Retrieving Files From Old Hard Drive.

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Thread Starter
Jan 9, 2013
Hello everybody. My best friend Pete, my 12-year-old Black German Shepherd, has just passed away. I am devastated and have some great pictures of him on my old PC whose motherboard crashed and would love to have them in order to make a memorial photo book. The hard drive has not been damaged. These pictures would mean a lot to me.

After some initial research, I purchased a hard drive enclosure for the old hard drive and plugged it into my new PC. While the computer is able to read the hard drive, the folder in which I have the pictures is protected. When I attempt to click on the folder, I receive the following message: "You don't currently have permission to access this folder."

I tried simply dragging the folder onto my computer, but this did not work. I also tried clicking on the option to "Import videos and pictures" from the pop-up window that appears when I plug in the enclosure. It found the pictures, but again said that "access is denied."

Old hard drive was in a computer running Vista. My new computer is running Windows 7.

Thanks a lot for any help.



Oct 2, 2003
i have found by using a different operating system running from the CD you can get past this permissions issue

Ubuntu can be very useful as well as other alternatives - all listed below


UBUNTU Stand Alone CD

NOTE : version Ubuntu 12.04
see if you can see the Harddrive and get data off.

If you have another PC with a cdwriter and spare CD
goto and download the ISO

You can also run from a USB device now - if the Machine supports booting off a USB Stick

full details are here (Note this is for version 9 - so the start up options are slightly different )

click on the image "download ubuntu"
Select a location
then begin download
Save the file onto your PC – remember where you saved it – so you can find it again to create the image bootable CD.

You do NOT copy the ISO file onto a CD - you have to use the ISO to create a bootable CD
The CD creator software you have on the PC may have an option to create an image from an ISO
If not - use this free program - Choose the option Write image file to disc
you can use this stand alone ISO Burner to burn the ubuntu onto CD

When the UBUNTU CD boots - you will see a screen - with Language on the left panel and two option images labelled

== > Try ubuntu
== > Install ubuntu

You can try Ubuntu without making any changes to your computer, directly from this CD

Use "Try ubunto" ONLY this option this will run from the CD and not install onto your harddrive - be careful, if you do install onto the PC - you will wipe the data and software OFF your hard drive.., so repeat only use option 1

Now you should see a UBUNTU desktop

NOTE: if you only see a black screen - then this is a known issue, and can be resolved by using the following:-
On some hardware configurations, you need to set some kernel parameters for ubuntu to boot or work properly. A common one is nomodeset, which is needed for some graphic cards that otherwise boot in to a black screen or corrupted splash, acpi_osi= to fix lcd backlight and other problems.
full details are here

If you press the F6 key, a menu at the bottom will open allowing you to set kernel options with the space bar or enter key. You can close the menu with escape key and resume booting by selecting the option “try ubuntu without installing” (please note that session does allow you to install ubuntu once you found the kernel options cured your problem).
If everything worked OK and you should be on the ubuntu desktop

You should see your Harddrive on the desktop - if not have in look in the places on the tool bar at the top of the screen.

If you can see your harddrive – see if you can find the your datafiles –
XP look in “documents and settings” under the user name you had on the PC
Vista/Windows 7 look in “user” under the user name you had on the PC

Now if you have a USB flash drive or external harddrive – you should be able to copy your data from the harddrive onto the USB device

LiLi is designed to be used by both beginners and geeks.
If you are a beginner, LiLi will let you try Linux for the first time, keeping Windows clean of any modifications.
And if you are a geek, LiLi will allow you to test almost any Linux distributions directly from Windows, or just install them from a USB flash drive instead of CDs.

Parted Magic disk partitoning tool (Bootable CD image)
If you prefer a bootable USB key, download and run Linux Live USB Creator. Choose the Parted Magic distro, and it will download it and automatically create a bootable USB key.

This CD (or key) contains many useful tools. You can partition, recover files, recover lost partitions, make disk images (by several different methods), transfer files between media, scan for viruses (It can serve as an Alternative Trusted Platform for search and elimination of rootkits and bootkits), examine and benchmark hardware, access the internet, and much more.
Jun 11, 2004
Yes every Linux can do it!

Linux grants a user root privileges (=Admin in Windows) in a terminal. The command to request it is "su" followed by a root password.

A standard Linux requires/demands a root password and a normal user password when installed. Ubuntu broke this tradition by not having a root password. The command in a terminal can enjoy root privilege is prefixed with "sudo" in front whereby supplying the ordinary user password is enough. Ubuntu does not permit root privilege at the desktop. Use Linux Mint if this is required.

Some distro like Puppy and Slax can be run as a Live CD with the user being root at the desktop (without asking a question and or a need to use a terminal).

When a Linux Live CD is run without install into a hard disk (and therefore no password available for root or user availble) some distros do not demand the password when "su" is issued at the terminal. If one is demanded sometime "root" can be used as a password (like Mepis) or "toor" (as used by the Slax family). The method of obtaining a root password when working as a Live CD is always available in the distro's web site. This standard feature is to be expected.

The root privilege is nearly identifical to MS Windows Admin as far as access files are concerned.


Account Closed
Nov 11, 2002
Use Puppy as Saikee said.
Several of us on here use it for recovery and emergency purposes. I even use it to boot XP in a virtual machine to get MS utilities for recovery of client PCs
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