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Hi I am trying to retrieve My Documents and the .pst file from a hard drive out of a computer who's motherboard just died. I have attached the hard drive to another desktop computer using a USB -sata external drive kit. When I search the hard drive I can open and access all the files except those in documents and settings. It says access is denied. I thought I could get around this by doing a backup image and then opening the files from the image. Not so, because the document and settings folder is empty. This is driving me nuts all I really want is my email folder. Can anybody explain this to me and help me please?

thx
pam

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Last Post by pam101
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Instead of plug in as external drive, plug into your computer instead and boot up from that hard disk. See if it can retrieve your files this way. Another way is plug in as a slave drive and back up those files to your main drive. See if it work.

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One of the reasons you can't get to the files is because you are not the owner of the directory see ownership (security) of the directory, you will need to take full ownership of the directory (look at permissions) which should allow you access. Look at the 'Cacls.exe' command or use explorer's options when highlighting the directory 'right click, properties, security, owner' add yourself as the owner, click apply. You need to do this on the drive itself, before you try to copy the information.

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I changed all the security and permissions for that drive and still I can't get into the documents and settings. Then I plugged it into the new motherboard and tried to boot up into it and Windows just says it didn't start normally and try safe mode or repair. I have tried both, it won't repair. Now I am going to try and restore from the backup that doesn't have the personal files because the guy doesn't have a Windows Vista CD. Why don't people backup their computers????

Thanks for your help

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It turns out that after restoring to a new hard drive, the document and settings are all there, even though the folders showed empty when browsing the backup image. After installing and updating drivers for the new motherboard all is well.
thx

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