How To Access "My Docs" On A NTFS Drive, From Another Account.

Posted on 2005-03-19
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2011-10-03
Hi !

C drive is on NTFS and My Documents are stored in the defualt folder. Now the windows crashes, and I want to perform a clean install. But before formatting I need to access my documents and copy them somewhere else.

I'm try'in by attaching my disk to another computer. I can see the folder, but I cannot access it. I have complete access to others areas of drive which are not protected.

Is there anyway to access these type of user folders?

Any help would be great.

Question by:Zeeshanusuf
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Expert Comment

ID: 13583547
in linux you can access ntfs folders, even if they are protected. (as long as they are not encrypted).
you can boot linux from a cd without much effort and copy the files to somewhere else.

damnsmalllinux (http://www.damnsmalllinux.org) is free, a 50mb download and runs from a cd (no need to install it on your hard drive).

if you decide to take this route i can give instructions on the copy proccess.

Expert Comment

ID: 13583559
As long as you can see the folder by mounting it on another machine, you should be able to take ownership of the folder.

You didn't mention what OS you're running - on XP, navigate to the folder you want to recover your files from and right-click the folder, select Properties, then the security tab, the advanced button, the Owner tab, select your new account, and check the Replace Owner on subcontainers and objects.

The OK button will replace the permissions on the files and you should be able to access them again.

Author Comment

ID: 13583661
I'm running XP SP1 on a FAT32 partition. The Security stuff you mention is'nt available, probably cu's I'm on FAT32.

So I'm try'in to access NTFS owned folders from FAT... What do you think about that?
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Expert Comment

ID: 13583718
There is a software company that makes good recovery software.  It's at www.runtime.org.  I've used it to recover files from harddrives that have been formated or files that have been erased.  
You may have damage on the harddrive that's making the folder inaccessable so use one of the software products (in this case the NTFS one) to locate it and recover it.  You just download the software, connect the problem drive to your working computer as a slave, install the software to the working computer master drive, then run the program.  it'll ask you which drive to search so pick the broken drive, and then it'll scan.  You can search the folders it finds for the files you need and then recover them to the master drive.

If the files are important, this may be the way to go but the software costs $69 to $119 depending if you get the FAT program, the NTFS program or both.

Good luck!

Author Comment

ID: 13583794
There is no data loss. Just the i'm not able to acces those files because of the NTFS permissions. E.g, if you have multiple accounts on windows XP, with NTFS, you ca'nt access other users' documents. I want to be able to do just that. (Sort of)

Expert Comment

ID: 13583802
I've never tried booting from FAT and trying to mount an NTFS drive, but i don't see why it wouldn't work... have you looked at the drive with Disk Administrator to see if it's finding the drive and reporting it as healthy?

(right-click MyComputer, select Manage, then Disk Management)

Would you consider converting your "new" machine to NTFS?  It's pretty painless...
LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:Paul S
ID: 13584240
you need to adjust the owernship / NTFS permissions.

slave the drive into another computer or connect with external enclosure.

If you have XP pro

Windows Explorer > tools > Folder Options > View > uncheck the very last box (use simple file sharing)
then right click on the folder > go to properties and select the security tab to take control

if xp home

you have to be in safe mode to get the security tab
boot to safe mode > right click on folder and go to properties > select the security tab

If those don't work then it might be due to the FAT32

try this tool

or follow previous steps using a system with the NTFS file system

Expert Comment

ID: 13584290
I am using "NTFS for Windows 98" from Sysinternals.com

I have it installed on Windows 98, and can read my NTFS partitions through it.

I have not tried it, but believe that if you install it on your Win XP, then you will be able to read/copy data from NTFS partition to your FAT partition.

Another alternative is to use a linux distro. I have not used damnsmalllinux suggested by ico2, but use Knoppix. It is pretty good at mounting NTFS partitions, irrespective of permissions on those NTFS partitions.
LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 13586705
Here is the link of a similar question i 've answered



You re not going to get your old settings of the user account you lost back...

But if you dont have any other physical drives formatted with FAT32 then do the following.
It's a little trick that outsmart Windows.

1.) Reboot from windows XPcd . Dont install use REPAIR, not Repair console... continue installing until repair option appears. Then choose repair.
2.) If windows stops the repair process and asks you for the location of a missing driver then you are lucky (skip steps 4,5).... cause the browser gives you access to the locked account.
Copy paste to a new folder the entire locked account or the files you need.
3.) Create a new account and then get all your files back from within windows.
Thats it.
4.) How to delete drivers :
Delete a needed driver usually found in temp folders (ex. like via or agp drivers).
You can have access to the drivers (to delete them) by creating a new account with repair windows ...step 1.
 5.) Reboot from Windows XP cd and repair again. This time a window appears asking you for the location.

Expert Comment

ID: 13707779
Try using a Win PE disk, You can build one by following the instructions here:


This will allow you to put XP onto a cd, boot from that and then you can bypass the security on the My Doc folder.

This PE disk also allows you to join a net work so you should be able to copy the files that way.

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ID: 14070613
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