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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    I have a Toshiba laptop which was running Windows XP and which appears to have died in that it boots up OK, runs for a couple of minutes and then freezes. Nothing (short of powering down) will then get any response out of it. I have taken the 2.5" IDE drive out of it in order to get all the user files off it (yes I know I shold have done regular a backup) but my twelve year old daughter's user info seems to be hidden (does setting user account to Private do that?) and so I cannot retrieve her data files. By the way I am using an IDE to USB adaptor to access the drive.

    Any suggestoins as to what I can do to get her files back for her?

    many thanks in advance
    Norman

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Can you get into user accounts for long enought to change your daughter's setting to allow them to be public without a password. (I do not remember how to do this in XP). And since I only have one user account on my PC, I'm not sure about this.

    How are you trying to get access to her account. Have you installed the HD into another PC or a desktop? Installing it in a desktop might work if it's set as a slave. (Putting this in as the only HD may not work because of the diffferences in hardware.) You may have to use a HD enclosure to accomplish this. If you can see the HD perhaps you can open it in this manner. You may have to use a program such as EasyBCD to set up the MBR to allow this HD to be seen.

    I hope this might work for you.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
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    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  3. #3
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    If you can attach the HD to another PC you should be able to take ownership of the whole drive and see anything you need. See How to take ownership of a file or a folder in Windows XP for details.

    Joe
    Joe

  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    I am trying to access the HD via a IDE to USB adaptor which makes the drive appear as an additional drive (e.g. F: ) . The last time that I was able to use the HD in the actual laptop, I could see my daughter's user name but now when I view the HD file structure from my PC (having connected it with the USB adaptor) there is no directory under "Documents and Settings" with that username. I am at work at the moment, but when I get home I am going to see if I can get the laptop running for long enough to change the settings on her user account in the hope that that might let me get at the files.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    You need to unhide hidden folders and protected operating system files. Go to Control Panel/Folder options/ View tab. Scroll down and check the Show hidden files and folders radio button and uncheck Hide Protected operating system files. Change these settings back when you are done unless you reall know what you are doing.

    Jerry

  6. #6
    New Lounger
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    I always set my system to view hidden files and not hide extensions for known file types.

    The problem is, in some ways, more fundamental than that. During the brief time before system freeze (that is before the problem with the laptop manifests itself and the display freezes) I usually get to see all the user names and can log on as my daughter. Unfortunately I can never get further than that before it freezes.

    The problem i have though is if I take that hard drive out an attach it to another system I can see the file structure OK - but the "Documents and Settings" folder does not contain a directory with my daughter’s user name as the folder name. All the other users are there (bar one, but I suspect that that one has never logged on and so the folder has not been created) but not my daughter. Since i cannot see her folder, I cannot retrieve her files. I know they are there because 1) I saw them one time when the system didn't freeze up until after I had opened an explorer window and viewed her files and 2) I have used a program call Disk Digger which ignores the file structure (i.e. NTFS or FAT32) and just explores the actual contents and found a load of files which I couldn't see when viewing the hard drive.

    so to put it more succinctly (or trying to)

    a) When in the laptop, the hard drive has, amongst the users' directories, a directory belonging to my daughter but the laptop always freezes before I can do anything with the files
    b) connecting the hard drive to another PC allows me to view the file structure but there is no directory for my daughter
    c) exploring the hard drive with a program that crawls sector by sector through its contents reveals the files but doesn't reveal the file name as it bypasses the file structure.

    Thanks for your help to date
    regards
    Norman

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