hit this issue last, and it seems to me that in most cases doing what I did resolved it. But I knew there had been a time or two in the distant past, and it definitely predated Windows 10, where something like this had occurred before. There's only so much I can keep "at the front of my mind."
 

britechguy

Commendable
Jul 2, 2019
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It also appears that there is a very quick way to take ownership and grant full permissions via the command line. Even though this was written in the Vista era back in 2006:
https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/tims/2006/11/10/windows-vista-secret-11-deleting-the-undeletable/
there are lots of references to it working in subsequent versions of Windows:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/administration/windows-commands/takeown

There also appears to be a registry hack (and I use those as the last resort) that works and is documented by multiple sources, but I'll give just one:
https://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/1911-take-ownership-shortcut.html
 

britechguy

Commendable
Jul 2, 2019
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Curiouser and Curiouser . . .

I kicked off the takeown command, leaving before it completed because these things can take hours, but I observed at least 15 minutes of the output screaming "SUCCESS" in changing the owner to the one and only user account on the new Windows 10 machine on the former system drive's C:\Users\{correct old user folder} and hundreds of files and folders contained therein.

Later, the client ran the correct icacls command for said folder as well granting the administrator group full access control, and the account being used is in the admin group.

Both done in an elevated command prompt.

Still no access.
 

britechguy

Commendable
Jul 2, 2019
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Well, my "last ditch before trying to boot from this drive transplanted to another box" effort is rerunning the icacls command for the folder in question granting full rights to the individual user, rather than the administrators group:

icacls {foldername} /grant %username%:F /t

This is the darndest thing I've ever encountered when it comes to pulling old user data off of a drive that had been the main system drive on a now-defunct system. I have almost always been able to attach these via USB cable and have them behave very similarly to a USB external backup HDD, but usually have to go through the "grant me permissions" cycle within File Explorer upon first attempt to access a given old user folder.

I have never, ever been persistently blocked like this. It's just plain weird.
 

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