Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Viewing hard drive from another computer - Permissions

  1. #1

    Posts : 5

    Viewing hard drive from another computer - Permissions

    Im a computer repair tech, so I'm always hooking up hard drives from other computers to backup data or run certain off-line tasks

    With windows 7, I could access the entire contents of a drive without any issues (via external USB dock)

    including \documents and settings\<user name> (Windows XP drives)

    or \users\<user name> (Vista, 7)

    But with Windows 8, when I try to view the contents of the users folder, I always get

    "You don't currently have permission to access this folder" - Click continue to get permanent access....etc

    I never had to do this with Win7.

    Now if I hit continue, I can indeed view those files and do my thing...but here's the issue: If Im trying to get a backup of somebody's dying drive, I can't afford the added stress of Windows making permissions change to an entire user folder...nor do I really want to make changes on the files (which the hard drive will be going back into original computer) by adding my credentials to every file/folder in there.

    I just want to be able to get the files without any of the permissions prompts, something Windows 7 never asked for.

    Is there some sort of setting I can do, registry or eliminate this? I have UAC turned off, made some changes in secpol.msc.... so far no luck


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  2. #2

    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7

    I would make an image of the drive/partition.

    Imaging with free Macrium - Windows 7 Help Forums
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  3. #3

    Posts : 5

    I have Acronis, which I use for other tasks....

    but not in the case of just trying to grab a "My Documents" folder or any component of Windows.

    Just trying to not have to go thru a permissions thing....If there is a lot of data in those folders it can be a time consuming process.

    on a drive that is about to die, it's not something I want to do.
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  4. #4

    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7

    If you use MS Networking rather than the default Home Group, you can gain access to all all areas of that mapped HD by using the Administrator account to access it.

    You go to the PC that is sharing, shut off Homegroup, use MS networking, that will be "Use User name and password" for sharing. Then activate your Administrator account and give it a simple password, you can do this in Pro versions of Windows by going into Manage/Users and Groups" and set a password for the Admin account, I use 12345, use whatever can be remembered quickly.

    You will have to re-create your Share by right clicking on your Drive, advanced sharing, add ADMINISTRATORS to the permissions, and give them ALL permissions.

    Then you will be able to get to any folder on the mapped drive, cos you are connected to it as an Admin and have all access to it.

    I've moved entire drives like this, but it is better to use a Partition Cloning Program to do it. Acronis is not the best, but it works if you got Seagate drives. I use a Boot Disk I made with Paragon to do it.
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  5. #5

    Posts : 5

    Im not doing this over a network, Im removing the hard drive from a non-bootable computer, attaching it to a bench computer using a USB to SATA/IDE drive dock and having the drive mount on my PC.

    I thought I was pretty thorough in my OP, just want to make sure it's clear what Im trying to do. This is for data recovery purposes, not networking or anything else
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  6. #6

    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7

    Ah, I get it. My mind inserted the networking cos that's how I do it.

    If the Drive has an OS on it, you could clone it and try to move it to a new system. If the OS on the drive is still viable, boot to it and activate your Administrator account, give it a simple password, that will activate the Sharing. Then share the whole drive. Then move the HD to the other system and see if you can get in. I think when you share the drive through MS Sharing, it unlocks a bunch of previously locked folders and files, thats just what I surmise from my experience with how it acts.

    You also might try "Malwarebytes File Assassin" and see if it will unlock any locked folders and files and allow you to move them- I usually use "Unlocker" to do it, you can get it from Major Geeks. But the Unlocker Installer has a nasty virus embedded in the installer, you have to use advanced setup to bypass installing the toolbar it wants to implant into your PC.

    With Unlocker, you can use the Unlocker Assistant to tell it to move the locked files, I've had to do it a bunch of times. you can copy the whole Users folders to another location.

    Whenever I install a new OS, I always activate the Administrator account. You may have to access the files while logged in the Administrator account. Also remember to slide your UAC all the way down if you havent done it.

    It's the whole Users folder? Right click on it and go into Security, get into Advanced Security options and use Auditing to add Administrators, give them permission for everything. Do the same thing, for Permissions. Then change the Owner to Administrator.

    You may want to do that while the drive is in it's native system, add an Administrators to Permissions with Full Read/Write rights.

    Finally, try it on a different computer, I've had drives that came up solid locked every folder, but when moving it to another computer, it would let me in.
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  7. #7

    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7

    Here's what you have to do with "File Assassin"

    Click image for larger version

    see if that works, if not then download Unlocker from Major Geeks, remember to use Advanced Setup and uncheck Delta Toolbar. Here is how that will look:

    Click image for larger version

    If you do it from the computer you put the drive into, it should not have the locking handles as it shows here.

    This is the only app I have found that can do this kind of thing, you have to get around the bad software it is bundled with.
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  8. #8

    Posts : 5

    I appreciate the responses.

    I guess Windows 8 handles permissions differently than 7.

    What Im trying to avoid is setting any type of permissions or ownership to the drives in order to view the files. Not only do I not want to alter permissions on the customer's drive, I do not want to risk pushing a dying drive over the edge by doing all that permission changes before I get a chance to just make backups.

    Windows 7 does not require this. I NEVER get prompts to change ownership when opening folders.

    There's no way to emulate that behavior?

    Worst case I'll just keep my bench computer on Win7 to avoid this problem.
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  9. #9

    Posts : 20
    Windows 8.1 & W10 Tech Priview

    You could use a computer running Linux, or use a live Linux disc to boot your bench PC.

    Linux does not care about MS permissions.
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  10. #10

    Posts : 467
    Windows 8 Pro

    Boot the PC using a bootable Linux mint CD and you can copy anything off using the drive that way without any issues with permissions.
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Viewing hard drive from another computer - Permissions
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