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Changing file permissions in WinXP home


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#1 Gsteven

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 10:40 AM

I've been called to assist with a PC having some issues. The PC is a Compaq Presario desktop running XP home which is fairly old based on the 80GB HDD and the fact that it's got a 3.5" FDD. Sorry I don't have more specs but don't know that it's relevant to the question.

The events as I know them are;
There was an infection with what I believe was a variation of the blaster worm which was causing the PC to reboot and redirecting the IE7 web browser. I helped via remote access to get a copy of AVG on the PC and killed that bug.

The owner then did what any typical owner would. Applied ALL MS updates. Unfortunately this included SP3. After the SP was applied the PC fails to boot in any mode. Troubleshooting and fixing this will be discussed in more detail in a separate topic.

This topic is about trying to get data files off of the PC before anything else is done. My approach seemed simple. Pull the HDD, attach it to a USB/SATA adapter and copy files to new host PC (running XP home as well). Solid plan that worked well for some files. However the user had stored most of their cherished photos in a folder on the desktop. When I tried to access this folder from the new host I got 'access denied' (don't recall the precise wording but can post it later if needed). I could only see that the C:\documents and settings\owner\desktop folder was there, but could see nothing in it.

OK - plan B. After a little research I decided to make a BartPE boot CD. Connected the HDD back to owners PC and booted the PC to gain access to the photo folders. I moved the folders from the desktop over to the MyPhotos folder. Powered down, again removed the HDD and attached to new host. I can now see the photos! Yes! But when I try to copy them I get "Cannot create ... be sure disk is not full or you have permission..."

When I view security permissions I see that the "SYSTEM" and another non-descript numeric account have full access to the folders. I am unable to add the administrator or anyone else to the permissions list because the system is unable to list the accounts due to a "class not registered" error (again I can list these errors in detail later when I get the PC running again if needed).

Plan C - (ok now it's late, I'm tired and still have to drive an hour to get home) - one last volley. More research led me to try the CACLS command on the original PC which I'm still booting with BertPE. I used the /G flag to grant permissions to the administrators group. Unfortunately, probably as a result of being tired and frustrated I did not use the /E flag to edit instead of replace permissions. Now the original host cannot display the files.

Is there an easy way to get these photos off of the HDD onto another PC?

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 11:23 AM

Yes, solution is to take ownership of the files from System 1...while the hard drive is attached to System 2.

How to take ownership of a file or a folder in Windows XP - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308421

All files which fall under the Docs & Settings group...act this way when access to these files is attempted from another system.

Louis

#3 Gsteven

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 07:42 PM

That's what I had been trying to do but couldn't figure out how in WinXP home. I connected the HDD to a Win7 PC and completed this task pretty easily.

Thanks for the feedback...

#4 hamluis

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 07:46 PM

Glad you solved it, happy computing :thumbsup:.

Louis




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