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Cannot take permissions control of XP user folder from Win 7

January 20, 2012 at 10:30:46
Specs: Windows 7
Hi everyone,

I have a problem that (no doubt) has been faced by users here before: I backed up an old XP machine to an external hard drive. This HD contains the user folders under Documents & Settings from the XP machine. I am now trying to access that folder from a new (different) computer running Windows 7 Professional.
When I try to access the user folder under Docs & Settings, I am prompted by a message "You don't current have permission to access this folder."

If I click continue, then view the Security tab, click Advanced Security settings for <user folder name> it says "to continue you must be an administrative user with permission to view this object's security properties." If I click continue, I am shown the Permission entries for the folder, but cannot click the Add button to add me as an allowed name (the Add button is greyed out and unselectable).

In the thread below, a user answered this question by suggesting the use of the cacls command.

However, when I try using cacls (first by getting to an administrative command prompt - running the command prompt as Administrator), I get:
"ACCESS_DENIED:File Path" where File Path is the path of the XP directory under the XP user folder.

Could anyone suggest how to go about gaining permission to access the XP user's folder from the Win 7 machine?

Thanks so much for your help,

See More: Cannot take permissions control of XP user folder from Win 7

January 20, 2012 at 10:39:55
Assuming you are an administrator, take ownership of the folder and all its files. Then you'll be able to change the permissions. If you aren't an administrator you won't be able to so this, but that's as it should be.

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January 20, 2012 at 11:15:10
Hi ijack,

Thanks for your reply. I am an administrator of my Win 7 machine, but the XP user folder I need access to resides on an external hard drive and is from a completely different computer. Thus, I may not be an 'administrator' according to the permissions (originally set by XP) on that other folder. I'm assuming that if I were an administrator (running the Win 7 machine to access the XP folder), I'd have been able to click the greyed out "Add" button to add myself to the list of permitted users. So, I cannot "take control" because there is no place to do so in the Permissions dialog box.

Under the Owners tab in Windows 7 Professional, it shows the Current Owner as "unable to display current owner." Under "change owner to:" there is my current Administrative user account in Win 7 listed, but I cannot select it. If I select the Edit button in the Owner tab, I get "you only have permission to view the current owner on <win xp user folder>." Of course, as mentioned at the beginning of this paragraph, that current owner is "unable to display current owner."

What would I need to do to be allowed to change access this folder so I can take control of it?


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January 20, 2012 at 12:05:19
Look at the MS link below to learn how to take ownership.

Ignor this, didn't notice you are using Windows 7, not XP.

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January 20, 2012 at 14:03:13
Run Windows Explorer as Administrator by right-clicking and select "Run as administrator" (note that this is not the same as running it as yourself, even though you are an Administrator). Then you should be able to take ownership.

When you are running as Administrator you can take ownership of anything, even if it originated on another computer. The only problem would arise if you had encrypted the files on the other machine. You don't mention that, so I hope it is not the case.

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