Convert to FAT to remove NTFS permissions.
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Thread: Convert to FAT to remove NTFS permissions.

  1. #1
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    Convert to FAT to remove NTFS permissions.

    Using a partition program such as Powerquest Partition Magic, an entire NTFS hard drive can be converted to FAT from NTFS. This conversion removes all NTFS file and folder security. Once the conversion from NTFS to FAT is complete, a DOS based operating system can be used to access all previous NTFS protected files and folders.

    A DOS bootable disk can be made using Partition Magic that allows the program to boot the computer into DOS to run the DOS version of Partition Magic. From there a user can convert all NTFS partitions from NTFS to FAT 16 or FAT 32. As far as I know, there are two ways to prevent this type of access. Boot the system to BIOS setup and disable floppy read/write access. Then set a password for the BIOS to prevent any BIOS settings from being changed. Unfortunately not all BIOS have these security features, especially in OEM boxes or laptops.

    Of course there are ways around the BIOS protection. The case could be opened and the small dime shaped battery removed, wait a few seconds, and replace the battery. This procedure resets the BIOS including the password etc.

  2. #2
    Now, RFC Compliant! Noia's Avatar
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    Sound's good to me...I think only School Admin's have to worry bout stuff like this...who else would be buggered to try and do all this crap if theyr not student;s
    - Noia
    PS: I'm a studen't and I'v acctualy done this once to anoy our Admin....lol
    With all the subtlety of an artillery barrage / Follow blindly, for the true path is sketchy at best. .:Bring OS X to x86!:.
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    I was a school admin...a long time ago....now I know who did it. ;-)

    It could be a valid problem for large companies which have thousands of laptops which are docking stations. Employees taking their laptops home so that someone could make a disk image of the hard drive, convert the image to FAT and look at all kinds of interesting information such as how the VPN is setup through Terminal Server, passwords for shared network drives, hash files of Domain Admins etc.
    \"Sine your pitty on the runny kine.\" Pootie Tang, 2001

  4. #4
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    i havn't had need for this yet, but it's good to know!
    Bukhari:V3B48N826 The Prophet said, Isnt the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man? The women said, Yes. He said, This is because of the deficiency of a womans mind.

  5. #5
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    Why go to all that trouble when you can just plug it in as a slave in another system?

    Krang
    .....Brain Failure....dumping core.... z z z

  6. #6
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    Plugging in as a slave is fine if you can get past the NT logon and NTFS file encryption.
    \"Sine your pitty on the runny kine.\" Pootie Tang, 2001

  7. #7
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    Re: Convert to FAT to remove NTFS permissions.

    Originally posted here by jaggz
    Using a partition program such as Powerquest Partition Magic, an entire NTFS hard drive can be converted to FAT from NTFS. This conversion removes all NTFS file and folder security. Once the conversion from NTFS to FAT is complete, a DOS based operating system can be used to access all previous NTFS protected files and folders.

    A DOS bootable disk can be made using Partition Magic that allows the program to boot the computer into DOS to run the DOS version of Partition Magic. From there a user can convert all NTFS partitions from NTFS to FAT 16 or FAT 32. As far as I know, there are two ways to prevent this type of access. Boot the system to BIOS setup and disable floppy read/write access. Then set a password for the BIOS to prevent any BIOS settings from being changed. Unfortunately not all BIOS have these security features, especially in OEM boxes or laptops.

    Of course there are ways around the BIOS protection. The case could be opened and the small dime shaped battery removed, wait a few seconds, and replace the battery. This procedure resets the BIOS including the password etc.
    You forget to mention the file size limitation of this which could lead to a major system meltdown if you are not careful.

    FAT16 = 2GB limit on partition size (Gigabytes)
    FAT32 = 32GB limit on partition size (Gigabytes) **In theory it should be 8 terabytes**
    NTFS = 2TB limit on partition size (Terabytes) **Again, in theory should be 16 terabytes**

    Keep these in mind if you do this

    Also, Windows NT 4.0 / 2000 / XP will support a 4GB FAT16 partition if you want to try it. Doesn't work for the other 95/98/ME

  8. #8
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    System meltdown? I think you misunderstood the purpose of my post. What I described is a crude method which could be used to gain information from an NTFS drive, ...... a security issue. I would not expect to convert a drive from NTFS to FAT32 and then boot the same OS.

    It is apparent from your closing statement of a 4GB FAT partition running a 32bit OS, that you misunderstood the purpose of my original post which was to alert admins etc, of the availability of software which can convert NTFS to other partition types rendering the NTFS security features worthless.

    Your info on FAT32 partition size is wrong. The limit is 2 terabytes. I have formatted 100GB drives as FAT32.
    \"Sine your pitty on the runny kine.\" Pootie Tang, 2001

  9. #9
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    System meltdown? I think you misunderstood the purpose of my post. What I described is a crude method which could be used to gain information from an NTFS drive, ...... a security issue. I would not expect to convert a drive from NTFS to FAT32 and then boot the same OS.

    It is apparent from your closing statement of a 4GB FAT partition running a 32bit OS, that you misunderstood the purpose of my original post which was to alert admins etc, of the availability of software which can convert NTFS to other partition types rendering the NTFS security features worthless.

    Your info on FAT32 partition size is wrong. The limit is 2 terabytes. I have formatted 100GB drives as FAT32.
    \"Sine your pitty on the runny kine.\" Pootie Tang, 2001

  10. #10
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    An exception to this rule is if you use EFS along with NTFS. You can still use several methods to acess the data on the drive, but it all will come up garbage. Also it's good to use a mounted pgp disk or some other type of third party crypto to prevent access to the data itself. Either individualy encrypt the seledted files and/or folders or have an encrypted volume or partition that you can mount or dismount.
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