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Can't see hard drive after dis-joining domain

Last response: in Windows XP
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January 25, 2007 3:44:41 AM

I am working on a Dell Inspiron 9100 Laptop, Win XP Pro. It was joined to a domain for a couple years. It has gone to a new home (same owner tho) and we wanted to disjoin the domain and join a workgroup. On the reboot, the machine won't accept any login or passwords that used to work ! =(

I tried to 'test' the local login before I originally dis-joined the domain but the domain admin had disabled local logins. I think that is where I went wrong and I know it's my fault and now I just want to get to the 'My Documents' folder so I moved the laptop drive over to a desktop (using an adapter) and I can 'see' the drive in BIOS and it is detected in Windows but the drive has no drive letter! When I right click on the drive I see all my options are 'greyed out' other then 'delete partition'.

I have run Spinrite -no errors found. I can't run CHKDSK since it has no drive letter. I am thinking this problem has something to do with the fact that this 'new' drive is a bootable drive too and Windows can not reassign a drive letter to a System Partition, or maybe it's because of the fact that it used to belong to a domain/active directory? I tired to do a re-install Win XP Pro into a 2nd folder http://support.microsoft.com/kb/316941 but it crapped out and told me that it can only do that if a delete the partition. I tried some Linux Distros for password recovery but they too can't 'see' the drive. I hear some Linux distros have trouble with NTFS?

The weird thing is I could put it back in the laptop and it will boot up and ask me to CTRL+ALT+DEL to login and it fills in the login name (which looks ok) but it rejetcts any previous password that worked. =(

I really want the stuff off My Documents then I can proceed with re-formatting.

ANY help is appreciated.
January 25, 2007 10:50:40 PM

Heaven help you if you run into this problem like I did. Not a single thing would touch that drive's data and yet all I had to do was tell Norton Go Back at boot up to disable itself, to get access to this drive. I almost gave up and it was the Wiki (see above) that finally led me into the cause.

While I was searching I came up with a great article on Hard Drive Locks--check it out:

http://www.heise.de/ct/english/05/08/172/

I never knew about this technology before.
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January 26, 2007 2:31:56 PM

Thanks for sharing your knowledge ..... might help out some poor individual that has similar issues.

I had intermittent browsing problems a while back and getting rid of Norton did the trick. I only use AVG now :p 
January 26, 2007 5:04:48 PM

AVG for the win!

I use AVG Anti-Malware version. Grisoft bought out Ewido and it works great! =)
!