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I have an old hard disk enclosed in a USB HDD caddy. I want to access G:\Documents and Settings(username).

It gives me the error Access is Denied.

The username is the same as my current windows username, and so is the password.

What do I need to do to access it?

Thanks, Steve

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The username and password don't matter. What matters is the user's unique ID. – grawity Jun 13 '10 at 16:26
Correct. (15 chars) – Hello71 Jun 13 '10 at 20:14
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I think if you go to the folder properties, security, and add an object 'Everyone' with full permissions, that should do it.

Another way would be to boot into a live-cd of Ubuntu or other linux distribution, if you have one lying around.

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Windows permissions are not based on usernames, they are based on SIDs. This is why you can rename an account in Windows without having to change every permission associated with it. (Google it for more information, since that's not the main question) Now, the steps to gain access:

  1. Open the folder containing the inaccessible folder.

  2. Right-click the folder, and click Properties.

  3. Flip to the Security tab, then click Advanced at the bottom.

  4. Flip to the Owner tab.

  5. If you are running Windows Vista or Windows 7, you may have to click Edit at the bottom, then click "Yes" or enter an administrator password.

  6. Change the owner to your username, or the Administrators group. Either will do.

  7. Check "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects".

  8. Click OK.

  9. A dialog will likely pop up saying that you do not have permission to access this folder, etc etc etc, would you like to replace with "Full Control". Click Yes. If the dialog appears, then you are now done.

  10. If the dialog did not pop up, click OK back to the folder Properties window, then click Add, type in your username, then click OK.

  11. Check the box saying "Allow Full Control", then click OK.

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agree with this solution +1 – Anotomix Jun 13 '10 at 20:11

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