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Old 01-17-2008, 12:41 PM   #1
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Default Using a paralell OS to recover files

Lets say I have a computer with a Windows OS installed on it.

If I installed Linux or another OS on an external hdd, and booted up that OS on the computer, could I navigate through user files on the Windows hdd? The computer is so old I have forgotten all the usernames and passwords. So I figured this would let me bypass it. But I want to make sure before I go through all this trouble that I'm not going to get an 'Access Denied' error before doing this.

I would assume this would work since windows does not boot up its file permissions since i'm booting a different os; but I want to make sure.
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Old 01-17-2008, 12:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: Using a paralell OS to recover files

I'm not sure how that would work, because when i installed Linux I had to bot up with the disk in a select a partition, and I don't think external drives are an option when it comes to selecting a partition

Plus, would Linux even recognize the NFTS file system?
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Old 01-17-2008, 01:14 PM   #3
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Default Re: Using a paralell OS to recover files

If I started windows in DOS mode, (this is either a windows 95 or windows nt computer), do you think that I would be able to navigate to the file on the users account and then copy it to the external hdd. Or would the file permissions still hold true even in DOS mode.
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Old 01-17-2008, 01:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: Using a paralell OS to recover files

i wouldn't have though file permissions would carry over to DOS mode, you could always give it a shot I'm not sure about copying it thought since I've never used DOS outside of opening a command window in Windows.

silly question, but have you tried going through safe mode to the Administrator account?
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Old 01-17-2008, 01:21 PM   #5
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Default Re: Using a paralell OS to recover files

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Originally Posted by BrynF_UK View Post
i wouldn't have though file permissions would carry over to DOS mode, you could always give it a shot I'm not sure about copying it thought since I've never used DOS outside of opening a command window in Windows.

silly question, but have you tried going through safe mode to the Administrator account?
Ya, access is still denied.
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Old 01-17-2008, 01:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: Using a paralell OS to recover files

is it (or was it) your computer? If so, you could try and do all the obvious ones like names and phone numbers
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Old 01-17-2008, 02:04 PM   #7
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Default Re: Using a paralell OS to recover files

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Originally Posted by BrynF_UK View Post
is it (or was it) your computer? If so, you could try and do all the obvious ones like names and phone numbers
It WAS my computer. It was used in an office and the reason we don't have the username/password is the employee that used it quit in a disgruntled manner and locked us out by changing the passwords. Now a new owner owns the office building and the business, and I am only being allowed a certain amount of time, 1 hour, to retrieve the file. Which is why I have to be sure I know how to do it before using the computer.

Heck I'm not even certain on the OS. Most likely windows 95, but I cant be sure.
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Old 01-17-2008, 02:06 PM   #8
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Default Re: Using a paralell OS to recover files

well, depends how important the data is - a reformat?
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Old 01-17-2008, 02:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: Using a paralell OS to recover files

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayorredbeard View Post
It WAS my computer. It was used in an office and the reason we don't have the username/password is the employee that used it quit in a disgruntled manner and locked us out by changing the passwords. Now a new owner owns the office building and the business, and I am only being allowed a certain amount of time, 1 hour, to retrieve the file. Which is why I have to be sure I know how to do it before using the computer.

Heck I'm not even certain on the OS. Most likely windows 95, but I cant be sure.
If it's a DOS based OS like 95 or 98, any linux distro should recognize the hard drive. FAT32 used on 95 and 98 is a permission less file system, so dont worry.
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Old 01-17-2008, 02:11 PM   #10
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Default Re: Using a paralell OS to recover files

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well, depends how important the data is - a reformat?
The file has a monetary value more than what most people make in a year. It's very important; hence why I did not reformat originally. When the business was sold my father left the computer there. And since we did the new owner, (knowing that it has a very important file on it), is claiming the computer now belongs to him. If its not obvious the new owner hates our guts.

My father is kind of careless, and did not bring the computer home so i could rip out the hdd and get the data off it in that manner. After threatening legal action hes agreed to allow me one hour with the computer to retrieve the file.

EDIT: Is there any OS with a simple GUI that can boot from a CD? This would allow me to boot into the separate OS and transfer the information off the HDD that I cannot access since I do not know any passwords without problem since as you said DJ FAT32 has no file permissions.
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