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Windows XP Media Center Edition:  Accessing User Profile

Posted on 2007-10-19
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
what i need to do:
-i need to get access to the user's profile under the "Documents and Settings" directory to copy their data to another drive

here's the situation:
-one of the user in the office somehow got some .dll files in the Windows System32 folder corrupted and the system WILL NOT boot;
-it will POST, then flash the corrupt directory message, F8 won't work because the bootup process doesn't even get to that point;

here's what i have attempted:
i've removed the drive and slaved it to another working XP Pro system; i see what i need so i go in to drag and drop and also tried copying the directory to another harddrive;  as soon as i does the computer squawks back and tells me that i've been Denied Access to that user's profile directory - WHY?!  i can access the Administrator directory, and all the other user's directory but not that particular user's directory;  KEEP IN MIND THAT I AM NOW ACCESSING THE CORRUPTED OS DRIVE THAT'S BEEN SLAVED.  is it possible to access this directory to retrieve the that for my user?  if yes, how?

IDEAS?  SOLUTIONS?  Thanks all.
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Question by:Jeffrey_D
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Accepted Solution

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Kenneniah earned 1500 total points
ID: 20110547
Right-click the directory in question and hit Sharing and Security.
Then on the Security tab, hit Advanced.
On the Owner tab select either your user or the Administrators group, place a check in "Replace owner...." and hit Apply.
Once done, go to the Permissions tab, hit Add, type either Administrators or your user name and hit OK, select Full Control and place a check in "Replace permissions entries on all child...."
Now you should have full access.
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Expert Comment

by:roue461
ID: 20110571
You could try putting that user's profile on the PC you are slaving from and see if you can access the data loged in as that user.

I'll admit I am guessing though but its worth a shot. :)

Have you tried actually changing the permisions on the the folders containing the data?

When you are thrying to transfer the data are you loged onto the domain or just locally as admin?

If the data is corrupt n some way you could try using a recovery tool.

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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Kenneniah
ID: 20110592
As to "WHY?!  i can access the Administrator directory"
It's because the SID's (Security Identifiers) for the users are different on your system then on what was the other system. Since the Administators group is by default the owner of the Administrator profile, you still have access to that (Since the Administrators local group always has the same SID). However on the user's profile folder the owner is always the user, and since you aren't logged in using the same SID as that user, you don't have access to that folder.
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Author Comment

by:Jeffrey_D
ID: 20110778
thanks for the suggestions but i have tried using the right click to change the permissions of the folder but the same message pops up - Access Denied
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Expert Comment

by:Kenneniah
ID: 20110912
You have to take ownership before you can change permissions. So first go to the ownership tab like I said.
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Author Comment

by:Jeffrey_D
ID: 20111355
when i went to the directory i directory in question to try to right click and change the permissions, it still squawks about the access denial.  i mean quiet literally-as soon as you would click on the directory it will squawk.

so reading Kenneniah's post again, it occurred to me, why not go up one level to the Documents and Settings level and set the permissions and ownership there and have it propagate to the child/sublevels.  BAM!!  HOLY TARTER SAUCE!!!  it worked.

thanks for inspiration.
this round goes to Kenneniah.
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Kenneniah
ID: 20111422
Strange, it should always at least let you get to the owner tab...unless maybe a permissions corruption issue was stopping it. Who knows lol. Anyway glad going up a level worked for you :)
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