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XP SP2 Private Files Recovery

Posted on 2006-04-07
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
One of the guys here at work has a Dell Latitude D600 notebook with XP SP2.  The HD began to fail, so Dell sent out a replacement.  I installed the new drive, got everything installed and working, and popped his old HD into a USB HD Caddy to grab all his data.  The problem is that his My Documents folder was protected.  I am unable to cascade ownership of the sub-folders and files beneath the root folder.  He's got 10,000+ files in there, so individually taking ownership and then setting permissions isn't feasible.

Does anyone know the proper way to do this?  I'm concerned that it's some bad sectors affecting how I can set/reset NTFS permissions.
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Question by:jeff_trent
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16400923
Never seen a case where you couldn't take ownership.  What exactly happens?
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by:jeff_trent
ID: 16402966
I get ownership of the root folder, but ownership doesn't cascade.  I've gone into the advanced settings, changed ownership, and selected the option to replace ownership on subconatiners and items.  It just doesn't seem to take...
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by:Kenneniah
ID: 16404207
Sounds like you are doing it the correct way. When you say protected, you don't mean encrypted do you?
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by:jeff_trent
ID: 16404334
>> Sounds like you are doing it the correct way. When you say protected, you don't mean encrypted do you?

In XP SP2 you have the option of "making your personal files private" as phrased by the Wizard.  I can only assume this sets ownership and permissions to these files differently than most other files on the disk.  
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by:mandude0
ID: 16404424
Shot int the dark but can you setup the user account with the same user/pass as the old drive and try to access it under that account?

Alos, was this a local account or was it a domain account? If it were a domain account, the user may need to login to the domain under their domain user account. I haven't had this problem myself but I figured the idea couldn't hurt anything to try it.
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by:Kenneniah
ID: 16404788
Since it won't let you take ownership, the only thing I can think of would be to bypass user security in a way, and use the System account to copy files.
Using a Windows PE enviroment such as BartPE, you are technically logged in as System, which should hopefully let you copy the My Documents directory.

To download to files to make a BartPE boot disk, go to....
http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/
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by:jeff_trent
ID: 16417289
Can someone post the "proper procedure" for setting ownership and permissions on a root folder and having them cascade down to every file and subcontainer in that root folder?  I want to make sure I'm doing it right.  Thanks...
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by:Kenneniah
ID: 16436491
Right-click driveor folder, hit Properties, select Security tab, hit Advanced, select Owner tab, choose owner under "Change owner to...", place check in "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects", then hit Apply or OK.
Which sounds like what you described you did.

Sorry it took awhile to get back, haven't had much time the past few days.

Anyway, what I'm wondering is if the System account somehow got removed from the permissions list.
Can you look at the security tab on on of the folders farther in and see the permissions list at all?
 Might just try changing permissions also, on the root folder set up permissions then place a check in "Replace permissions entries on all child objects......." and hit Ok.
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by:jeff_trent
ID: 16478528
I'm finally seeing some correllation between what I'm trying to accomplish and what is happening.  It appears that I've got quite a few bad sectors.  When I do any sort of global permissions or ownership changes, it gets to a certain point and just "hoses up" trying to either read from or write to a bad sector.
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Kenneniah earned 2000 total points
ID: 16490636
If I you were you I'd probably make a BartPE cd as I mentioned before then. Since it logs in as the System account it should have access to those files. Then use a command line copy tool like xcopy (so if it runs into a read error it will move on to the next file instead of just cancelling the copy process like explorer does) to copy the files to another location.
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