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I was stuck in a rebooting cycle and ended up doing a pc recovery and reinstalling xp. by doing so it restarted by asking me to set up a user name, etc. Now i have lost all of the previous user info, my pics, e mails, vids, etc.
Being I use this computer for work it is necessary for me to recover the docs and settings from the previous user name. I can see my old profile when i pull up the start menu and "explore all users", but it does not allow me to access them stating C:/documents and settings/ steveb is not accessible access is denied. it doesn't even give me an option to put in the password for that profile. any suggestions on how to go about recovering this data and getting back into my old profile??

any help would be tremendoulsy appreciated!! Thank you, Steve

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marked as duplicate by Karan, Renan, oKtosiTe, Hennes, 8088 Mar 21 '13 at 23:09

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

no, it's a new question.. – steve Mar 21 '13 at 21:41

How to recover your files:

Download puppy linux iso and then burn it to a cd. Boot the problematic pc from the previously created cd, explore any folder you like and copy the needed files to an external storage (usb hdd, flash memory, etc). That's it!

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Do I boot my pc with the puppy linux iso disc installed? – steve Mar 21 '13 at 21:42
Do not install Puppy linux to your hard disk. Use imgburn to write the iso to a normal cd. Then boot the pc from that cd. – Don Juan dePython Mar 22 '13 at 5:49

Your problem is that the username might be the same, but according to XP it is a different user.

When the PC first got installed the XP generated an unique ID for you. It also added a nice short name for that ID to make it easier for us humans, since we tend to have problems remembering 15 digit numbers.

When you reinstalled XP a new, different ID got generated.

You asked windows to give that new ID the same easy label 'steveb', but the actual value is different. The old files are still using the old ID, and the 'new steveb' value has no rights on those files.

To solve that, either:

  1. Run an OS which completely ignored access rights on NTFS. Don Juan dePython answers uses that way.
  2. Or log in as an administrator and takes ownership of those files. (changing their IDs).

Option 2 uses precisely the same techniques as described in the answer marked as possible duplicate.

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