You will have to bare with me as my technical knowledge of computers is very limted!
Whilst trying to join the local homegroup network, I found out the issue was that my WORK laptop was connected to a domain & unable to share files because of being connected to this EX company domain/network.
Naively, without first checking consquences, disconnected from the WORK domain & made the computer use for home & renamed it. Upon doing so, was asked to re-boot.
On re-booting, the adminstator login password had resorted back to the one when setup originally?? As my normal password was not being accepted. I must add - I NO LONGER WORK FOR SAID COMPANY AND HAVE NO WAY OF ACCQUIRING PASSWORD/NETWORK/DOMAIN ACCESS DETAILS ANYMORE!
I then used the windows password unlocker tool (£20 paid) to gain access back to my laptop. Obviously now realising a lot of very important information, emails, all desktop icons & file locations were no longer where they were supposed to be I spent an hour searching everywhere... The hard drive is still saying it has 150gigabyte of use & certain files display more data in 'properties' than is actually displayed in the folder itself.
After doing a little research it looks like all my files, emails etc are in this imaginery 'domain' that I am now unable to access at all & no longer have the details to re-join again! A few files are still dotted around where they are supposed to be but a lot no longer accessable.
With no access details to re-join this domain, is there any way AT ALL of re-claiming these files? Any 3rd party software, hard drive recovery software? Easiest way, cheapest way possible would be extremely helpful.
It all depends on how the old domain was set up. Look in "C:\Documents and Settings" (for XP) or "C:\users" (for Vista/Win7), this is default place where user profiles are stored. Your old profile is most probably still there, with your desktop / files / documents.
You will most probably have to take ownership of these folders, and change permissions. Make sure you setup Windows Explorer to show "all files".