Retrieving files from dead PC

Windows XP Home Edition question:

Laptop died - BER. Salvaged the hard drive and fitted it into an enclosure connected to my new laptop by USB in order to retrieve all the data (i do back-up data but not that regularly and i wanted the latest).

Straight copy and paste from USB drive to new hard-drive for all files that were held in windows shared documents area. Again no problem copying the files from my wifes ‘my documents’ folder. However when i try to access my ‘my documents’ folder it just says ‘access denied’ in that charming manner that windows has. Actually to be specific, it gives me that message back up the tree at the folder with my user name, so i cant get access to any application data, favorites etc either.

Not sure if this is possibly to do with the fact that my wife’s user account was just a basic user while my account was an admin role? I certainly didn’t have any other security or encryption on my files.

So, teemsters, can anyone tell me how to get access to my data?

Thanks in advance


Try changing the permissions on the Documents and Settings<username> folder, so that whatever account you are using on the new laptop has sufficient access. If it won’t let you change permissions, using an account that is an administrator on the new laptop, take ownership of that directory and all its subdirectories, then change permissions.

Oh, it’s XP Home. “Advanced” things such as taking ownership and NTFS permissions may not be as immediately accessible in XP Home. But they are still there, Microsoft merely simplifies your view of them, and you can still change them. I don’t have XP Home so I can’t describe the precise steps.

I was in the same situation about a year ago. What you need to do is take ownership of the folders on the hard drive in safe mode:

Dude you are the man! Exactly what i needed. Sur ei woudl have got there in the end but you saved me a whole lot of time.

Thanks guys.

Glad I could help. Took me awhile to figure the process out last summer.