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Cannot log in to XP from one user account

by causewayer / November 26, 2014 6:51 PM PST

I cannot log in to XP Home Edition SP3 on my main user account, which has Administrator access. It hangs on 'Loading Personal Settings'. There seems to a lot of processing activity as the fan speed increases. Other accounts open OK.

I set up a new Admin level user account and I expected to be able to copy my files over to it after logging in as Admin using Safe Mode, but although I can see the 'problem user' directory, I get the message that the directory 'Is not accessible. Access is denied'. I don't have the 'turn off Simple File Sharing' option as it's not XP Pro, and I cannot change the sharing permissions of the directory.

I have also tried starting in Diagnostic Mode, even though I didn't expect that would help as other Windows accounts are OK. There are no previous restore points.

So, although I can access the PC, I can't get to my files.

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All Answers

Best Answer chosen by causewayer

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Re: corrupted account
by Kees_B Forum moderator / November 26, 2014 7:24 PM PST

Google the following: XP TAKE OWNERSHIP

It will tell you what you have to do to take ownership of the folders/files you want to copy. An even easier solution would be to copy them from your backup. Don't you have a backup?


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by causewayer / November 28, 2014 7:29 PM PST
In reply to: Re: corrupted account

Thanks, Kees. Taking ownership worked and I was able to copy my files to the new user. BTW, I do have a backup but it is a week or so old so I would have lost a little data.

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Just a tip
by Steven Haninger / November 26, 2014 7:00 PM PST

As I recall, "the" administrator account in XP Home is only accessible through safe mode. If you've never created a password for the account, it is blank. A lot can be done with that account that can't be done with other admin accounts in normal operating mode. I can't give you specific information on how to solve your problem as sometimes it becomes a matter of saving account files, deleting the account, creating a new one and restoring the old account files to the new one.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 26, 2014 11:22 PM PST

Read Kees' reply but this is all about learning about backup, ownership, the old XP CORRUPT PROFILE issue (which I think was never resolved in 14+ years.)

But the good news is that usually the take ownership or booting another CD usually gets you access.

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file systems
by James Denison / November 26, 2014 11:47 PM PST

First, you can access the files if you boot to a LIVE DVD type Linux distro like Mint, Kubuntu, Zorin, Ubuntu, Lubuntu and move the files under the new account.

Second, the reason this happens is because NTFS file system allows file permissions to be set, which is often NOT the best system for home users. Great for business with IT departments, not for average user.

Third, the alternate file system to use is FAT32. It not only doesn't have file permissions, any files with permissions set will have those stripped off when copied to the FAT32 partition. So, if you ever want to save files that everyone can have access to, such as flashdrive or external harddrive, that's the best file system to use up to 2TB in size. Unfortunately, Windows won't allow you to create a FAT32 partition larger than about 30GB. Oddly enough though, windows will install to and read from FAT32 partitions up to 2TB in size. Some people use a different system to create the large FAT32 formatted partitions on hard drives and then install windows to that. However that's only up to XP, because starting with Vista, you can't even install windows to a FAT32 partition anymore, but can still read and write to one.

So, what about those who want files to NOT have permissions set for them? Here we install windows to one partition, then swap the My Documents folder to a second partition that is a large FAT32 partition. That way, no matter if the system fails, or windows has to be reloaded, the files are still there without permission problems to access.

There are other more complicated ways involving changing the file permissions, but each has their preference.

I use Linux, it doesn't care about windows file permissions, so anytime you have files lost to windows permissions, you can access them from a Linux LIVE DVD. You create one by downloading the ISO file and "burning the image" to a DVD, or CD if smaller distro. I could go into excruciating details if wanted, but this is a brief version.

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