I reinstalled Windows and now can't access my old account


A

Andrew

I just reinstalled Windows XP and set up a new Administrator account. The
install went smoothly; all of my old programs and files still seem to be
there on the hard drive. Unfortunately, there was some stuff on the desktop
of my old Admin account that I want to get at, and I can't for some reason.

Under My Computer>C:>Documents and Settings I can see "Andrew Account" (my
old login) but when I click on it it says "Andrew Account is not accessible.
Access denied." I can't see why, if I'm logged in as an administrator, I
should be denied access to anything, frankly. I tried the Recovery Console,
but it won't let me access the files either. And finally, I've tried Control
Panel>User Accounts>Change an Account, but Andrew Account simply won't come
up. Any thoughts?
 
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N

Nepatsfan

Andrew said:
I just reinstalled Windows XP and set up a new Administrator account. The
install went smoothly; all of my old programs and files still seem to be
there on the hard drive. Unfortunately, there was some stuff on the desktop
of my old Admin account that I want to get at, and I can't for some reason.

Under My Computer>C:>Documents and Settings I can see "Andrew Account" (my
old login) but when I click on it it says "Andrew Account is not accessible.
Access denied." I can't see why, if I'm logged in as an administrator, I
should be denied access to anything, frankly. I tried the Recovery Console,
but it won't let me access the files either. And finally, I've tried Control
Panel>User Accounts>Change an Account, but Andrew Account simply won't come
up. Any thoughts?


You need to disable Simple File Sharing and take ownership of the files. Take a
look at these articles for more info:

"Access is Denied" Error Message When You Try to Open a Folder
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/810881

How to take ownership of a file or folder in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;308421

Note: If you are running Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, you
must start the computer in safe mode, and then log on with an
account that has Administrative rights to have access to the
Security tab. To start in Safe Mode, reboot your computer and
start tapping the F8 key as soon as you see anything displayed
on the screen. Keep hitting F8 until the Advanced Startup
Options menu appears. Use the up and down arrow keys on your
keyboard to select Safe Mode. Hit Enter.

Good luck

Nepatsfan
 
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J

Jim

Andrew said:
I just reinstalled Windows XP and set up a new Administrator account. The
install went smoothly; all of my old programs and files still seem to be
there on the hard drive. Unfortunately, there was some stuff on the
desktop
of my old Admin account that I want to get at, and I can't for some
reason.

Under My Computer>C:>Documents and Settings I can see "Andrew Account" (my
old login) but when I click on it it says "Andrew Account is not
accessible.
Access denied." I can't see why, if I'm logged in as an administrator, I
should be denied access to anything, frankly. I tried the Recovery
Console,
but it won't let me access the files either. And finally, I've tried
Control
Panel>User Accounts>Change an Account, but Andrew Account simply won't
come
up. Any thoughts?
The cause of this behavior is that an account name is merely an alias for a
security ID. Windows never reuses security IDs; thus when you reinstalled
Windows, the security ID for the new Andrew account no loner matches that of
the old. Hence, as far as Windows is concerned an new user is trying to
gain access to data which belongs to somebody else.

As an administrator, you can circumvent this situation by taking ownership
of the files and folders in question.

Jim
 

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