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mimoman

Dead computer, trying to access documents on intact XP HDD

22 posts in this topic

Hello everyone,

A computer with Windows XP SP1 got a fried motherboard and processor due to overheating. I trashed it but the IDE HDD with windows on it has some documents I need in the Documents and Setting/Admin User/My Documents folder. I didn't use EFS at all. The admin account was password protected but I know the password.

I bought an external HD enclosure and connected it to my Windows XP SP2 computer through USB. I can access the "Program Files" folder and the "Windows" folder without a problem. I can open the "Documents and Settings" folder, but I cannot open the admin account folder inside of it. I get "acess is denied".

Interesting points:

I tried using a non-explorer.exe file manager to access the folder, but this didn't help.

I used Advanced Efs Data Recovery, and could view the contents of my admin folder through it, but since theyre not encrpyted through EFS, I cannot access them.

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Try booting up into a linux live cd and connecting the drive. You should be able to copy the files off of that drive then.

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Linux will definitely work, but also make sure that you're logged in as Administrator (not just an admin-privileged account).

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Thanks Pharoh and systems_glitch.

I will try to use Linux and see what happens.

I rebooted into safe mode (the only way I know of to access the true Administrator account on my computer) and still could not access the admin folder on my external HDD.

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you can probably get to the files with a linux livecd. there are some small linux distros you can use, they're about 50MB instead of 800MB for an average distro. you need to make sure the distro can use ntfs filesystems before you get the distro though.

when you download linux it comes as a *.iso, you have to burn iso's correctly (you have to extract the iso to a blank dvd/cd rather then copy the iso to cd) you can use this program to burn it correctly -

http://www.snapfiles.com/get/burncdcc.html

some small distros are Puppy linux, Damn Small Linux and Austrumi. i've always liked Austrumi best, but for some reason it's no where near as popular as the other two. just check whichever you get supports NTFS filesystems.

if you want to look at the files in XP you might need to get ownership of the files, or change ownership, it's worded something like that.

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If you still have trouble and you've got the resources, you might want to consider using helix.

Edited by w3lshrarebit
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I'll try using helix...

My new computer uses SATA and my external HDD is ATA. For some reason, Knoppix is incorrectly assuming my external HDD is SATA and therefore I cannot mount it. At least that is what I assume, since it calls it "sdb" as opposed to "hdb".

If helix really does have excellent hardware detection maybe it will solve this problem.

I haven't used GNU/Linux in a few years, but I'm remembering all the fun and interesting particularities of man pages and the highly efficient console, etc.

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This is quite frustrating, both Helix and Knoppix place an icon on the desktop for my external HD, but cannot open it.

I manually opened /etc/fstabs in both Helix and Knoppix and noticed that sdb (my external hardrive) has the option of auto listed instead of ntfs. When I replace auto with ntfs, I get the same error I got when I used the ntfs-mounting program on the command line: "run Checkdisk /f on Windows, reboot TWICE, try again". I did so, but no difference. And yes, I am making sure to chkdsk my external HDD.

Knoppix and Helix have no problem mounting my internal SATA ntfs partition, but my external ATA ntfs hdd is giving me trouble in linux, even though it can be read perfectly fine in Windows (aside from the access problem of the Admin folder in Documents and Settings).

Blargh!

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This is quite frustrating, both Helix and Knoppix place an icon on the desktop for my external HD, but cannot open it.

I manually opened /etc/fstabs in both Helix and Knoppix and noticed that sdb (my external hardrive) has the option of auto listed instead of ntfs. When I replace auto with ntfs, I get the same error I got when I used the ntfs-mounting program on the command line: "run Checkdisk /f on Windows, reboot TWICE, try again". I did so, but no difference. And yes, I am making sure to chkdsk my external HDD.

Knoppix and Helix have no problem mounting my internal SATA ntfs partition, but my external ATA ntfs hdd is giving me trouble in linux, even though it can be read perfectly fine in Windows (aside from the access problem of the Admin folder in Documents and Settings).

Blargh!

I think the "auto" is your mounting option. Just to be sure if your drive is recognised or not, your knoppix live cd (helix is based on knoppix so the results should be the same) should have a partition editor on the menu (qt/g-parted or such). If you use it (just to look, not to actually do anything) it should tell you what drives are recognised and their filesystems. If the drive is in fact recognised and it's a problem retrieving the files then you may wish to check out the forums at the helix site to find the recovery tool that's best suited to you. At this point, I feel it only fair to point out that I've only used autopsy once....and with lots of cussing :) So..bump bump ?

Edited by w3lshrarebit
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I Think most modern Distro now class all drive as scsi even if their IDE. This is to simplify the naming conventions

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This may sound stupid.. but would flipping the master/slave status do anything useful?

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In my experience, all external drives are named sda, sdb, etc. Any of my flashdrives or external hard drives are like this.

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This may sound stupid.. but would flipping the master/slave status do anything useful?

I would do about the same thing, the problem is Windows wont boot to an external drive without some bootloader trickery. I would recommend downloading the UltimateBootCd from Ultimatebootcd.com, They have some Pre-Windows bootable enviroments that should allow you to read/write in NTFS or FAT32. You can also set the Doc's and Settings to be shared and set everything on the drive to be either shared or set the permissions off of read only, and grant everyone access instead of just those in the administator/creator groups..

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In my experience, all external drives are named sda, sdb, etc. Any of my flashdrives or external hard drives are like this.

Yeah that is why I would use Bart's PE from the UBCD from UltimateBootCD.com, you have a windows like Pre Enviroment that will make it a bit easier than Linux IMHO to change file attributes or file permissions. It will also allow you to drop to DOS and perform a CACLS command that allows you to modify directories or sub directories and specific files to make change permission and or read/write attributes.

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In my experience, all external drives are named sda, sdb, etc. Any of my flashdrives or external hard drives are like this.

Yeah that is why I would use Bart's PE from the UBCD from UltimateBootCD.com, you have a windows like Pre Enviroment that will make it a bit easier than Linux IMHO to change file attributes or file permissions. It will also allow you to drop to DOS and perform a CACLS command that allows you to modify directories or sub directories and specific files to make change permission and or read/write attributes.

I should have made this more clear. I experience these drive namings, however that does not stop me from mounting any of the partitions.

mimoman: If you're having problems mounting the ntfs external drive, I would suggest using a different distro. I have never had any problems doing anything similar with the Ubuntu Live CD.

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In my experience, all external drives are named sda, sdb, etc. Any of my flashdrives or external hard drives are like this.

Yeah that is why I would use Bart's PE from the UBCD from UltimateBootCD.com, you have a windows like Pre Enviroment that will make it a bit easier than Linux IMHO to change file attributes or file permissions. It will also allow you to drop to DOS and perform a CACLS command that allows you to modify directories or sub directories and specific files to make change permission and or read/write attributes.

I should have made this more clear. I experience these drive namings, however that does not stop me from mounting any of the partitions.

mimoman: If you're having problems mounting the ntfs external drive, I would suggest using a different distro. I have never had any problems doing anything similar with the Ubuntu Live CD.

Or you could not have to worry with all that bullshit and do what I suggested. A much better way to achieving what he wanted in the first place.

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In my experience, all external drives are named sda, sdb, etc. Any of my flashdrives or external hard drives are like this.

Yeah that is why I would use Bart's PE from the UBCD from UltimateBootCD.com, you have a windows like Pre Enviroment that will make it a bit easier than Linux IMHO to change file attributes or file permissions. It will also allow you to drop to DOS and perform a CACLS command that allows you to modify directories or sub directories and specific files to make change permission and or read/write attributes.

I should have made this more clear. I experience these drive namings, however that does not stop me from mounting any of the partitions.

mimoman: If you're having problems mounting the ntfs external drive, I would suggest using a different distro. I have never had any problems doing anything similar with the Ubuntu Live CD.

Another clusterfuck for opensource with no real soultions..

Yea!!! Linux you win in a world fucking up someone whom doesnt want to destroy their windows partition again.!

Fuck open source (minus Osx86 and XBMC) those are the only things that work worth a shit in open source...

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Another clusterfuck for opensource with no real soultions..

Yea!!! Linux you win in a world fucking up someone whom doesnt want to destroy their windows partition again.!

Fuck open source (minus Osx86 and XBMC) those are the only things that work worth a shit in open source...

That comment really had nothing to do with the actual topic. I never said that your method wouldn't work either. They would both work, one may be a better choice depending on the person's experiences.

As for OSx86 and XBMC: OSx86 is NOT open source. It is not a recreation of the actual Macintosh OS. It is a project that is dedicated to getting the OS working on non-apple hardware. They are still using the same CLOSED SOURCE operating system that goes on the actual Apple computers. XMBC is "the only thing that work worth a shit in open source"? lets see... if it weren't for the other open source projects, such as ffmpeg or Python, that XMBC uses then it would not be in the state that it is in now.

Edited by Pharoh
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Can't we all just get along :)

Thanks everyone.

I'll try vector's idea of trying out spaceout's idea first because it's the easiest.

If that doesn't work, I'll use UBCD.

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here do this. spaceout shows in this thread how to escalate yourself to "system". just do this and you should be able to access the files on your external harddrive in windows.

http://www.binrev.com/forums/index.php?sho...mp;#entry296140

Wow, this worked! That was soooo easy.

Thanks everyone for your consideration, help, and newb-friendliness. Even though I invested many hours into trying to figure this out, I did end up learning/remembering a crapload in the process. In that way, it was worth it.

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