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Folder ACCESS issues on Laptop HD as an external HD

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Hi all, thank you very much in advance for any help that can be offered. I will try to be as clear and concise as possible.

I have a Sony Vaio laptop running Vista Business that failed to the point I could never complete the boot sequence. I had no problem planning on reformatting after retrieving the important files off the drive, mainly the "My Documents" and "My Music" folder contents.

I took the Harddrive out of the Sony laptop and connected it via a USB enclosure to another laptop running Vista Home Premium (this computer). The hard drive is recognized and says that there is 20 GB of the 120 GB available on the attached hard drive (as there should be)... I can see the folders of the hard drive including "Program Files" and "Windows" etc... The important folder I want to access is in "Users" folder. Under the "Users" folder resides only a subfolder "Public" with documents, videos, etc folders with no contents.

I searched everywhere for solutions in finding and accessing the user folder with the important data and most led to altering permissions and taking ownership of the "Users" folder. I tried to do this without knowing all the ins-and-outs of this process. I gave myself (admin) full control over the "Users" folder (or the "F: Drive" itself for that matter)... and upon hitting "OK", it gives Access Denied pop-up errors for each of the subfolders that won't allow the permission change apparently. Among them include the important folders I want to access, I am just being denied! How can I gain access to these folders where I am currently being denied?
FYI: The external hard drive from the Sony was not password protected upon boot.

Is the difference in OS a problem? Am I not taking ownership correctly? Or of the right 'objects'? Are there alternate solutions?

I hope I am right on the brink of accessing the data and just need to get the right sequence of mouse-clicks for the access to be complete. If anyone has explicit directions and is willing to share them on how to gain access to the important "Users" subfolder, I would be forever grateful. If any more computer details are needed, I will be happy to supply and apologize for their premature omission. Thanks again for any help and time on this problem!

Edited by bsev417, 07 April 2009 - 10:58 PM.

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Hi bsev417 and welcome to Geeks to Go!

It sounds like you added your username to the folder and gave yourself full permissions, correct?

I want you to try taking ownership of the folder and subfolders/files.

(1) Right-click the file that you want to take ownership of, and then click Properties.
(2) Click the Security tab.
(3) Click Advanced, and then click the Owner tab.
(4) In the Name list, click on your current username.
(5) Below the usernames you will see a check box which states "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects". Place a check in that box.
(6) Click the OK button
(7) You will likely see a message which states "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?" Click on Yes.

At this point check to make sure that in the users list your account still has full control over the directory.

Let me know how this works for you. Hopefully taking ownership of the directory will help.

Good luck! :)

Edited by Facedown98, 18 April 2009 - 08:52 PM.

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