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Windows 8.1 install, xp drive unable to access documents & settings folder

frdbadf asked
Last Modified: 2014-12-16
I installed Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 8 upgraded to WIndows 8.1 Pro on a Workstation with Windows XP installed.  I performed a Custom/Advanced not an upgrade.  What happened is it has created kind of a dual boot, Windows 8.1 and Previous version of Windows.  It did not create a Windows.old or migrate the user in documents and settings to the Users folders.  I cannot see Documents and Settings but I know it is there but I receive Access Denied. If I boot to the Previous version of Windows I receive a Console Recovery Window, I log in a Administrator but when I access Documents and Settings I receive Access Denied again.

I have tried to change attributes with the Attrib command, access denied.

Anyone had this issue before and know a solution?

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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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I installed Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 8 upgraded to Windows 8.1 Pro on a Workstation ....I performed a Custom/Advanced not an upgrade

Do you have two installations of Windows 8 (8.1)?  It looks like that. Are they different licenses?  It could cause issues like you have if the same license.


There is only 1 Windows 8.1 installation.  The Windows 8.1 did not create the Windows.old or migrate anything to the Users folder.  Are you saying that the Documents and Settings is an empty pointer?

I never had it to create the previous version of Windows as if a dual boot before.

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Correct, the documents and settings isn't an actual directory, it is just a junction.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

I do not understand what you are saying.

Windows 8.1 is a DIFFERENT operating system from Windows 8. If you installed Windows 8.1 natively, it would not create a Windows.old folder.

If you had Windows 8 running, and then did a regular in-place upgrade to Windows 8.1, my recollection is that this also did not create a Windows.old folder. I am not sure why, but I am 95% certain I never had a Windows.old folder to get rid of. It was over a year ago so I cannot go back and look.

The upgrade would maintain all your documents. It did for me. So there was no need for a Windows.old folder.

What are you missing?


John, the installation media is Windows 8.  You get the upgrade through Windows updates/Store for free to Windows 8.1 Pro.  We have a bunch of keys we bought at the Windows 8 launch in January, 2013.

I installed Windows 8 onto a computer that was running Windows XP.  I booted off the Windows 8 CD ROM and did an Advanced/custom install.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

That is a helpful update. I would never ever recommend such an upgrade process. You should at this point be running Windows 8 64-bit and that means a fresh install.

If the custom install ditched your Windows XP data, I am not sure how you can retrieve it except from a backup (which I think is what rindi was suggesting).


It was a clean OS install, never an update intended.  You can't update XP to Windows 8.  It is a 64 bit OS install.  A 64 bit version installed and the old Docs & Settings migrated to the WIndows.old.  I've done it before to some other workstations running XP.  I never had it to create the dual boot before.


be sure to read it all especially the part about XP.

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