Windows Legacy OS forum


Accessing password protected user docs from old hard drive

by takenbi / February 18, 2013 6:08 AM PST

My old desktop "died" (don't ask me what happened specifically - it just wouldn't boot), so I bought a new PC. Old one had Windows XP Media Center, new one has Windows 8 but I have an office computer with Windows XP pro.

I had pictures and documents in the in the "documents" folders for 3 users on the old hard drive. I successfully removed the old hard drive and now have it in a hard drive enclosures. I can access the files for the 2 users which did not require a password when using them on the old computer before it crashed. But I cannot access the document for the 3rd user, the only one which required a password when signing into windows on the old machine. I can see that user's folders, and can see that there are "picutres" "music" and "video" folders, but I cannot open them. I get an "access denied" message of some sort.

I've researched and it appears that I may have to "take ownership" of the old hard drive folder for the user name which had the password, but I'm not sure and when I tried using the instructions I found on the web, they don't match up with the screen/options and/or are not detailed enough to walk me through the process.

This has to be a common problem but I cannot find the right help.


Answer This Ask For Clarification
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Accessing password protected user docs from old hard drive
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Accessing password protected user docs from old hard drive
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

All Answers

Collapse -
Tell more such as is this EFS?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 18, 2013 6:23 AM PST
Collapse -
Not encrypted - just windows xp user login password
by takenbi / February 20, 2013 2:14 AM PST

Sorry, I think I omitted that detail. No, I didn't do any encrypting. At least I don't think that's what it is. The barrier is that the Windows user profile with the data had a password to log in when using the computer. I had 3 or 4 "users" (1) "Administrator", (2) "Joe" (my name), (3) "Patty" (wife's name) and (4) "Guest."

The files are in the documents for "Joe" as user. When the computer worked, I would turn it on, select "Joe" as the user, and then had to type in my password to continue with the log in as Joe. I know the password, so it isn't a lost password issue. The former internal desktop pc hard drive is now in an enclosure and ready to be used as an external hard drive. My plan is to just get the data off the "Joe" user and then destroy the hard drive. I can access the data under "Patty" and "shared" file folders, just not those under "Joe." I get "Access Denie" message when I click on the "Joe" folder.

Collapse -
Sounds like the old user/ownership issue then.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 20, 2013 3:39 AM PST

Read the supplied link about that.

Popular Forums
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
Laptops 19,436 discussions
Security 30,426 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
Windows 10 360 discussions
Phones 15,802 discussions
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions

Smart Home Help

Light bulbs you shouldn't buy

There are plenty of dimmable LED light bulbs, but make sure you don't buy the ones that flicker when you dial them down.