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Cannot access hidden AppData files on hard drive from a dead laptop -


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#1
rogerbid

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Hello!

My wife's laptop died recently when I plugged in a USB device - a WiFi bridge. Fortunately I have back ups of the important documents plus I have been able to access the contents of the hard drive by putting it in a USB enclosure.

However, my wife had a lot of important dates saved on Windows Calendar and I did not realise that this data is saved in a folder within the AppData folder. Using CMD I can 'see' the folder and filees but if I try to copy the Users\Patricia\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Calendar\Calendars\General.ics I get the message "Access Denied."

Please can someone tell me if there is away to access this hidden file?

In Windows Explorer I cannot even see the AppData folder, even though I have set permissions for 'Everyone' to allow all interactions.

(I did wonder if I could boot my Win7 desktop PC and 'see' the old laptop operating system by changing the Boot sequence to select a USB drive - is it that simple if I plug-in the USB enclosure before booting up?)

I hope someone will come to my aid, and thank you all for any suggestions,

best regards to all,

Roger B
 


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#2
Fusionbomb

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Hello rogerbid,



In Windows 7/8 or Vista, use this shortcut to access the pst file and other files in the local app data folder (This method does not require you to change the Hidden Files and Folders setting):
 

%localappdata%\Microsoft\Outlook


Instead of browsing for the folders, you can copy or type the previous line into Windows Explorer address bar or in the Start menu's search folder and press Enter to open Explorer to the correct folder.


And yes, you should be able to boot from that USB.  Either select it from the Boot Option (F12 maybe?) or change the Boot Order in your BIOS to have USB boot first.


Good luck!


Edited by Fusionbomb, 14 April 2015 - 07:21 AM.

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#3
Ztruker

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If the above doesn't work then you will have to take ownership of the AppData folder. The easiest way to do this is to install the Take Ownership addition to the right click Context menu.

 

See here: Take Ownership shortcut - Windows 8 & 8.1


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#4
rogerbid

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Hi Folks,

 

Thanks so much for your replies, but sadly after a few hours I am still no further forward.  I have tried to follow the instructions but have failed to make headway.

 

Fusionbomb,

 

I edited your text to read "%localappdata%\Microsoft\Windows Calendar" (as it is the Calendar data I am looking for) and putting it in the Start Menu Search Folder it takes me to the Calendar folder on my own C: Drive.  If I use Windows Explorer to get to the USB drive and then enter this phrase into the top address bar it tries to access a website address http:%22c!!!  Can you tell me how to ensure the USB drive is searched and not the C: drive or the internet? (Using the Search box in the top right hand corner of Windows Explorer when looking at the USB hard drive fails to find the folder.)

 

Although I was the one to raise the question of booting to the USB drive, I have not tried this. The USB enclosure I used is a USB3 one, and my desktop PC does not have USB3. Connecting it to the USB2 fails so I guess the two technologies are not compatible.  I do have a new laptop with a USB3 socket but I am reluctant to mess with it and change the boot sequence.  I have not heard of using F12 at boot up and from what you say I assume no change is necessary in the BIOS Boot Order.  Is this right?  (I should explain here that I copied the entire laptop drive to folder on another portable hard drive and it is this that I am using as I try to access the AppData folder.  This was to ensure I don't accidentally corrupt the drive that came from the laptop!)

 

Ztruker,

 

I have tried your suggestion and after 'taking ownership' of the relative folder on the USB drive I still cannot 'see' the AppData folder, so nothing has changed.

 

I have just accessed the USB3 USB drive and clicking on Properties of the Users folder it would appear that my laptop has full access to that drive yet it will not show the hidden AppData folder.

 

Any more ideas please?  I appreciate your suggestions, and thank you for your time,

 

best wishes,

 

Roger


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#5
Fusionbomb

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rogerbid,


Just a heads up... the Appdata folder is hidden by default. 
 

Follow these steps to display hidden files and folders.
  1. Open Folder Options by clicking the Start button , clicking Control Panel, clicking Appearance and Personalization, and then clicking Folder Options.
  2. Click the View tab.
  3. Under Advanced settings, click Show hidden files and folders, and then click OK.

If you are still not able to see it after searching again, I'm not sure what to tell you.  As far as the booting from the USB, the options are often displayed while the machine is starting up.  Changing the boot order in the BIOS will just cause your machine to always check certain media for a bootable image in a certain order.  This isn't a big deal to change and is easy enough to reset if you mess something up.  Sometimes there is an option to do a one-time boot at start-up (not always), this is usually done by pressing the F12 key.  Either way, one time boot selection by F12, or entering the BIOS to modify boot order should allow you to boot from that backup. 

(*NOTE* - USB technology is backwards compatible.  A USB 3 device plugged into a USB2 port should function and operate at the USB2 speed.)


Let us know if you make any progress.  Good luck!


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#6
rogerbid

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Hi again,

 

My apologies for the delay in returning to this thread.  I have spent many hours in vain trying to access the AppData folder on the copied contents of the rescued hard drive and in frustration decided to try once again to access the folder on the original hard drive, now in a USB enclosure.  Wonder of wonders, this time it opened and I could copy the data files as I initially intended.

 

I really cannot explain why this worked this time when all previous attempts failed. I wish I had a clear understanding of what happened so that I could post the solution for the benefit of anyone who finds this thread when searching for a solution to their own problem.

My sincere thanks to all who have considered this problem and for the suggestions offered,

Best regards,

 

Roger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roger

 


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