Access files on USB hard drive

July 7, 2010 at 16:43:28
Specs: Windows 7 - XP, P4 / 2GB Ram

Recently a friend of mine accidentally dropped his Dell laptop, and broke the monitor and case. The machine no longer boots up, and is completely dead and does not go to post.

I took the hard drive out of the machine, and installed into a USB case. I then plugged the hard drive in the case into my own desktop machine running Windows XP pro with Service Pack 3, and all updates installed. My goal is to retrieve document files from “X:\Documents and Settings” within the hard drive installed in USB case.

I can see the Documents and Settings folder when the drive is plugged into my machine, but I cannot access the contents of the folder, when I click on this folder. Also, when I right click on this folder, it says there are zero files and folders within the directory. However, I know that there are at least 1.5 GB worth of documents from two users in this folder.

Do I need a special utility or program to access this folder? The owner of the broken laptop says the Admin on this account does not even have a password, so I don’t know why I’m having this problem? Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

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July 7, 2010 at 16:46:41
If the drive was from a Vista or Win7 box, you'll look under Users, not Documents and Settings.

Otherwise, the file structure is hosed. CHKDSK might fix it; it might not.

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July 8, 2010 at 02:10:43
users/user name/ it maybe that its a locked folder too.
however the hard drive seems to be working so chances are good that all files are still there and can be saved,
you can also do a search of the drive, he made have set files to be stored in different places like his desktop.
you may use the files and setting transfer wizard and collect all files and settings from the old computer/drive and save them on your computer or a dvd..but you would need win 7 or a win 7 dvd to do that i think..

i hate computers!
but cant help myself....

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July 10, 2010 at 16:54:46
Thanks for the advice everyone.

I have found the below article on which appears to address my issue, but I have not yet had a chance to try it. Will do tomorrow, and will post the result then.

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