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  1. #1
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Rude Surprise: Backups to NTFS drive inaccessible

    I'm cleaning up a laptop, moving files to a new one, using an NTFS-formatted external hard drive. The following issue never occurred to me, so I thought I'd post it here.

    My backup program (the Seagate-bundled BouceBack Express) preserves security attributes when copying files from NTFS to NTFS media. This meant that anything backed up under my profile (cocuments and Settings<my username>) from my old computer was inaccessible on my new laptop. Using the same username and password doesn't help, because Windows uses a unique security code (the SID) to assign privileges, and this cannot be duplicated on the new laptop (at least not as I set it up). The only way to make the files accessible on the new laptop is to reconnect the external drive to the old laptop under the original login and then fix the privileges. This can be done by assigning "Everyone" to have Full Control, or by copying the files to a less protected area on the original machine and backing up from there.

    What a hassle!

    In considering the pros and cons of using NTFS on external backup media, these thoughts come to mind. External drive stolen? Well, anything in my profile should be secure. Main computer dies? Uh-oh, a large part of my backup is no longer recoverable. On balance, it would make more sense to use FAT32 or, if your backup software is more sophisticated than this freebie, configure it to discard file and folder privileges for the backed up files.

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Rude Surprise: Backups to NTFS drive inaccessible

    Jefferson,

    If you have administrative privileges then you should be able to seize ownership of these files and change the access rights.

    StuartR

  3. #3
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: Rude Surprise: Backups to NTFS drive inaccessi

    As would any felonious person with administrative rights who plugs it into their own computer...

    Perhaps you ought to investigate encrypting the external drive?

    John
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  4. #4
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Rude Surprise: Backups to NTFS drive inaccessi

    The problem is that none of the users on the new laptop is listed among the users with privileges on those folders/files. Only the named user or administrator on the old laptop is recognized. (Perhaps I should add that these systems are not joined to a domain, so there is no domain administrator with global privileges.)

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Rude Surprise: Backups to NTFS drive inaccessi

    Jefferson,

    If you are a local administrator on the new laptop then you can seize ownership of these files.

    Assuming that you are running XP Pro:
    Select the files in Windows Explorer. Right Click. Properties. Security. Advanced. Owner. Change Owner To (select your username). and OK your way back to freedom.

    StuartR

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    Re: Rude Surprise: Backups to NTFS drive inaccessible

    I backup all kinds of files from one system to another with NTFS drives. I think you will find that it is the "Software" it's self that is the problem. This is one of the reasons that I will NOT use a "Backup program".

    BUT I do use TrueImage and burn full images of my drives. But I also "Copy" the different folders that I want to back up to a external drive also. These images and copy of files can be used on ANY machine with a USB connection. The images I would need to have TrueImage installed or boot to the CD.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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