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Access Windows NTFS Windows 7 Hard Drive through USB External Docking Bay in XP

Posted on 2014-01-11
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Last Modified: 2016-05-27
My laptop's Windows 7 install has given up the ghost. I have another laptop with XP on. I have taken the HDD from the Windows 7 Laptop and have that sitting in an external HDD Docking Caddy, connected to my XP Laptop via USB.

Obviously, the laptop I wish to access through the docking station has NTFS on.

How can I access the files on there.

I don't wish to do this via Linux in any way.

I don't wish to alter the HDD contents or permissions - I want to fix the Windows 7 Laptop at some point (it's probably a driver or something..).
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Question by:jaccantt-2
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 39773703
Your XP laptop should be able to read NTFS with no trouble.  XP itself can run on FAT32 or NTFS but it reads NTFS natively
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by:jaccantt-2
ID: 39773714
Is it not protected?

It's asking to format the hard drive before it can be used.
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by:jaccantt-2
ID: 39773749
Just tried 'Another' Hard Disk from a Window XP Laptop (3rd laptop). It can be read... so I wonder if it's because NTFS under Windows 7 is different?

Or is it Master Bootdisk Record thingy that's part of the original issue?

Is there a program that will run within XP that can fix the disk?
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
☠ MASQ ☠ earned 100 total points
ID: 39773767
Did the Win 7 laptop use encryption?  Did you need to enter a password before Windows started?

Check in Disk Management in XP to see how Windows is seeing the file structure of the drive.

(Start > Control Panel > Performance and Maintenance (or Administrative Tools) > Computer Management > Disk Management)

Don't make any changes and certainly don't format.

How many partitions are on the drive in the enclosure and what are their structure?

What sort of capacity in the W7 drive?

Could the Windows 7 laptop have failed because the HDD is faulty?
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by:jaccantt-2
ID: 39773778
It had a password, so yes on encryption I guess.

About 500Gb in size.

In Disk Management I can see two partitions. It takes a while for the second to show. The first one is called 'System Reserved' when viewed in explorer.

When it was in the owning laptop it can part way through Windows boot up. I couldn't get to the restore tools when using an original Windows Disk to try and fix it. I wondered if the original Laptop had another hardware fault.
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by:web_tracker
ID: 39774874
It may be the win 7 hard drive is starting to fail, hence you are getting delays in displaying the drive information in disk management. The system reserved, is most likely a operating system recovery partition that some manufacturers put on the drive so that the user can recover the drive to the way it was when it came from the manufacturer (note using the factory restore will delete any user data, new updates, and new apps that were installed since the computer was first purchased).

I would run some tests on the drive to test the integrity of the drive.
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 39774921
Can you post a screen shot of Disk Management showing the USB attached partitions?
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garycase earned 200 total points
ID: 39775283
Did the Windows 7 laptop have a trusted platform module (TPM)?

If so, there is a hardware security key for the drive, and the only way you'll be able to access it is on the original system; OR if you exported the security access key for the drive and a small utility that lets you install it to a USB flash drive.   If you can access Safe Mode on the original laptop, you could do this and then move the drive to your other laptop.

A "need to format" message is common if you try to access these protected drives on another system.    If it was a simple security issue, you'd just need to "take ownership" of the file system ... but that's clearly not the case here.
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by:jaccantt-2
ID: 39795588
I have run testdisk and it's pulling down 100,000's of files.. I wonder what the most simple way to get this mounted in an external HDD dock?

I had a password for the user so I expect that I need to do something to export the key? I can't boot in to safe mode unfortunately.

Any ideas?

What tools can get the security key?
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by:garycase
garycase earned 200 total points
ID: 39795606
The password for the user is likely just a Windows password => that's not the same thing as an encrypted disk protected via a TPM module.

If this uses a TPM module, I'm not aware of any utilities that will "crack" that -- if the key wasn't exported and saved while the system was working, there's no way I know of to recover the data.

What's the make/model of your laptop?   The specifications should show whether or not it has a trusted platform module.
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Author Comment

by:jaccantt-2
ID: 39795621
I  replaced the harddrive myself so I presume it's not a TPM. What is cause of action in that case?

It's a Dell Latitude D830 (the other laptop hdd in a similar position is Dell Latitude d620 - hdd repaced by me so should be free from TPM).
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by:garycase
ID: 39795634
From the Latitude D830 specifications page:

"User & System Security  ...  Trusted Platform Module 1.2 ..."

So it appears there is indeed a TPM module that protected the system.


Note:   The D620 also has a TPM module (in fact it's the same revision as the D820)

When you have systems with these modules, the FIRST thing you should do is export the key and the utility they provide for reading disks.    As I noted above, I'm not aware of any other way to recover the data from them.     Hopefully you can put the drive back in the original system and successfully fix the Windows boot issue -- even if you can only get to Safe mode, that would at least let you export the TPM key.
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Author Comment

by:jaccantt-2
ID: 39795671
Would teskdisk let me get the files if TPM was turned on in bios on original laptop? I've got lots of the files back you see.

How do you export the key if I can somehow get to safemode?
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