Possible file Corruption/File Access Issue

This is a strange one. I have 2 laptops, 1 came back with my kid from college, doa. I was able to get repair from Dell (new motherboard and just about everything else). Meantime, in order for her to get papers done, I pulled the hard drive, connected it to the other laptop, and copied the files. Once the system was fixed, I put the hard drive in and booted - only to discover that 'access denied' was now occurring throughout the drive, I attempted a fix through takeown at the root, but now it will not boot at all, It just sits there, regardless of safe mode or full boot. I can boot from the Windows 7 CD, get to the command prompt and see all the files.
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reinstall windows 7 with windows 7 disc and select repair?  
han810pAuthor Commented:
Forgot the hardware info: Dell XPS M1330, BIOS A14, Windows 7, 32-bit (not sure of the exact update level).
han810pAuthor Commented:
Did the repair before post - no go. Sorry - I should have said that.
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han810pAuthor Commented:
I have already:
Run chkdsk /f (no errors found)
Run Startup repair (no errors found)
Run Windows Memory Diagnostic
If you have the data on another computer can you reinstall from factory partition?  Dell usually provides the files on the hard drive to use - or a full re-install?  Those are kind of a pain, but may be the way to go.  You would want to use Dell disks to do the reinstall as it will have all their unique drivers....
One thing you can try to do is use the System Recovery Options that Windows 7 offers.  You can read about it here.

From the System Recovery Options I would run Startup Repair.  

Perhaps that will fix the problem and allow you to boot the PC
han810pAuthor Commented:
Been there -tried that. She did not create a recovery image, so there is no image to recover to. I've done the Startup Repair. I am in IT, so I've tried the basics. At this point, I could use some ideas on how to copy off her data while booted into the Windows 7 CD (how can I add a USB drive?) and then I can re-install from scratch.
I was hoping I missed a way to correct this without re-installing, but so far, all I am reading is what I already know.
han810pAuthor Commented:
I can get to the command prompt, and I can see the files are present that I need to copy off. Her backup is a few weeks old and she has done a lot of work since then.
han810pAuthor Commented:
This laptop came with Vista and we upgraded to Windows 7 about a year ago. So install is going to be from scratch, not the Dell CD's - they are all Vista.
If you can tell me how to get a USB HDD connected, I could probably copy off all her files and then wipe/reload. I'm most concerned with saving her files. She is in her senior year of college and needs the files to finish up this year.
Sure, you can save your data to another External disk.  You can boot from a CD and copy the files to an external disk or CD/DVD.  

You can try this method.  Download Ubuntu Linux.  Burn the iso file to CD/DVD and boot off of that.  Then use the following explanation that shows how to get up to the point  to save your data.  Just skip the section named, "Cleansing Windows Files" in the explanation.

Or, you can try this free software from Paragon.  I haven't used it though.  And not sure if the transfer wizard can save data to an external usb or firewire connected hard disk.  But, the transfer wizard can save data by burning your files to CD/DVD.  It also has Boot Corrector that might help your booting issues.  It's called Rescue Kit 10 Free Edition
Boot to the command prompt, with your external USB HDD attached.
figure out which drive letter has been assigned to the usb drive
The following command assumes drive J: had been assigned to the usb drive.
run the following command:
robocopy c:\users j:\backup /zb /e /copyall /r:1 /w:1 /log+:j:\backup\backup-results.txt
this will copy all users data off of the hosed machine to the external drive with all security info on the files. Open the j:\backup\backup-results.txt file to review any skipped files prior to wiping and reinstalling windows on the troubled machine.
create new user on reinstalled machine with same name of profile in the j:\backup\users  folder and copy the data back. You may need to take ownership after the data restore
hope this helps

!!! This also assumes that the user has not been saving data in non-standard locations such as the root of the C: drive Check before wiping!!!!

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han810pAuthor Commented:
Ok - here's what I had to do to save the files:
I built a bootable 250GB USB drive and placed the Windows 7 CD ISO on it
That allowed me to xcopy the files (she's a musician, we are talking 200GB of music)
Of course, the files are scattered everywhere, it would be asking to much for them to be all in one place.
The copy s still underway.
After it completes, I'll wipe and reload.
One more question: I don't have the windows 7 serial number - how do I reach MS to get a new one now that the motherboard is new?
Thanks for all the help!
The dell does not have the install key on a sticker on the bottom of it?
han810pAuthor Commented:
No - I upgraded to Windows 7 from Vista - the key is for Vista.
So install vista and upgrade to 7 the same way you did before
han810pAuthor Commented:
The USB drive is not recognized when you boot from Windows 7 install CD - which is what I stated I was doing. But the rest was spot on.
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