My WinXP system recently crashed and will not allow restart. Have talked at length with manufacturer support who are suggesting reinstall as only fix. Problem is there are important files I'd like to recover if possible and would prefer not to risk writing over them. (there was a password sign in for XP). As such I have externalized the hard drive and slaved it off my laptop. Now I can see my folders but cannot open them. Everytime I try to open the folders containing the files in question "access denied" is reply. There is no prompt to enter the password protecting the files. Question is this: Is there a way to get into files/provide password? Returning the HD to its former home doesn't seem like a possible as the system will not restart. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Download a copy of Knoppix or Mepis.
They are both free to try Linux Live CD's that will let you open and copy those files.


I am assuming you have on your laptop a live XP or 2000 environment.

Log in as Administrator.

Right-click on the files to edit the security. You might need to "take ownership" of the files before it allows you to change the permissions. Then, the files should be yours.

If you need detailed instructions, google on Windows Take Ownership.


Thanks alot for the quick and correct reply. I really appreciate it. You were able to help me fix something in a few minutes that at least two phone support people were unable to help with over several hours.

Thanks again

I also got a new thing learnt :D ... marking this thread as solved.

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