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Recovering Data On Hard Drive

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#1 bigboom


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Posted 01 October 2007 - 11:26 PM

So my wife's computer died last week. When you turn it on it beeps really loud and that's it. No blue screen or anything. It's under warranty so it will be covered but we need to recover the data on her hard drive. We tried Best Buy and the want $160 to do it and the local guy that tried couldn't do it. Our problem is that she set a password for windows and it won't let us access the files in Documents and Settings. I have it hooked up to a USB enclosure and it works fine but it won't let me open the files. The error reads "Access Denied" and that's all. I tried the Microsoft website and found nothing that helped me but I might not have known that is what I needed. Any suggestions are appreciated.

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#2 Rollin' Rog

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Posted 01 October 2007 - 11:48 PM

Depending on whether you are booting with XP pro or Home the directions are a bit different for this -- but if Home boot up in Safe Mode.

Right click on a directory you want to get access to and select Properties, then the Security tab. Add the User Name of the profile you are logged into to the Permissions list.

See this link for more info:


Edited by Rollin' Rog, 01 October 2007 - 11:49 PM.

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#3 j0nath4n


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Posted 02 October 2007 - 01:44 AM

Yeah I have got this problem before(recently too).There's another way which works(but not always).Place the harddrive in a ziploc and place it in the fridge.After a day take it out and place it in your PC.Boot it up and if you are lucky,the hard drive works(for a while).

#4 hamluis



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Posted 02 October 2007 - 02:16 PM

The "access denied" message is typical and indicates a permissions problem.

You need to take ownership of the Docs&Settings folders files when you move them to another system and want to access them.

How to take ownership of a file or folder in Windows XP - http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=308421


#5 usasma


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Posted 02 October 2007 - 04:27 PM

Access Denied errors are different from the errors gotten when you've used EFS to encrypt the files (the option to "make private" when setting up the account). There's different approaches to recovering files.

Follow hamluis' link to get ownership of the files. The taking ownership thing is a bit "flakey" - so you may have to drill down in the directory structure and take ownership at each step in order to get deep enough to recover the files. Don't forget to tell the ownership thing to apply it's changes to the stuff below (it's a little checkbox just under the dialog where you select the profile to take ownership with).

If you still can't open them, then it's likely that EFS has been used - and you'll have to use another means to extract the files. Let us know and we can suggest alternate recovery methods.
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#6 bigboom

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 11:44 PM

Thank you all for your help. I got it all downloaded off of the hard drive from the help and links you all gave me. You guys saved me $160 because now I don't have to let Best Buy do it. Have a great weekend everyone. :thumbsup: :flowers:

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