My mom's XP home system crashed and I gave her a new Windows 7 system. the old hard drive still has the digital pictures and documents on it, but I can't access them with the new administrator account. How do I change the permissions on her old account directory to move them to the new system?
download the Ubuntu live cd.
Boot with it, and once you're inside you can access all your files because you will be in linux, and the windows permissions won't apply here.
Copy all your files and then reformat your drive, so you won't have your old copy of windows xp in the drive.
If you right click on the folder and select "Properties", then select" Security", click "Advanced", click "Owner", and then hit "Edit." From there you will be able to take ownership as the Administrator and "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects."
Should you require additional assistance, Microsoft does have an official Windows 7 Support Forum located here http://tinyurl.com/9fhdl5 . It is supported by product specialists as well as engineers and support teams.