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My son's laptop (running Win XP) died. He took the HD out and put it into an external HD enclosure. It is connected to another computer running Win XP. However, when he tries to get his files from Documents and Settings on the external HD, he gets a 'Folder not accessible' message. I presume this is a permissions issue. Is there any way to get at these files?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Microsoft's Knowledge Base (MSKB) has the answer:

How to take ownership of a file or a folder in Windows XP

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Thanks, Molly - that did the trick. – dsteele Dec 6 '09 at 3:51

You can change the ACL for the files and folders recursively from the command line:

cacls d:\ /E /T /C /G "Administrator":F

Where D:\ represents the drive with the permission problems, and "Administrator" is the user you want to grant permissions to.

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Thanks, John - my son used the MS article suggested by Molly, so he didn't get a chance to try your solution. – dsteele Dec 6 '09 at 3:50
not to worry, that works too. i have been using cacls occasionally in BartPE. until i stumbled across another interesting 'phenomenon' with BartPE, while Total Commander 'respects' the original user permissions, the originally integrated file manager A43 does not, will have to test that in a 'hot' OS environment. – Molly7244 Dec 6 '09 at 4:00

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