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Rescuing another user's folder from a corrupt HD


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#1 GusGF

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Posted 15 August 2016 - 03:14 AM

My friend's computer HD developed corrupt blocks and we could not do a restore or repair. I booted off a linux live USB stick and to my surprise was able to get access to all of my friends files and their contents but also to my relief as this meant her work was not lost. 
I say surprise because I was of the understanding that these files were only accessible to the account owner but here I was with a linux usb and having full access to those files and viewing their contents. This means that I can so the same with anyone's computer!? How can this be? Am I not understanding how accounts and security works on Win10 systems. I thought that files and folders belonging to an account could not be viewed by anyone who didn't have the correct password   :o  It looks like Linux is able to override Win10 security!!

After replacing the HD with an SSD and installing Win10 I connected up the HD and copied across the users complete account folder to the SSD, viewed it's files and contents and then switched off. Today when I navigate to the user's folder on the SSD everything in that folder is gone, vanished?!

Essentially what I want to know is on the new Win10 install can I connect the old drive via usb and copy over the users folder to the SSD so they can have all their old files back? If not how do I go about this or will I have to resort to pulling stuff off using via a boot up using a Linux live usb. 

 

Many thanks   :scratchhead:



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#2 Havachat

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Posted 15 August 2016 - 05:33 AM

Just connect the old drive up via Usb , boot that Pc from Linux , then copy the contents of those folders and paste them in say the Download Folder.

Then reboot the PC normally and sort the said files to appropiate folders / or where required.

 

As a note - Copying the 'User Folders" as you did , is where the problem lies , ownership etc.

Simply -  Copy and Paste of files has always worked for me ...drive to drive under Booting Linux Distro`s.  



#3 GusGF

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Posted 15 August 2016 - 06:09 AM

Okay so I've got to copy the contents of the folders not the actual folders under a LInux session to a Win10 accessible location.

 

I'm shocked I have always thought that my windows account was secure from snooping now to find out all someone has to do is boot up from Linux live usb and SNOOP!!

 

Is there anyway a user of Windows can protect themselves from this?

 

Thank you for your help



#4 FreeBooter

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Posted 15 August 2016 - 06:25 AM

Windows OS file system permission only become affected while Windows OS is booted NTFS files permission can be modified from any operation system your files or your friends files only protected if you use encryption system. Encrypting File System (EFS), which allows you to encrypt individual folders and files. To use this feature, right-click a file or folder, select Properties, and click the Advanced button on the General tab. Enable the Encrypt contents to secure data option — this will be grayed out if you’re not using the correct edition of Windows. Files are essentially encrypted with your Windows user account password, so you’ll lose them if you forget your Windows password. Bear in mind that these files are only encrypted when stored on your hard drive, so you can’t email them securely without encrypting them in a different way.

Don't copy another user account created on a another Windows OS to different Windows OS it will not work like that you can copy only personal files of the user to a another location.


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#5 GusGF

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Posted 15 August 2016 - 08:45 AM

Windows OS file system permission only become affected while Windows OS is booted NTFS files permission can be modified from any operation system your files or your friends files only protected if you use encryption system. Encrypting File System (EFS), which allows you to encrypt individual folders and files. To use this feature, right-click a file or folder, select Properties, and click the Advanced button on the General tab. Enable the Encrypt contents to secure data option — this will be grayed out if you’re not using the correct edition of Windows. Files are essentially encrypted with your Windows user account password, so you’ll lose them if you forget your Windows password. Bear in mind that these files are only encrypted when stored on your hard drive, so you can’t email them securely without encrypting them in a different way.

Don't copy another user account created on a another Windows OS to different Windows OS it will not work like that you can copy only personal files of the user to a another location.

 

Thank you for clarifying this. 

 

Just a query on EFS. If files are encrypted using EFS and you end up having to rescue them from a failing HD to another Windows install what do you need to do to open them. You mentioned the password was the key but if you've moved the files to another Windows install how do you open them then? 



#6 FreeBooter

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Posted 15 August 2016 - 09:05 AM

Please read below Microsoft article.


Best practices for the Encrypting File System


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#7 GusGF

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Posted 15 August 2016 - 09:08 AM

Please read below Microsoft article.


Best practices for the Encrypting File System

 

Thank you



#8 FreeBooter

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Posted 15 August 2016 - 09:18 AM

You are welcome my suggestion to you is make sure you experiment with encrypting files that are not important to you and when you are very sure how Encrypting File System (EFS) works then use it.

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#9 CKing123

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Posted 15 August 2016 - 11:00 PM

You can also use device encryption which is also available in the Home edition of Windows 10. It came with Windows 8 and is available in Windows 10, if your computer meets the criteria of having a TPM, Secure Boot being enabled, and logging in using Microsoft account. If you want to turn it on: http://www.howtogeek.com/234826/how-to-enable-full-disk-encryption-on-windows-10/

 

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#10 GusGF

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 11:09 AM

Thanks to everyone for their contributions. I have managed to copy the data across from the old drive to the ssd by simply selecting the folders nested beneath the user account directory.

 

As for encryption it is something I will consider for sure.






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