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I need to access locked files on my notebook harddrive

Posted on 2007-11-13
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Last Modified: 2011-09-20
I have a Compaq notebook that just bit the dust. The harddrive has all my family photos and movies on it and they are located under a locked folder. I am getting ready to ship it off to HP to get it fixed but I need to get the data off the harddrive before they erase it all and I lose it all. Is there a way that I can access my files and save them before sending the computer off. The tech told me that the harddrive would be erased and would come back to me as a brand new installed OS. Please help me save my files!! I
   My notebook is a Compaq Presario notebook v6000 with windows XP pro and sp2. I have the harddrive hooked up via external enclosure and hooked up to my desktop via USB and can access some files but not the important ones. Please help. Thanks so much in advance.
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Question by:Bigripper1
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Expert Comment

by:KCTS
ID: 20276003
When you say "locked" what to you actually mean - is the folder encrypted - if so chances of recovery are small.

If its that you cannot access the files, then if your machine has a cd then boot from a BartPE disk http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/ copy the files from the hard disk onto removable media - a pen drive for example.
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by:jkr
ID: 20276008
You need to "take ownership" of these files before copying them, see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308421 ("How to take ownership of a file or folder in Windows XP"). Then everything should work fine.
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Wikkard earned 500 total points
ID: 20276047
Sounds like you have turned on security on your user profile.

(When you set a password for your account under windows xp pro it will ask you if you want to secure your files - If you choose yes it will set the security on the files of your user profile so that only you can access them.)

You need to take ownership of the file and folders on the disk, then you should be able to read them, assuming they aren't encrypted with EFS or some 3rd party util.

To do this Right Click on the folder Z:\documents and settings\[your user account]\
(where Z is the old HDD in your removable case) and select security.

If the security isn't listed you will need to go to window explorer -> tools -> Folder Options -> View Tab -> UnCheck use simple file sharing. (you will probably want to turn this back on afterwards).

Once you have found the security tab click on the advanced button.  You should see and Advanced Security Settings for Folder X dialog. Click on the owner tab.

Select your user account, check the box "Replace owner on Subcontainers and objects" then click apply.



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Expert Comment

by:darron_chapman
ID: 20276057
If you are an administrator on the desktop computer, then right click the folder you are unable to access, click the security tab, click advanced, click the Owner tab, click Administrators in the list and check the box next to Replace owner and click Apply.

Now click the Permissions Tab and click Add, type administrators and click Ok, click the box under allow next to Full Control, click the checkbox next to Apply these permissionsto objects... and then click OK.  Click OK until you are out of the properties.  You should now be able to access the folder.

If you don't see the security tab, you will need to disable simple file sharing.  Open My Computer, click Tools, Option, click the View tab and then uncheck "Use simple file sharing"
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Expert Comment

by:kulvinder_10
ID: 20276223
First : if you are able to boot from you laptop with this hdd, then you should connect to network and take back up from notebook
If you are not able to boot into windows and are trying by attaching this hdd into another system as USB, but are not able to see or copy you files, probally your file are in your profile c:/documents and settings/USERNAME/ MY Documents etc.
you Will have to go to that folder and then copy, or sometime you will have to take permission of the folder as mentioned above by 2 experts

You can try this also
Create the same user as was in your notbook with the same password and then try to browse and copy the files from you NBK HDD.

All the best.
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Expert Comment

by:kulvinder_10
ID: 20331827
hello buddy
Just want to make sure that you have solkved the issue or is it still giving you trouble.
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