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Knowledge Base > Operating Systems > Windows > Vista/Win7/8.x/10 > Unable to Access Drive, Folder, or File in Windows Vista or Later

Unable to Access Drive, Folder, or File in Windows Vista or Later

Problem:

Doing any of the following in Windows Vista or later (e.g. Windows 7/8.x/10) results in access or permission errors:

  • Attempting to open, copy, or delete a backup on an NTFS partition that was created using Image for DOS or Image for Linux.

  • Trying to access, copy, or delete a file or folder on an NTFS partition that was created outside of Windows.

  • Trying to access a drive that originated on another Windows system.

For example, a backup is created using Image for DOS and saved to an NTFS partition. Using TBIView in Windows to open the backup results in the following error message:

You don't have permission to open this file.
Contact the file owner or an administrator to obtain permission.

Double-clicking on the image file in Explorer to launch TBIView results in the following error message:

Insert media 1 containing file [backup path and filename]

Clicking OK will repeat the message. Clicking Cancel will display two additional error messages:

Unable to open file

and

Error 6 opening file [backup path and filename]
This usually means the file is not accessible or the file is invalid.
Ensure the file exists and the user has read permissions; Update to the
latest version of TBIView; Consider checking or replacing system RAM.

Attempting to open the backup using TBIMount results in the same errors. Trying to copy or delete the backup will usually result in permission errors.

Similar errors and access issues can also occur with other files created outside of Windows. Trying to access a drive that originated on another system will usually just report an Access denied message (the drive will not show normally in Explorer).

Cause:

The drive, folder, or file does not have the necessary access permissions. Additionally, the ownership of the item may be incorrect.

Solution:

For image files, it may be possible to access the file by running TBIView/TBIMount as an administrator. To do this, right-click on the program icon or shortcut and select Run as administrator from the pop-up menu.

To take ownership of the drive, folder, or file and set the permissions to allow normal access, follow the instructions below.

Note: If you are logged in as a standard user you will need to provide an administrator password to perform several of the steps below. Alternatively, you can log in as an administrator before you begin (recommended).

Using Explorer

   To take ownership:

  1. Open Explorer and browse to the drive, folder, or file. Right-click on it and select Properties from the pop-up menu.

  2. Click the Security tab.

  3. Click the Advanced button. The Advanced Security Settings dialog opens.

  4. In Windows Vista and Windows 7, click the Owner tab and then click the Edit button.

    In Windows 8.x/10, click the Change link at the top of the dialog where the Owner is displayed.

  5. Select the new owner. If changing ownership on a drive or folder and you wish to include all subfolders and files contained within it, select the Replace owner on subcontainers and objects option (on Windows 8.x/10, this option is available under the Change link after you change the owner). Click OK.

  6. If a Windows Security message box is displayed informing you that you need to close and reopen the properties, click OK to close it. When setting ownership on a drive there may be message that permissions will need to be modified (allow it to make the changes).

  7. Close the Advanced Security Settings dialog and the Properties dialog.

   To set file permissions:

  1. Right-click on the drive, folder, or file in Explorer and select Properties from the pop-up menu.

  2. Click the Security tab.

  3. Click the Edit button, then the Add button.

  4. In the Select Users or Groups dialog, enter the new user or group to which permissions need assigned. For example, you may enter your username, Users, or Everyone. Click the examples link if necessary. Click Check Names to verify the entered name is valid if you're unsure. Click OK when finished.

  5. Back in the Permissions dialog, you can now select the user or group you added and then select the permissions to allow for the file (e.g. Allow - Full Control). Click OK when finished.

  6. Close the Properties dialog.

    Note: If you need more control over setting permissions (e.g. specifying recursion for a folder) you can click the Advanced button on the Security tab (Step 2, above) and make the changes from the Permissions tab.

You should now be able to access the drive, folder, or file normally. If you changed a drive or folder and didn't recurse folders you can repeat the steps above as necessary to gain access to the desired files.

Using the Command Prompt

The instructions below use a sample image file (D:\System Backup.tbi) and folder (D:\Backups). When running the commands make sure to use the drive, folder, or file that needs modified on your system.

  1. Open an Administrator Command Prompt.

  2. To take ownership of the file run the following command. The new owner will be the current user/administrator.
    takeown /f "D:\System Backup.tbi"

    To give ownership to the Administrators group specify the /a option:
    takeown /f "D:\System Backup.tbi" /a

    When taking ownership of a drive or folder you can recurse directories by specifying the /r option. For example, to take ownership of the D:\Backups folder, subfolders and files, run:
    takeown /f "D:\Backups" /r

    For more information on using takeown, run takeown /? at the prompt.

  3. To set the file permissions run the following command:
    icacls "D:\System Backup.tbi" /grant users:F

    The above command grants Full Control (F) to the Users group. You can also specify a user if you wish. For example, if the username is John:
    icacls "D:\System Backup.tbi" /grant John:F

    If you need to set permissions recursively, specify the drive or folder and the /t option:
    icacls "D:\Backups" /grant users:F /t

    For more information on using icacls, run icacls /? at the prompt.

You should now be able to access the drive, folder, or file normally. If you changed a drive or folder and didn't recurse folders you can repeat the steps above as necessary to gain access to the desired files.


Additional Notes:

  • Be careful when using recursion to change ownership and permissions since it may change many files/folders on the drive. Make sure the target drive or folder is correct before running the command. Note that all folders and files may not be changed (some System files/folders will usually be blocked).

  • Advanced users may wish to create a CMD script to run takeown and/or icacls on a specified path. For example, if backups are regularly placed into E:\Offline Backups using Image for DOS and they require fixing, a script could be created to run takeown and icacls on the folder. For example:

    @echo off
    takeown /f "e:\offline backups" /r
    icacls "e:\offline backups" /grant users:F /t

 


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