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Old May 27, 2011, 12:53 PM
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Default Windows XP Repair Install Trouble

Hi everyone!

I had to do a repair install of Windows XP last night, but I am having issues with recovering the data. I had read that if you do a repair install, your data and settings should be preserved, but my data seems to be invisible.

I followed the instructions and when "setting up" windows it had asked me for user accounts. I skipped that step to prevent over-writing my old user account, and it created a new admin account: "Owner". When I got on to Windows as "Owner" (also an admin account), things looked pretty bare - BUT! all my programs were there in Program Files. That's good, but not quite what I was looking for. When I looked at my C: Drive, it had the exact same amount of free-space as before I did the repair install, so my files have to be around somewhere.

After taking a look at Documents and Settings, I can see my old account's folder, but can't access it at all! It also won't let me see the size or contents, but I'm sure my data has to be in there because I scanned the sizes of my Program Files, Windows, etc. folders and they don't add up to the missing space.

What should I do? Is there a way to access my old User Account folder? I know the password and was thinking about creating a new user account with the same name and password, but am afraid it might really over-write the old one. I just want to get my documents and pictures that haven't yet been backed up, and then do a complete reformat. If anyone can help me figure out how to retrieve this invisible data, I would really appreciate it!
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Old May 27, 2011, 01:21 PM
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step 1 - get treesize
step 2 - find out what how much and where :)
step 3 - rejoyce!
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Old May 27, 2011, 02:51 PM
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Will that allow me to access the user account from Documents and Settings? Because when I currently try to open that User account folder from my new admin account, it says "Access Denied". From what I'm reading about Treesize, it will just show me where the extra space is - and I am pretty sure the used up space is coming from the account folder I no longer have access to after the repair install. I need to be able to regain access to the documents, pictures, and desktop of the old user account so I can backup my important files before doing a complete reformat.
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Old May 27, 2011, 03:22 PM
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yeah,you got to take control of it.

but first use treesize to look for the chunks
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Old May 27, 2011, 06:42 PM
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You did not do a repair install. A repair install does not ask you to make new user accounts.

Sounds like you installed another copy of windows beside your old windows dir. I'm guessing you have 2 now that are similarly named?

If you right click on the old user account and go to properties you should have a way of "taking control" of that old user account. I don't have an XP near me right now to verify, however.
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Old May 27, 2011, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perineum View Post
You did not do a repair install. A repair install does not ask you to make new user accounts.

Sounds like you installed another copy of windows beside your old windows dir. I'm guessing you have 2 now that are similarly named?

If you right click on the old user account and go to properties you should have a way of "taking control" of that old user account. I don't have an XP near me right now to verify, however.
Yeah it doesn't sound like a repair install, repairs are only supposed to reinstall vital windows files and not change anything else (ie. registry keys pertaining to application entries etc.) so all your apps should be there under those circumstances...
If you ran a system restore, you could expect some of your registry keys to be reverted and hence the app disappearances, but it still shouldn't have an effect on your ownership permissions, so it is most likely that you reinstalled another copy of windows.

In any event, you can take control of the folders like Perneum said by hitting properties and i think on windows xp modifying the security tab on the root folder and finding the advanced settings. You can then add yourself as a parent to all sub folders.
The way I would do it is by deleting all preexisting permissions and then adding myself as the sole owner, but then its a risky approach if you aren't experienced with permission modification and also tends to backfire alot on Win XP :(
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