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Access Denied WinXP Pro

My computer crashed on me the other day and was giving me the following message "cannot start because the System32\DRIVERS\pci.sys is corrupt "

After trying everything I ended up reinstalling Win XP on another folder in the C Drive

I am trying to copy all my old files to an external hard drive so I can save them but I keeP getting this message telling me that the access to the file is denied or that it is in use.

I am logged in as the administrator (there are no other users in my computer) and still I can not copy them

Any suggestions?
Please help me. all my family pictures and my work files as well as my contacts are there

Thanks in advance

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Take ownership.
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Check the file permissions

Do a right click on one of the files and check security settings. It may be that the system has taken ownership. You will need to reclaim the file and grant full control to yourself, adminstrators, etc. as you see fit.

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