accessing external HDD with >1 partition (Windows, Linux)

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by Turbonium, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. Turbonium

    Turbonium Golden Member

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    The external drive I'm trying to access via Windows 7 64-bit has at least three partitions on it.

    One partition is a Windows Vista 32-bit install, the other is a Ubuntu install. There may also be a recovery partition (Dell). I'm not sure about any others.

    Windows 7 complains that I need to format the drive to access it, which I'm assuming is due to the Linux partition. The drive won't even show up in Explorer.

    What needs to be done in this case? Formatting is not an option. I want to be able to access the files from within Windows 7 (at the very least, the Vista partition files).

    EDIT: Could it be a problem with the USB-Y cable? Windows says the device isn't even recognized.
     
    #1 Turbonium, Feb 14, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  2. Turbonium

    Turbonium Golden Member

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    Alright, this is weird.

    If I swap the position of the ends of the USB-Y cable, it works. If I swap it back to the combination I had previously, it doesn't work.

    Clarification: I'm NOT changing which USB ports I'm using on the system - I'm just changing which port I'm connecting with which end of the Y cable.

    Something tells me the cable is messed up.
     
  3. Turbonium

    Turbonium Golden Member

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    Ok, more weirdness:

    I tried using another cable that I know works for sure. Same problem as the post above. What's even weirder is that the drive works fine with just the main line plugged into the one port. Plugging in the other half of the Y-cable makes no difference.

    Any ideas? Is the drive safe to use/access with this sort of behaviour? I don't want to risk data corruption.
     
    #3 Turbonium, Feb 14, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  4. Turbonium

    Turbonium Golden Member

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    Well, I narrowed it down to a bad USB-Y cable, so now that that's out of the way...

    Some of my files aren't showing up (files in C: \Users\Username\...).

    It had to ask for "permission" to access this directory, and even so, some of my files still don't seem to be showing. What's going on here? Can I fix it?
     
  5. Bubbaleone

    Bubbaleone Golden Member

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    Could you post the specs for the external drive, and your PC?
     
  6. Turbonium

    Turbonium Golden Member

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    The external is a Toshiba 160GB 5400rpm SATA HDD. I'm not sure of the exact model. The enclosure is a Vantec Nexstar TX. All 4 partitions (NTFS or otherwise) are reported as "Healthy" (including the "Active" Vista partition).

    PC is a C-60 (AMD) running Windows 7 HP 64-bit, latest patches.
     
    #6 Turbonium, Feb 14, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  7. Bubbaleone

    Bubbaleone Golden Member

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    From what you've posted so far, I'll assume you got the drive access problem taken care of but now are unable to access a lot of the files due to lack of permissions.

    If, for example, you've removed that drive from another PC and installed it in the external enclosure for the purpose of copying the files; then most of the files on that drive would have their permissions tied to the SID of the User/s of the PC it came out of, and not to your User SID on the machine that drive is now connected to. Meaning; you only have read permission on many of the files and no access at all to many others.

    The solution is to first take ownership at the root of the external drive using the Advanced Security Settings dialog, then close the dialog box when it finishes. Next, reopen the Advanced Security Settings dialog and remove any "Unknown User" SID. With that completed; click the Add button, then in the "Select User or Group" dialog click Advanced, click "Find Now", then select your User Name and give yourself "Full Control" of "This folder, subfolders and files". When the permissions operation completes; close the dialogs and you'll have full control permissions to all the files on the external drive.
     
  8. Turbonium

    Turbonium Golden Member

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    I get the following on the last step with every file/folder it tries to modify:

    "An error occurred while applying security information to:

    - directory name -

    Access is denied."

    EDIT:

    I checked out the permissions I have so far. The following are all there (full read/write, etc.):

    Authenticated Users
    SYSTEM
    Administrator (this PC)
    Administrators (this PC)
    Users (this PC)
     
    #8 Turbonium, Feb 15, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013
  9. Turbonium

    Turbonium Golden Member

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    I deleted all the permissions except for "Authenticated Users" and "SYSTEM" and tried starting from scratch. I get the same problem.
     
  10. Turbonium

    Turbonium Golden Member

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    Currently changing ownership from scratch (from Administrators to me specifically). I'll let you know how it goes (though I don't think it will make a difference).
     
    #10 Turbonium, Feb 15, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013
  11. Turbonium

    Turbonium Golden Member

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    Still no luck. This is odd.
     
  12. Bubbaleone

    Bubbaleone Golden Member

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    After you click the Edit button to change owner, be sure you've checked "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects" otherwise; you only own the container and not the contents.
     
  13. Turbonium

    Turbonium Golden Member

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    I did that. I actually did it another way and now the root folder in question has the "lock" icon on it, and I can still access it. However, the missing files and folders still aren't there. The OS literally doesn't see them. For example, it thinks my Videos folder is empty, when there's actually a few GB of files in it.
     
  14. Turbonium

    Turbonium Golden Member

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    After some deeper thinking, I realized I probably backed up the files in question and forgot about it, meaning everything is working fine. Thanks for your help anyway.

    In regards to the original question, though: how can I access the Linux partition from within a Window 7 environment?
     
  15. lxskllr

    lxskllr Lifer

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    AFAIK you can't.
     
  16. Turbonium

    Turbonium Golden Member

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    Same goes for my research in the matter. :(

    At least, you can't do it reliably...
     
  17. lxskllr

    lxskllr Lifer

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    If you need data accessed from Windows, it would probably be best to put it on a NTFS partition. You could use FAT also, but I'm not a fan of that aside from removable drives. I don't even like it there, but the small size minimizes any data loss you might get.
     
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