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OS re-installation problem

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Just recently re-installed XP cos of an annoying BSOD I couldn't fix because it flashed too quick for me to get the error message. I didn't format the HD but I don't see any of my programs or files;music etc. The same amount of space is being used up in windows so I know the files are still on the HD but I don't know how to locate them and put them back in place. I see the folder in my DocumentSetting in MyComputer of my old user account but I get access denied when I try to open it to view the files. I never re-installed windows before without formatting so I'm a bit lost.... any suggestions? Thanks.

EDIT: Apparently my hard disk has changed from drive letter J to C so I'm guessing that my be the reason for this... hope this helps.

Edited by Donarudo, 15 December 2006 - 06:01 PM.

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How to take ownership of a file or folder in Windows XP?

When you access a file or a folder in your system, you may receive an error "Access Denied", which indicates that you don't have permissions to access that folder or the file. The error is seen is after you reinstall Windows XP and try to access your old profile. If you are an Administrator (or Administrator-level User account) and want to access the contents of the folder, you can take ownership of the folder or file.

You must be logged on to the computer with an account which has administrative privileges.

If you use XP Home Edition, start the computer in safe mode and log on with an account that has Administrative rights to have access to the Security tab.

For XP Professional, you need to disable Simple File Sharing in order to see the Security tab.

To disable simple file sharing:

Click Start, click My Computer.

On the Tools menu, click Folder Options, click the View tab.

In the Advanced Settings section, clear the Use simple file sharing (Recommended) check box. Click OK.

To take ownership of a folder:

Right click the folder you want to take ownership of, then click properties.

Click the Security tab and click OK on the security message, (if one appears).

Click Advanced, click the Owner tab.

In the Name list, click your user name, or click Administrator if you are logged in as Administrator, or click the Administrators group.

If you want to take ownership of the contents of that folder, select the Replace owner on sub containers and objects check box.

Click OK, then click Yes when you receive the following message:

You do not have permission to read the contents of directory folder name. Do you want to replace the directory permissions with permissions granting you Full Control?

All permissions will be replaced if you press Yes.

where folder name is the name of the folder that you want to take ownership of.

Click OK then reapply the permissions and security settings that you want for the folder and its contents.

To take ownership of a file:

Right click the file you want to take ownership of, then click Properties.

Click the Security tab, click OK on the Security message (if one appears).

Click Advanced, click the Owner tab.

In the Name list, click Administrator, or click the Administrators group, click OK.

The administrator or the Administrators group now owns the file.
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Next time you need or decide to re-install Windows, Donarudo, back up all your documents, pictures, music files etc. to a another drive or burn them to a disc. Then you can wipe/format the system drive and re-install Windows safe in the knowledge that you'll have easy access to your files without any 'access denied' nonsense or having to mess about with folder ownership. Making backups of your files is not only easier and simpler than trying to regain access to them after you've re-installed Windows, it's also a good habit to get into.
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