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Old 03-16-2010, 11:22 AM   #1
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undo write protection?


About 3 years ago I changed my password for my log in (user acounts) before I went on holiday. When I got back I couldn't remember it

I just could not log in so I logged in under the guest account and did a back up before re-installing the XP software.

Well, the back up worked..I can see the folder "My Backup--23-09-07 1307" however, it won't let me have access to my old pictures. A window comes up stating that the file is not accessible "Access Denied" I can get access to my music and other documents but not my pictures. I tried right clicking the properties and change the read only box but it won't let me do that either.

I since remembered what I had changed the password to and subsequently changed my new login (since the re-install) password to that but I still can't get access.

Am I toast? There are a few hundred pictures on there for both my business and family pictures.

Is there anything else ? I can do

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Old 03-16-2010, 04:50 PM   #2
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undo write protection?


Given that you're unable to access the data I'm going to assume you've formatted with NTFS and you're using those security mechanisms that are preventing you from accessing the information, as opposed to some third-party encryption software.

Without looking at the system (ACL permissions can be a tricky matter) it's difficult to tell, but you should have a "Security" tab when you right click on the folder and click properties. Is this not the case?

Edit: If you're using XP Home, not Pro, you may need to open explorer, go to Tools > Options and somewhere in there disable "Simple File Sharing" or something of the like. Honestly it's been a while since I've played with those settings. (My rigs are controlled by a domain controller and default to settings I specified long ago)

If you're logged in as the system administrator, any data on your system belongs to you. Administrators are so powerful they can also deny themselves access to their own data. (Sounds silly but there are reasons for this) If you go into the security settings and give yourself full control, and are still told that access is denied, you'll need to take 'ownership' of the data, under the advanced tab. Apply to the folder and all its children (the files) and you'll now own the data. Then grant yourself full permissions over the data (and children) and you should have access.

If above is not the case, please take a screenshot of the properties of your folder and post it here.

If this is a compressed, encrypted folder with password protection...then head to the hospital so they can dig out the 9mm you placed in your foot.

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Old 03-17-2010, 09:40 AM   #3
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undo write protection?


Thanks for the reply Fox

Yes, I am using XP Home SP3. I have moved the folders into the shared files but still no access. Here are some screen shots...

The first is when I right click on the folder. (Each folder contains pictures from my digital camera)
The second is when I left click to open and the third is when I try to change the read only properties.

I looked for the Security tab you talked about but I don't see it anywhere (as you can see in pic 1)
Attached Thumbnails
undo write protection?-ss1-small-.jpg   undo write protection?-ss2-small-.jpg   undo write protection?-ss3-small-.jpg  
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Old 03-17-2010, 01:37 PM   #4
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undo write protection?


Yeah, things get more tricky now.

In XP Home edition, with NTFS you have security settings on the files, you just can't set them. Pro has this by default.

This doesn't stop the operating system from setting permissions to the My Documents folders so users can't play with each other's files. It may have been because it was shared, which could have set default permissions upon it in that way. Regardless, it sounds like you've got files with ACLs set to a now non-existent user account. (The name may be the same, but the account key was from the old operating system, so your computer has no idea who this key is pointing to.)

There are a couple of ways to fix this, but the easiest should just be to install the security panel in your copy of Home. Fair warning, I've never done this. Never even heard of that file before, but a quick google found a copy here.

With the security tab accessible, you should be able to complete the steps I mentioned in my first reply. If this doesn't work, all isn't lost, as LiveCDs may thwart the security as well. (Booting off a CD into another operating system, thus taking control of the machine, and resetting the permissions to regain control of the files.) Can be a WinPE or Linux LiveCD. (This is why we use BIOS passwords and locked system cases to prevent BIOS reset and change in boot order, as you can see just how easily someone can circumvent system file security if they have physical access. Another reason to use encrypted, third party security mechanisms.)

I'll be working on my network all day so let me know how it goes. I subscribe via instant emails.
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:38 AM   #5
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undo write protection?


Hi Fix... Well, we're on the right track!! I downloaded the security manager and now I can open the folder. The ownership did not open the sub folders though. I started doing them one by one but only managed to open up 3 of them. I will play with it some more though. All these 'groups' 'objects', etc are mind boggling

Thanks so very much for your help. You don't know how glad I am to be able to retrieve these after I thought all hope was lost!

Dave
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:54 AM   #6
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undo write protection?


Take ownership on the 'root' folder (the first one) again, but this time check "Replace owner on subcontainer and objects"

It will take ownership of all those child folders for you.

Then set permissions and check "Replace permission entries on all child objects..." and it'll set permissions on all of them for you. (again, will take a bit)

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