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Locked out of Doc & Settings folder of deleted admin account

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by M S Smith, Oct 28, 2004.

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  1. M S Smith

    M S Smith Thread Starter

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    Alright, maybe someone can help me. My computer crashed (during a Windows Update installation btw) while on my main administrative account. I have two other accounts on the computer, one for my wife and one for my son.

    When I was forced to re-install windows and start a new administrative account (and lossing all the other accounts), the files and documents (which are within "My Documents") of my wife and son where saved in their "Documents and Settings" folders. I can access these non-administrative accounts folders easily, and everything there before the crash is still there.

    Unfortunatly I can not access the folder which was mine. When I click on the folder (containing a ton of pictures and writings - some, but not all of which is backed up) this message comes up:

    "C:\Documents and Settings\Michael is not accessable. Access is denied."

    I apparently deleted this account in the re-instalation and because it was the administrative account, and/or open at the time of the crash, it is either locked up or deleted.

    When I right click on the folder to see Properties it tells me there are "0 size, 0 bytes, 0 files, 0 folders." But I am not sure that is truly the case due to the amount of space still being used on the hard drive [C:]. I think it is not telling me anything because it is (was) a "private" administrative account. I had no password on this account.

    I don't think all the documents are deleted as when I look at the amount of space on the hard drive it is obvious that there is still a ton of information on it, most of which was in my own "My Documents" folder and subfolders.

    So how can I get around being locked out of this folder?

    The revisions to my book, as well as an article I have been working on are in this unaccessable folder and aren't backed up. As well as all the photos I had taken since November of last year, which is quite a few.

    Help me here, in PM, or through [email protected]. If we need to talk by phone to walk me through it we'll work that out as well. If I get back into these folder I will be so incredibly greatful. Thanks.

    ~Michael~
     
  2. M S Smith

    M S Smith Thread Starter

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    Here's some more comments I made in responce to some questions presented by others trying to help me out in another forum:

    The old user account is only represented in C:\Documents and Settings as the folder which when I try to access tells me I am denied (this even though being able to access the others users' folders and files that existed before I reloaded XP). The old administrative account which this folder represents, and to which all my documents were saved, is no longer at the sign in screen. I am thinking still that I am locked out of this Documents and Settings folder because it was part of the now deleted admin account.

    When I look at the properties of my C drive I am using 9.92 GB of a total of capacity of 37.2 GB. This is one of the things that makes me think all my files are still there as I have a system that is not particularly full of extraneous hardware, software, or accessable documents, photos, etc.

    The thing is it seems the prior administrative account is gone altogether, but that all the information that was saved in the "My documents" folder of this prior account are still there, just not accessable because I no longer have this admin account on the computer.

    When I right click onto the Documents and Settings folder containing my documents, but now which is preventing my abilty to access, and right click for properties only a "General," "Sharing" and a "customize" appear, none of which have a "security" sub-setting.

    The sharing option says that I can drag the folder I want to share (my old locked up administrative Documents and Settings "My Documents" folder) I only need to drag it to the "Shared Documents" folder. But when I do so I get the following message:

    "Error copying file or folder
    Cannot create or replace Michael: Access denied.
    Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not currently in use."

    Any help is appreciated.

    ~Michael~
     
  3. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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  4. M S Smith

    M S Smith Thread Starter

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    The following describes how to take ownership, but when I right click on the folder and then go to properties there is no "security" option listed anywhere, not even in the "general\advanced" sections. I tried to find security even on other folders that aren't in the Documents and Setting folders and they also lack a "security" option.

    ~Michael~


    To take ownership of a folder, follow these steps: 1. Right-click the folder that you want to take ownership of, and then click Properties.
    2. Click the Security tab, and then click OK on the Security message (if one appears).
    3. Click Advanced, and then click the Owner tab.
    4. 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 subcontainers and objects check box.
    5. Click OK, and 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.
    Note folder name is the name of the folder that you want to take ownership of.
    6. Click OK, and then reapply the permissions and security settings that you want for the folder and its contents.
     
  5. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Home or Pro? If Home, you will need to do this in Safe Mode. Then, go to Folder Options in the Control Panel and uncheck "Use Simple File Sharing (Recommended)" under the View tab. Apply. That should make your Security tab appear.

    From the first paragraph of the article:
    "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.

    If you are using Windows XP Professional, you must disable Simple File Sharing."


    This same setting will need to be changed in Folder Options in Pro, but Safe Mode is unnecessary.

    In either case, you will need to be logged in under administrative credentials.
     
  6. M S Smith

    M S Smith Thread Starter

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    Believe it or not my computer is not showing a "Use Simple File Sharing (Recommended)" checkbox. I have someone working on it, but of course any other help would be appreciated in how to make one appear. Weird. The no "security" option in the directories properties seems to stem from this.

    ~Michael~
     
  7. M S Smith

    M S Smith Thread Starter

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    Also, I tried to get into "safe mode" according to the dircetion from microsoft and no "please select the operating system to start" appears after restarting as the directions indicate it should. When that comes up I am supposted to hit F8, but the only option I have is to start one of the two new accounts on the computer.

    Obviously I need more help.

    ~Michael~
     
  8. M S Smith

    M S Smith Thread Starter

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    Well problem solved, thanks to a fellow called "me!" I thought this might be helpful to some of you so here's how he did it.

    Thanks Elvandil for your efforts!

    ~Michael~

    me! fixed Michael's computer!

    In case anyone else ever runs into this, here's the deal...

    He is running XP Home edition. Home Edition does not give one access to file permissions unless you boot into Safe Mode with Networking and log on as an administrator. I did not know this previous to today.

    XP Home hides the Security settings windows from all users except Administrator --- it even hides from members of the Admin Group. Only "Administrator" can access these settings! Furthermore, it disallows turning off Simple File Sharing... it also will not allow one to log on as Administrator unless in Safe Mode.

    Once you log on in Safe Mode as Administrator, the procedure I outlined above (taking ownership) fixes the problem, same as on XP Pro...

    me! loves a challenge with computers and this one really made me think!

    (it is simple... I've seen the same problem numerous times under XP Pro, but never have used or even seen Home Edition (except in the box in stores!), so it completely threw me when he had no ability to change ownership...)
     
  9. Jack Horner

    Jack Horner

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    The permissions tab be added to XP home using the following instructionsLink
     
  10. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Nice find, I'm going to put it on my laptop! (y)
     
  11. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Thank you for the followup. Those were the exact directions given in the Microsoft article.
     
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