How to access a drive partition marked inaccessible

Posted on 2011-04-22
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
My son just went through a reinstall of Windows XP. His hard drive has two NTFS partitions, C: and D:. He deleted an unwanted user id, and mistakenly replied "NO" to a question "should that user's files be kept?" or something to that effect. Now the D: partition still exists, but it is "full" and, when he tries to go to it, "inaccessible." Is there a way to make the partition accessible again? He has data there that he does not want to lose.
Question by:Roland_F
    LVL 15

    Expert Comment

    google recovermyfiles
    or use, it has a free trail so you can see the files you will recover.

    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    by:Aaron Tomosky
    LVL 47

    Accepted Solution

    Best to attach this drive either in a USB caddy or as a slave to another computer.

    Run as Administrator on this computer and take ownership of the attached drive.


    If the files concerned are viewable then copy them.

    If they aren't viewable then run data recovery software.  Recuva has been mentioned.  If no joy with Recuva then try GetDataBack  Free to try.  If it sees the missing files you pay for full functionality.

    Author Comment

    Thanks for the responses. We won't know until sometime next week how helpful they are.
    LVL 46

    Expert Comment

    Possibly you need just to take ownership of this drive for this new user. So first try to gain access to it as described here:

    Author Comment

    Sorry for the delay. I'm pretty sure I'll have a response within a few more days.

    Author Comment

    Sorry for the delay, but it's out of my control, and my son is a very busy man. Here is his note of today:
    Well, Dad--
    I thought I had it, and maybe I'm close. The advice of dbrunton worked as promised (after repeated tries--my mouse and keyboard kept quitting on me when I started in Safe Mode). I now have access to the D: partition, but even though the files all have the right names, none of them will open. Jpgs say "no preview available" and when I try to open them in Paint they say thay I do not have permission to access the file. If I have to go into every file in safe mode and change the permissions I will scream.
    I'm going to try to do the same thing to a folder and see if it works, and I'm also going to copy some of these jpgs to a flash drive and see if I can open them on another computer,
    But not tonight. I've been working on this for hours (I tried the advice of noxcho first but without success) and I have to get up at 5.
    Definite progress, though. I'll keep you posted.

    Author Closing Comment

    My son said, "You can give dbrunton a big thumbs up. Thanks!"

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