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I have a problem after upgrading my comp and installing Windows 7. Prior to that I did used Windows XP (SP3) and made a lot of data backups on external HDDs. Now comes the problem - those backups were made by WinXP account and now in Win7 I can't rename/delete any of files/folders.

I know this is caused by ownership issues, to make things right again I have to change folders (and it sub-folders and files) owner to my existing Win7 account. The problem is - I can't select all of the USB drives folders together (in group selection there's no security tab in properties), I have to go one-by-one and that is my question: Is there a way to automate this somehow, how do I change ownership (or remove it altogether) from dozen of drives and hundreds of folders and files?

On a side note, there are few autorun.inf files from viruses my antivirus has deleted, but the files remained and they are not allowing me to change ownership/edit/delete them at all, even from admins account. So best answer would be a kind of tool or way to remove all permission limitations at once.

P.S. After I typed all this SE offered me similar question: Change permissions on folders (mass) , but I'm not sure this is exact answer, what to do with ownership?

Thank you very much for your help in advance!

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Here's a page that gives a bit more explanation but basically you need to do

takeown /f <foldername> /r /d y

which hopefully will accept wildcards then

icacls <foldername> /grant administrators:F /T

from a command prompt that you ran as an administrator.

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Thank you. I will try it and reply upon result. – Kromster Aug 24 '11 at 7:04
It worked best this way: icacls <foldername> /grant (:MA) Thanks! – Kromster Aug 24 '11 at 18:06

You can use my scripts for automating this task:

Copy both to dir and run uac.js.

Put both script to directory and run uac.js. For all hierarchy belong this directory scripts restore ownership and grand full access for All.

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See also my related question:… – gavenkoa Nov 3 '11 at 22:10

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