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Take Ownership?



I've got a couple folders on my hdd that are locked. I set them to be locked previously but then due to a crash I had to re-install XP, but when I did I left the file system intact so that I could keep all of my files. The tricky part is that now they're locked and the name doesn't show up on the login screen so that I can login an unlock them. In c:\documents and settings\ i have \username\ (the only current user for the computer) and \username.computername\ (the previously created user and folder that is locked). Username is the same in both instances and my hope was that if I changed the computername to match what it used to be it would give me access seeing as how the username and password are the same for the old account and the new one. I've been reading on the forums about taking ownership of a folder and was wondering if this would solve my problem seeing as how I'm an admin on the new username (as was I on the old one) or if there is any other way to unlock these directories so that I can retrieve my files. I've tred accessing them via command prompt with no luck. Any suggestions or solutions would be greatly appreciated.


OSNN Addict
Are you sure the \username.computername\ is from the previously created user?

I'm asking you this because normally xp (and w2k) will first create a <username> profile (first logon) and if you change domain or computername or reinstall it will create something like username.computername (since the username directory already exists)

If this is the case this would also explain why you can't delete the username.computername directory: It's being used be yourself...

username.computer would be the newest username that you created...now when you say you "locked" the file do you mean that you encrypted it...because if you encrypted it you most likely won't be able to take ownership after the re-install...if they are encrypted and can't take ownership you would need to have a recovery certificate from before the OS was re-installed...because there is a good possibility that even though you preserved the filesystem when you re-installed..it still destroyed the SID for that user from the re-install (SID is the identifier that is locked to specific users..SID's are never re-used and can't be duplicated)

If you find out that this is the case you can IM me on AIM under the name Lupine82 and I can try walking you through creating a new recovery certificat and seeing if that works...if it doesn't...your probably outta luck :(


I had a similar prob but there is a way i found around it(XP pro only i believe tho)
Right click your HD in My computer
CLick tools
then backup
then click Backup files and settings
then chose (let me chose what to backup)
Select the Dir thats locked and tell it to save a backup to your HD somewhere
then Create a folder named whatever you like

where you saved the backup
it will take you into the backup prog and you tell it restore settings from backup file
Find the Backup.bku(some filename like that forget the ext,it should know anyway already)
then tell it on next screen Do not keep protections and such and tell it to restore to the new directory you created
Hope this helps....


I'm positive \username.computername\ is from the old user because I can't access it and it created the new dir \username\ which wasn't there before. When I say locked out, I mean that in Start > Control Panel > Users I set the option that lets you lock out folders for other users. When I try to access that folder and a few others I get Access Denied. The computer was formerly named computername1 and XP wouldn't let me change the name of the computer to computername1 under the new install because it would give me access to those folders, or so i thought. It kept greying out the 'OK' box when I entered computername1 but anything else worked fine, so finally I applied it as computername2 then it told me to reboot and before I did i changed to computername1 and it worked but I still couldn't access them. I'm trying the backup idea right now, hopefully that'll work. Thanks for the suggestions.


Well, the backup idea worked fine to get the files back, the only problem is that I need to remove the two dirs from my c drive but access is still denied so I can't write over them or remove them, any suggestions?


Well when i had that prob( the other day actually lol)
I just got my files back burned em on cd along with anything else i may need and just did a reformat lol ofcourse i had almost a gig in the files i was tryin to recover lol so i wanted to reclaim my space
but if it aint that much id leave it be unless you wanna do somethin that drastic
Glad that helped you lol and wish i didnt have to spend 2 hours finding that way on my own lol Good luck

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