Need help accessing external HDD - permission problem (I think)


  1. Posts : 3
    Windows 10
       #1

    Need help accessing external HDD - permission problem (I think)


    I have an external HDD which was having a problem and I have been trying to recover it. I have made some progress but am now stuck. I think it is a permission problem but I'm listing the history of what happened.

    After a reboot, the HDD started being detected as a RAW file system instead of NTFS, and I could not access any files. I'm not exactly sure how/why this first happened.

    I moved the HDD from one computer of mine to another (which was both a convenience and a way of checking whether the first computer itself was having some problem). Since then, I have been working on this second computer of mine to recover it.

    I found a page that suggested running
    chkdsk D: /f
    This found some errors and fixed them.

    Now, in the Windows Disk Management tool, it correctly detects the HDD as NTFS (no longer RAW).

    In the same Command Prompt window that I used to run chkdsk, I can go to the root of the HDD and see all the files. Note that I ran this command prompt window as Administrator (per the instructions for running chkdsk).

    If I open another command prompt window (not as Administrator but as my normal self), when I try to go to the root of the HDD, it says, "Access is denied".

    In Windows Explorer, if I click on the HDD, it says
    D:\ is not accessible.
    Access is denied.

    I believe I'm having the same problem in Windows Explorer that it has in the second command prompt, and that at this point what I have is a permission problem. But I don't deal much with permission issues so I don't know how to fix this. I'm sorry if this is too newbie of a problem for this forum but I figured I would ask for help here.

    Note, I'm still working with the HDD on my second computer, not the original computer where I first plugged it in. I have not yet tried moving the HDD back to my first computer, but ideally I would like the HDD to be fully accessible to myself on both of my computers.

    In Windows Explorer, if I click on Properties for the HDD and go to the Security tab, it says
    Object name: D:\
    You must have Read permissions to view the properties of the object.
    Click Advanced to continue.

    When I click Advanced, the first thing I notice is near the top, it says:

    Owner: Unable to display current owner.

    It lets me click on "Change" to change the owner, but it asks me to "Select User or Group", and at this point, I am very lost in how to navigate changing permissions.

    I'm not even sure if I need to change the owner. Like I said, I'm quickly lost in dealing with permission issues. Ideally, I just want this external HDD to be fully accessible to myself on both of my computers.

    Where do I go from here in making this HDD accessible in Windows Explorer?

    FYI, I'm running Windows 10, Version 20H2
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 17,011
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 22H2 Build 19045.4170
       #2

    In that Change owner dialog box, type in your username, click on Check names and then OK.
    - Note that MSAccount-linked user accounts do not use the full email address in this dialog but rather the short form of the username as given in the list in response to the command net user and as normally shown as your user folder name within C:\Users
    Once you are the owner you can change Permissions to allow yourself Full control.
    Change Owner of File, Folder, Drive, or Registry Key - TenForumsTutorials
    Change Permissions - TenForumsTutorials

    Personally, if I could not sort out the Permissions, I would get another disk and use that Admin command window to copy everything onto it then reformat the first disk, check it can be accessed alright with a few test files then use File explorer to copy everything back onto the first disk.

    You were every lucky that your early actions made the disk readable at all. Disks that have become Raw are normally a great hassle to recover from.
    When it happened to me I only managed to recover a few small folders and the great bulk of my data was lost so I had to revert to my previous backup.


    Best of luck,
    Denis
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 8,124
    windows 10
       #3

    Use built in robocopy as admin that often works you can now get a GUI for it
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 3
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #4

    How does robocopy help me? This seems to be a utility to copy/backup files. I want to view the HDD files in a general file manager, especially Windows Explorer. Is it too much to ask to be able to do that?
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 17,011
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 22H2 Build 19045.4170
       #5

    harmlesscat,

    I think the other poster was picking up on my second para of post #2 i.e. a fallback step to take if you could not sort out the Permissions as described in my first para.
    RoboCopy would be a suitable command to make that backup copy.

    Denis
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 3
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #6

    Sorry, I skipped to the end of the thread and missed the first reply. I'll give the ownership changes a try.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The ownership change worked. I can see the files in Windows Explorer. I suppose the question now is, will the files still be accessible on the first computer now that I changed the owner to be my account on the second computer? But I suppose that if necessary, when I move the HDD back to the first computer I can change the ownership back in the same way.

    Your remark about my being lucky to recover the HDD is interesting. I also have another external HDD, and about a week ago it also changed to be RAW filesystem! But in that case, restarting the PC fixed it. This time I had to run the chkdsk to fix it. But that makes two different HDDs in about a week this has happened for.

    I have my most important files on these HDDs backed up, but I don't currently have a complete backup. Evidently I should buy another HDD or two to back these up in case either or both HDDs are going bad (or whatever else is happening to corrupt the file systems).
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 17,011
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 22H2 Build 19045.4170
       #7

    harmlesscat said:
    The ownership change worked. I can see the files in Windows Explorer. I suppose the question now is, will the files still be accessible on the first computer now that I changed the owner to be my account on the second computer? But I suppose that if necessary, when I move the HDD back to the first computer I can change the ownership back in the same way.
    Yes, you can change ownership & then permissions when it's reconnected to the original computer.
    - On my computers, I don't normally find that I have to take any action at all so I think your current situation with Permissions might well be brought about by whatever caused that Raw incident.
    - If I have to do anything, I assign ownership of non-OS disks to Administrators [plural is essential, don't forget the s] and then check / assign Full control to Authenticated Users and Users.
    - I do not swap my disks around with my other computers. If I did I'd have to check Ownership & Permissions again.
    - If you did back up all its contents then reformat it & copy the contents back then you would not have any of these concerns.


    harmlesscat said:
    Your remark about my being lucky to recover the HDD is interesting. I also have another external HDD, and about a week ago it also changed to be RAW filesystem! But in that case, restarting the PC fixed it. This time I had to run the chkdsk to fix it. But that makes two different HDDs in about a week this has happened for.
    I do wonder if there is an intermittent connection to your disks causing these Raw incidents.
    When people have these problems they focus on rescuing their files; I don't think I have ever seen the cause investigated & identified.


    harmlesscat said:
    I have my most important files on these HDDs backed up, but I don't currently have a complete backup. Evidently I should buy another HDD or two to back these up in case either or both HDDs are going bad (or whatever else is happening to corrupt the file systems).
    I have my OS & its applications on one disk [or one partition of a disk] and my own files on another disk [or on another partition of the same disk].
    - I backup my system by making a new system image every month & before any major change. I use Acronis TI, Macrium reflect is very popular. But do not use the built-in system imaging facility; MS told us to stop using that about six years ago.
    - I backup my own files using various copying tools such as RoboCopy. Some are backed up once a week, some every hour, some every time they are edited.
    Both my system images and my own file backups are put on one of my two external backup disks. I alternate between them so that I have some degree of protection against both the computer's disk[s] going wrong at the same time as a backup drive failed.

    If I ever have to restore a system image then it just affects my OS disk and does not affect my data disk. I do always get my own files backed up beforehand out of a sense of caution.



    All the best,
    Denis
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 2,962
    Windows 10 Pro for the Bro
       #8

    For other reference:
    Add Take Ownership to Context Menu in Windows 10

    Add your usernames from both computers to access everything, I would suppose.
    (and also, add the username "Administrators" to access/modify/etc everything). I would assume this would allow access from any Windows computer.)
    (sorry if my reply is a little off-topic/or has already been mentioned / etc; I skimmed through everything above)...


    ...and I haven't slept lately... ; in a few hours, I'll be up for 24 hours.
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 6,393
    Windows 11 Pro - Windows 7 HP - Lubuntu
       #9

    @harmlesscat, the fact that your drive became "RAW" indicates that it has occurred a severe fault.

    I would backup all data and run a drive test.

    Hard Disk Sentinel - HDD health and temperature monitoring
    CrystalDiskInfo
    SeaTools
      My Computers


 

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