Had to reinstall XP. Now I can't get to my old files

First of all, it was a computer tech back in the days when DOS 3.3 was king so I’m not afraid of computers but I don’t know all of the tricks for Windows.

I had 2 users on my computer. My user was password protected since it was the admin account and I didn’t want my son to be able to get on it and accidently screw something up. Well last night XP self-destructed and I had to do an non-destructive reinstall. The reinstall changed the welcome screen so I can’t get into the old user accounts. All of the files are still there and I can access all of my son’s files, but the ones under my account (doc, excel, powerpoint, etc.) are stlll locked. Even as a new admin account I can’t access those folders (access denied) to save. The critical files were backed up, but I would still like to get some of the other ones.

I tried to set up an account with the old name and password, but that didn’t seem to work. Any solutions for my problem like REGEDIT to unlock that account or files?

I’ve used Knoppix to boot a PC in Linux and have access to all the user accounts.

Yeah, this was going to be my suggestion. A bootable Linux CD is perfect for getting files off inaccessible Windows accounts.

Personally, although i’ve used Knoppix discs myself, i would recommend Ubuntu instead, because its layout and controls are probably more familiar to someone who is mainly familiar with Windows.

Take ownership of the folders first.

Thanks. Backing up the files now and soon my crap@$$ XP will be Windows 7

I recommend making several partitions, and to keep data on the non-Windows one. You can do this for free next time you reinstall Windows (boot from the CD, read carefully), or you can do this with more power and freedom if you buy Acronis Disk Director.