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  1. #1
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    Problems with reading files on an external disk

    A neighbour asked me to help him with a problem he has, but I was unable to fix it. He has an external disk with many files and folders on it. All can be seen, read and processed, except one. When he clicks on a file it opens Windows Photo (or something similar) but it says he doesn't have permission to view it.

    I've tried taking ownership using properties without success. We can't even copy the files somewhere else. I asked him to login as administrator but that didn't work either. The owner in properties is his username. One thing where it's different is that all the other files which he can view have a string of numbers as the owner.

    Has anyone any ideas how I can help him. As I say it's one folder out of many.

  2. #2
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    Did you try adding Everyone to the Permissions ?

    Failing that, run a cmd prompt as an admin and enter net user administrator /active:yes

    Reboot then log in with the Admin icon and then see if it's possible to access the files.

    When done redo the cmd with /active:no to disable the hidden admin account.

  3. #3
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    Sounds more like a corrupted file.
    Copy it to a FAT formatted USB stick and try to open it on your PC.

    When the owner is all numbers it means Windows doesn't have a record of the user name on that system - all permissions are done via the GUID of the user, Windows converts that to text for you.

    cheers, Paul

  4. #4
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    Sudo, I will try adding Everyone, but I think it was already there.

    I will certainly try the active:yes method. Never having done this, what would the password be?

    Paul, we can't copy the files, full stop. Tried that. As far as the numerical owner is concerned, those files are fine, it's only the one with the (seemingly) correct owner that doesn't work.

    I have a suspicion there's a corrupt folder in that tree causing the problems. I haven't actually checked if he has a backup of those files, I will do so next time I see him.

  5. #5
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    Just to update this thread, the neighbour tried all the suggestions but without success. However, it appears he has a backup. I now suspect that the disk has a problem of some sort.

    Thanks for all your suggestions.

  6. #6
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    Be sure to let the neighbour know; drive errors are both frequent and usually repairable using standard tools. After all those high-tech procedures, readers are in suspense as to whether the neighbour is still in the loop.

  7. #7
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    dogberry, he's got a PC guru who he will ask to help, so he appears happy. I had told him that a disk problem was a probability. I'm no hardware expert, so it's better he uses someone who is.

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