Successful "simple" HD data recovery after mobo failure

I was lurking and searching all weekend searching for answers. I found a lot of good ideas that helped me get to this point, but since I didn't read about any specifically similar situations, I thought I'd share.

The Sad Story:
Used my home computer over lunch. Went back to work. Returned to do more work that evening to discovery the system was dead. Still had some LEDs, but no fans or anything else. Called tech support because machine was still under warranty; they sent me a new psu. Installed it the next day and found same results. Tech support then suggested pulling and replacing components to narrow down the cause and to determine next steps. Started doing that when it started to fire up, literally. The little wisp of smoke from under the cpu fan grew larger until I got it shut down. Tech support says to send back the machine. Panic. I don't have anything backed up.

The Plan:
All I wanted to do was pull my hard drive and put it in another working computer so I could copy all my data files, hence the lurking and searching in the forums. From what I read here (thanks to all!) I gathered enough courage to drop the HD into another machine. With great joy I discovered that the computer read it just fine. However, it wouldn't let me access all my file folders: "Access Denied."

The Solution:
After a quick search on the Microsoft support pages, I found article #823306 ( Which led me through the steps to change permissions. You ought to get the article for the actual steps, but in a nutshell it's like this:
1. Restart in safe mode.
2. Click on "properties."
3. Go to security settings. Tell it to give the new computer "full control" access for each folder you want to get to.
4. You also have an advanced option to change the owner of all the folders and subfolders, which gives full control access to everything.

I was then able to copy everything to another network drive so I can back up to something else. Not sure what this is going to do when I get the machine back from the manufacturer, but at least I have the data.
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  1. i've posted this with pictures before :)
  2. Sorry. Didn't find it when I was looking. Would you point me toward it? This is something I'd rather understand more fully.

    BTW, as I was doing this a folder at a time, I noticed that it held onto my profile as an "unknown profile" with a bunch of Windows gibberish to identify it. If they don't wipe my drive in the repair stage, is it possible that my machine will come back with it's "memory" intact about the folders which I had changed owners? I don't expect 100% surety, but what does your gut say?
  3. When I mentioned it in another thread it was about taking control of files so you can read and write files....

    I hope thats what you mean....if you run into folders that are a pain you may have to do them manually....It works best when you are a system ADMIN....since taking control should give you full control....
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