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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently copied the contents of my hard drive (running Windows XP Pro) to an external hard drive. I was able to access all the files on the external hard drive without any problems until I re-formatted my computer's hard drive and reloaded Windows XP Pro. Now I can no longer open files on the external hard drive located under the Documents and Settings\'username' folders.

Although I can view all the files on the external hard drive and I can view the property information of all those files--I can no longer open any of the files located under the Documents and Settings\'username' folders.

When attempting to open a Word document, I receive
"Word cannot open the document: user does not have access priviledges" error message.

When attempting to open a PowerPoint presentation, I receive "PowerPoint was unable to open or save this document. Please ensure that you have access privileges to read or write the document and that it is not encrypted."

When attempting to open many other file types or to copy files located under the Documents and Settings\'username' folders, I receive "access is denied" error message.

Any suggestions on how to open and/or copy these files on the external hard drive?
 

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Try right clicking the files and clicking Properties

You may see 3 Attributes: Read-only, Hidden & Archived, uncheck any and all of them
 

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Right click on external drive, properties-->security-->advanced-->owner. Check the box and highlight your name in the box labelled change owner to. Click okay.

When you formatted the drive, you destroyed the NT security associations.

good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for all the great suggestions, but...


Trying to change attributes does not work--I don't have permissions to do that, receive "Access is denied" error.
Read-only and Hidden are not checked--but 'Flie is ready for archiving' is.

I could not locate a Security Tab under Properties using Windows XP.

I used Western Digital's Data Lifeguard Tools to copy the contents of the hard drive to the external hard drive.


I am logging on using a Computer Administrator ID.
 

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If you used WD's Lifeguard Tools to copy the files, did you use it to try to copy them back? Isn't the WD tool an image utility? How did you expect to copy the stuff back if you made a composite image of the data?

Perhaps you could be more specific as to exactly the process you used to copy the files to the external disk...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I used the 'drive to drive copy' feature in WD's Lifeguard Tools to copy the files from my hard drive to the external hard drive. I was able to access all the files on the external hard drive without any problems until I re-formatted my computer's hard drive and reloaded Windows XP Pro. Now I can no longer open files on the external hard drive located under the Documents and Settings\'username' folders. (I am still able to open files located in every other folder on the external drive other than the Documents and Settings\'username' folders.)


I'm not trying to copy the entire contents back to my hard drive--I'm just trying to open the files (or copy individual files) that are now on the external drive in the Documents and Settings\'username' folders.
 

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Now it makes sense, did you perhaps have file security or encryption on that folder? If you reformatted without saving the encryption key, you have lost the contents of any folders that are encrypted.

Since you have an image of the system before the reformat, my advice would be to restore the image to the disk and recover the files that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I did not set any file security or encryption on that folder (unless that is the default).

I can still view all the files on the external hard drive and I can view the property information of all those files.
 

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It sounds like to me that the external hard drive is using NTFS and Windows security is preventing you from accessing the files. Even if you use the same ID and password you will not be able to access them became Microsoft's NTFS uses a unique SID, which cannot be recreated. The SID was lost when you reformatted your hard drive. You should have unprotected the files first or used FAT32. There are utilities you can use to access them, but I am not going discuss them because it is concerned hacking, which we don't allow on this forum. Plus we have no way of knowing you are the true owner of the disk and files.
 
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