I've experienced some error with my windows vista installation for reasons unknown (just a DELL from late 2008).

Whenever I try to start up, the computer immediately reboots without letting me in.

I got a new hard drive on which I installed Windows 7 (works ok). I can see my old HD, but I cannot access the user documents files to copy over. It says something about not enough permissions / security.

There's also a recovery partition on the old HD, I can see it and open the folder but don't know how to make it actually recover anything. That's actually not that important, it's just a FYI but since I have Windows 7 I don't have great desire to use the recovery option anyway.

But I definitely need to access my documents.

What can I do? Thx

2 Answers 2


You need to take ownership of the Folders. This article explains it very well: http://www.blogsdna.com/2159/how-to-take-ownership-grant-permissions-to-access-files-folder-in-windows-7.htm

How to Take Ownership in Windows 7

  1. Locate the file or folder on which you want to take ownership in windows explorer
  2. Right click on file or folder and select “Properties” from Context Menu
  3. Click on Security tab
  4. Click on “Advance”
  5. Now click on Owner tab in Advance Security Settings for User windows
  6. Click on Edit Button and select user from given Change Owner to list if user or group is not in given list then click on other users or groups. Enter name of user/group and click ok.
  7. Now select User/group and click apply and ok. (Check “Replace owner on subcontainers and objects” if you have files and folder within selected folder)
  8. Click ok when Windows Security Prompt is displayed
  9. Now Owner name must have changed.
  10. Now click Ok to exist from Properties windows

Once you have taken the ownership of file or folder next part comes is Granting Permissions to that file/folder or object.

How to Grant Permissions in Windows 7

  1. Locate the file or folder on which you want to take ownership in windows explorer

  2. Right click on file or folder and select “Properties” from Context Menu

  3. Click on Edit button in Properties windows Click ok to confirm UAC elevation request.

  4. Select user/group from permission windows or click add to add other user or group.

  5. Now under Permission section check the rights which you want to grant i.e check “Full Control” under the “Allow” column to assign full access rights control permissions to Administrators group.

  6. Click Ok for changes to take effect and click ok final ok to exit from Properties window

The Recovery partition enables you to restore your original machine back to its original configuration, including wiping all the files. i.e As it was when you bought it.


If people still have issues with this here is the solution: If you wanna get rid off the permission in a disk, before changing the OS.(usually when you wanna migrate to a new windows install on an ssd)

-> F: (for example)

-> click right

-> Choose Properties

-> Go to Security tab

-> click on Advanced

-> Click on Change

-> Type in "SYSTEM"

-> Click Ok

You can access this files from other systems now.

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  • What version of Windows are these instructions for?  (They don’t work for Windows 7; the dialog layouts and button names are different.)  Can you explain what these instructions are meant to accomplish? Please do not respond in comments; edit your answer to make it clearer and more complete. Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 0:37

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