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I want to be able to read all the files located in the WindowsImageBackup folder, which is created by Windows 7 Backup and Restore. Specifically, I need to be able to search the files for an ASCII string. I also need to back them up (backup the backups). For some of the files, I get the 'Access is Denied' error message.

Here is what I've tried:

  1. Logging in as administrator
  2. Taking ownership of the files and directories
  3. Giving 'Full Control' permissions for all the files

I would think that would be sufficient, but it is not.

The odd thing is that I can access some of the files, but not all.

I've read reports of other people having this same experience, but have not found any solutions. Does anyone have a solution?

  • Its possible they have the same restrictions as System files. Can you access the files whilst Windows is in Safe mode? Press F8 whilst your computer is booting, and select 'Safe Mode' from the menu – Robotnik Oct 26 '14 at 9:24
  • @robotnik is right. Also try logging in with the actual administrator account and see if you can take ownership. – Haplo Oct 26 '14 at 10:22
  • @Robotnik - good idea, but the folders/files are on removable storage, and therefore will not be visible in Safe Mode (only basic drivers in safe mode) – RockPaperLizard Oct 26 '14 at 10:26
  • @Halpo - can you expand on your comment? – RockPaperLizard Oct 26 '14 at 10:26
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Easiest solution is to just use a Linux live distro (on CD/DVD/flashdrive), or - since your files are already on removable storage - just connect them to a Linux box. The ntfs-3g driver used for NTFS access in Linux ignores the ACLs by default, and won't have anything locking or otherwise restricting any of the files.

Linux also has handy tools, like grep (similar to, but more powerful than, Windows' findstr) and strings, that may help you find the text you're looking for.

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