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Locked out of Windows XP

I have Windows XP Home installed on a netbook which has a lot of data. Sometime ago the netbook wouldn't boot and kept giving the error "Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: Windows\System32\Config\System".

I performed a recovery through the recovery console from the XP CD and replaced the missing/corrupt files. Microsoft recommended to copy, delete, backup and recopy the following:

c:\windows\system32\config\system
c:\windows\system32\config\software
c:\windows\system32\config\sam
c:\windows\system32\config\security
c:\windows\system32\config\default

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545

I carried out this procedure and the machine booted up but my user account is nowhere to be seen and none of my files are visible.

I need my data back. Can anyone help?
5 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about locked windows
  1. User account or user profile? They're 2 completely different things. The user profile is found in "C:\Documents and Settings\<user name>\". You'll find that user's files there.

    Oh, yeah, where's your backup?
  2. Backup of what?

    Basically, it looks like a fresh install of XP now except that the old programs are all still there. When I log in normally, there is no prompt for a password anymore at the welcome screen like there used to be. Every trace of my user account is gone except for one folder with my name in C:\documents and Settings. When I try to open this folder it says "access is denied". The other folder are 'Guest' and "Owner". I can access these folder.

    I feel like the data is there but I cant access it. The hard drive is pretty full when I checked it in disk management. If all the data was gone it would show as nearly empty. I don't see any reason why my data would be erased because the procedure I carried out to recover only replaces a few system files and shouldn't touch anything else.
  3. Best answer
    Quote:
    Backup of what?

    Your data. Always make backups because things like this will happen again.

    Take ownership of the old user profile folder, backup the data within, wipe the drive, and reinstall everything. You'll spend 3 times longer trying to straighten out the mess your in than you will just starting over.
  4. ex_bubblehead said:
    Quote:
    Backup of what?

    Your data. Always make backups because things like this will happen again.

    Take ownership of the old user profile folder, backup the data within, wipe the drive, and reinstall everything. You'll spend 3 times longer trying to straighten out the mess your in than you will just starting over.


    I don't mind starting from scratch at all but how? How do I take ownership? Where do I start?


  5. When I use Treesize free program to look into this folder, it's showing me all the files with the folder structure intact but I cant access it with windows explorer. Also, I check using Recuva and it shows that the files have not been overwritten.

    Any ideas? Help! How do I access this damned folder?
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