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Can't access files after installing old disk drive on a new PC

My computer died after only one year. I bought a new one and installed the old disk drive as a slave. Though it sees the drive, it won't give me access to my files. I assume because I had a password for my log on. Is there a way to get to the files? Can I just make the old drive the master or will it do something bad to the new computer? Both are XP home.

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I spoke to the reader directly and found that he had solved the problem for himself in this fashion:
  1. 1. Install the old drive and boot with it.
  2. At the login screen, use the Administrator account to log in.
  3. Open Windows Explorer.
  4. Click on "My Computer."
  5. Right click on "John's Documents" (that is, documents for the administrator's account, which was under his name.)
  6. Click on "Sharing and Security."
  7. Click on the "Sharing" tab.
  8. Uncheck the box "Make this folder private."
  9. Shut the machine down and boot with the new hard drive.
  10. The "Make this folder private" box has the effect of flagging all files in that folder in such a way that they cannot be read by other users, not even from another installation of Windows. Be mindful of this if you use it.

This was first published in July 2005

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