0

Yesterday I put in a new SSD and reinstalled Windows and moved the old SSD into a USB NVMe enclosure. I need access to my old WSL1 files and right now this means I am running Double Commander as admin which is not ideal. I'd like to be able read but not write the files on that disk without ruining the special voodoo magic that LXSS does because I'd like to keep the option of just swapping back this disk into the laptop a possibility. Because of this I am not comfortable to just edit willy-nilly the driver permissions because I am afraid it'd recursively set on everything. Also, if it's recursive, it'd take roughly forever even with an SSD with (many) millions of tiny files. So Permissionless external drive with NTFS is a no-go.

3
  • 1
    The best way would be to create an image of the disk, restore the image to a different disk, and modify the permissions on that new disk keeping the original. However, there is no way to take ownership of the files in order to view the files from another Windows installation, without actually taking ownership. Windows will respect the permissions from anther Windows installation.
    – Ramhound
    Mar 24, 2021 at 15:49
  • 1
    If the only reason for requiring read-only access is that you want to keep the unmodified data, you could also create a disk image backup and use the SSD with read-write access. In case you later need the unmodified data, simply restore the backup. (For a backup software see e.g. ping.windowsdream.com)
    – Bodo
    Mar 24, 2021 at 15:49
  • 1
    WSL supports backing up the ENTIRE distro to a single file and restoring it. I have done it many times. You will probably need to boot off of your original.. back it up, then do the switch. virtualizationhowto.com/2021/01/… Mar 24, 2021 at 20:19

1 Answer 1

0

Following and adopting the great advice in this comment encouraging me to create a disk image backup, I have used Macrium Reflect to image the entire disk and then set the actual disk aside. Macrium provides access in two ways. One, the image can be mounted after a right click:

enter image description here

and then in the window where it becomes possible to mount partitions from the image, there's an option "Enable access to restricted folders" while not at all changing the image:

enter image description here

The second option is available from the Macrium Reflect application itself. After clicking the Restore tab, it becomes possible to browse for the image and an option is available to boot a VM from the image using Hyper-V:

enter image description here

The only disadvantage of this approach is the increased disk usage -- Macrium uses compression so that helps a bit. Note how the first image shows the file is 315GB while the second image shows it contains 450GB data.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.