I have a 1TB external (USB) HDD which i used for additional data storage (mostly media files).

Unfortunately, i appear to have changed the permissions on one of the sub-folders, and this is my problem.

The PC which i used the drive on most of the time, has died. Now, putting this external drive into a new PC, i cannot access the said sub-directory (Music) as i do not have permission.

Is it at all possible to resore the permissions of this directory to the default (ie FULL access to EVERYONE with no specifically defined "owner"?

I think the problem now is that the Owner of the folder is my user account from my (now dead) previous PC.

I dont know if this helps but the permissions were adjusted (originally) on a Windows 8 PC, where i was logged in using my Micrsoft Account. Even when plugging in the drive to another Windows 8 PC (this time Surface Pro), and logging in using the same Microsoft Account, i still cannot access the files in the music folder.

Is this possible?

  • Maybe you add "Everyone" to "Audit" and not to "Owners"? – Searush Mar 31 '14 at 21:08
  • SEARAS, I cannot change any permissions as I'm not the owner. I'm assuming this is because the sub-folder has a specified owner (my user account on my previous PC), whereas normally no owner is defined allowing anyone to change permissions? – Salem874 Mar 31 '14 at 21:16
  • Try "takeown /f YourFolderName /r" from command prompt (run it as administrator) and tell us if it works. Here's the full explanation: technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753024%28v=ws.10%29.aspx – Searush Mar 31 '14 at 21:22
  • @SEARAS: Genius! Its running now, but i can already access the directory! thanks so much, has this solution not been in a comment, I'd mark it a resolved :) One thing though, I take it this will make the directory accessible on any device? – Salem874 Mar 31 '14 at 21:30
  • I don't know. But I think now you have enough permissions to add "Everyone" to "Audit" and make your folder accessible for every device. – Searush Mar 31 '14 at 21:42

Run Command Prompt as administrator (right click->Run as administrator), and type there

takeown /f YourFolderName /r

That's it. This will make you owner of that folder.

For making it accessible to all users, you can do this:
Right click on that folder -> Properties -> Security -> Edit -> Add
and type there "Everyone" (or click Advanced -> Search and find smtg like "Everyone") and click OK buttons. Go back to Security tab, click on "Everyone" (in upper side), and choose "Full Access", click OK.
Now it will become accessible to all users.

| improve this answer | |
  • What if I run that command (in an administrator command shell) and I get "ERROR: Access is denied"? – Benjamin Chambers Jun 3 '17 at 17:28

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