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Question

USB folders problem

by pol909 / April 29, 2014 9:00 PM PDT

I recently bough a new laptop, so I turned my old laptop hard drive into a USB one, but now when I connect it to the laptop although I can see all the drives and the free and used space are correct but when I open the drive that I have all my stuff in, I can't find any folder except for a couple of system files.
Please help me find my stuff.

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All Answers

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Answer
Re: empty
by Kees_B Forum moderator / April 29, 2014 10:30 PM PDT
In reply to: USB folders problem

- Maybe they are hidden. Make hidden and system and protected files visible and try again.
- Maybe they were private. Then take ownership (although I don't know if that can be done when you don't see them).
- Does dir or attrib (from the command prompt) see them?

- If no luck, see if you can boot from a Unix disk or USB stick and look again.

Kees

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USB folders problem
by pol909 / April 29, 2014 10:53 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: empty

they are neither hidden nor private, but can you please explain the last 2 options as I do not understand how to do it.
Thanks.

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Re: take ownership
by Kees_B Forum moderator / April 29, 2014 11:03 PM PDT
In reply to: USB folders problem
http://www.thewindowsclub.com/take-ownership-windows-8 tells how to do it in Windows 8. I assume your new laptop has Windows 8. It's rather advanced Windows, I'm afraid.
Since you can see the root folder and a few of the files in it, but not the subfolders with your data, you need to take ownership of the root folder and all its subfolders and contents.

Dir and attrib are commands to be run from the command prompt. In the command prompt go to the drive (type e: + enter (if it's drive e:) then dir /a + enter. Do you see things you didn't see in Explorer?

Kees
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USB folders problem
by pol909 / April 29, 2014 11:17 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: take ownership

yes I actually found all the missing folders, but how can I access it?

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USB folders problem
by pol909 / April 29, 2014 11:32 PM PDT
In reply to: USB folders problem

I mean I found it using the CMD but how can I access my stuff inside? copy and paste or delete some stuff?
noting that I am using Windows 8.

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Taking ownership should help.
by Kees_B Forum moderator / April 29, 2014 11:39 PM PDT
In reply to: USB folders problem

See my post above.

If no luck at all, just put the disk back in your old laptop, boot from it and copy everything out to an external drive or USB-stick. Or copy the files you need from your backup. You do have a backup, don't you?

That would have been the best way right from the start, by the way. First copy the files to your new laptop and a backup, only then dismantle your old laptop.

Kees


Kees

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Answer
download a live linux distro
by James Denison / April 30, 2014 12:33 AM PDT
In reply to: USB folders problem

burn the image to a DVD. Boot to it. Linux ignores Windows permissions. Find the file manager program in Linux from the menu and you should see the drive plugged to the USB port. Once it's mounted in the file manager you should see everything just fine. Some of the file managers even do split screen for easy copy/paste. Permissions are easily stripped from NTFS files if they are first copied to a FAT32 partition. You can then copy them into your new user folders and they will become yours. I don't know for sure what happens if you copy other user files from NTFS into your new user folder while using Linux. They will be there, but not sure if they will automatically become your files then, but I suspect they would.

Another method is to find the files and copy them across your home LAN. That will also strip permissions from the files easily. A method of doing that is to install VirtualBox and then import a Linux distro as ISO file into it. This works easiest if you are hardwired to your router. Using the linux in the virtual box program, find the windows shared folder on the host system and copy the files from the USB drive to that folder. That should wash them clear of all file permissions and when they end up in your new user folder, they become yours.

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I know you know but we need to step up our game.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 30, 2014 1:08 AM PDT

Many of the new PCs are UEFI protected boot systems so not any old Linux distro will do. For now, at least 2014, add what distro will boot on UEFI today.
Bob

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you mention windows 8
by James Denison / April 30, 2014 1:41 AM PDT

as if that's what inteferes with it, but the interference comes from the new UEFI BIOS. That's why one has to go and turn off the Secure Boot and/or enable Legacy/CSM.

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But then, Windows won't boot.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 30, 2014 1:49 AM PDT
In reply to: you mention windows 8

It seems to be a proverbial pet rock.

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(NT) w8 won't boot at all if Secure Boot is turned off?
by James Denison / April 30, 2014 2:02 AM PDT
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I have to look
by itsdigger / April 30, 2014 2:08 AM PDT

But I think on the recent computer we built, I have secure boot turned off and Win 8.1 and KaOS Linux both boot.

Digger

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You have to test each one.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 30, 2014 2:12 AM PDT

One of the annoying UEFI features (?) is that you have to see if you can turn it off and still have W8 boot. My preference is to turn if off and use CSM (Corporate Stable Mode) AKA "Classic Bios."
Bob

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If a 64 bit EFI version of Linux
by James Denison / April 30, 2014 2:12 AM PDT

which is for GPT, it should see partitions on both of the drives, the older MBR type drive and the newer GPT drive W8 is on.

You might be interested in this thread about GPT formatted USB flashdrive and the complications it caused. Only 2 had the nerve to touch it, the rest headed for the hills, LOL. Maybe the uppy ups who run the Mint version will eventually notice and give more comment on it.

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Thanks.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 30, 2014 2:16 AM PDT

Last year I tried to get a live any-bit Linux to work with UEFI enabled but the progress at the time was "a work in progress." There's not a lot of reasons for Linux developers to support this as they think that everyone should be up to changing the BIOS as required for the old distros.

I find the Linux developers to be a mixed lot, some are really cranky about UEFI, and a few understand why we need a good live distro for Joe/Jane average to boot and get at the files.
Bob

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you could try what I did
by James Denison / April 30, 2014 2:41 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks.

I'd be interested if it truly can access a UEFI installed w8. I had a W7 system here, and it worked on that, but then I realized it was an upgrade on older motherboard, so no GPT, no UEFI, so no real test.

What I did was run the "USB Image Writer" program in Mint 16 and had it install the 64 bit version of Mint 16 Cinnamon to the USB flashdrive. Surprisingly, to me it installed it as a GPT formatted LIVE system on the flashdrive. I was not expecting that,but on reflection probably should have since it was an "image" of the master installed distro taken from a GPT hard drive installation. I think that would work to view files in both the older MBR drive the OP has in a USB enclosure and to view the files on the W8 system even though it's not booted. I do not yet have a UEFI capable hard drive nor W8 system to give it a try myself, and my curiosity has not been strong enough yet to over power my desire to not spend the money on something I personally have no use for.

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should be;
by James Denison / April 30, 2014 2:48 AM PDT
I do not yet have a UEFI capable hard drive

should be

do not yet have a UEFI BIOS motherboard
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Lucky you(?)
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 30, 2014 3:42 AM PDT
In reply to: should be;

You can take this either way. Either you don't get hit with the issue or don't get to test what does or not work.

But I'm running into this a lot more. It's to the point I just pull out the drive to save the owner's files rather than try a Live OS boot.
Bob

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many 64 bit Linux distros are UEFI capable now.
by James Denison / April 30, 2014 1:58 AM PDT

But not with Secure Boot enabled.


This guy's in some of the main linux forums and has a good page concerning the situation.

Probably the easiest is from Redhat, the Fedora for one, since they have added in the same license that Microsoft uses to accomplish it and I believe that works even with Secure Boot enabled.

https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/How_to_create_and_use_Live_USB#UEFI_boot_of_USB_sticks
"As of Fedora 20, all sticks written using "direct write" methods should be UEFI-bootable, at least some sticks written with liveusb-creator should be UEFI-bootable, and all sticks written with livecd-iso-to-disk --format --reset-mbr --efi should be UEFI-bootable....If you boot a Fedora stick in UEFI native mode and install from it, you will get a UEFI native installation of Fedora. "

For anyone who wants to get deep into it, start here
and follow links from the article.

For someone running w8, best approach might be the Virtualbox approach and use the Linux from there to access the USB HDD and pull files from it and then drop into the shared folder of the w8 across the LAN.

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