Question about Microsoft Windows XP Professional With Servise Pack 2 (e8503040) for PC

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Another Lockout problem

I have an instalation of XP on a HD that wont boot up normally.
Following advice I have tried to boot from the CD but I get to a prompt asking for the administrator password.
None of the passwords that I have ever used, or any of their variations, will work so I cannot run the repair mode. I have another installation on another drive so I can see the documents and files that I want to save but they are password protected and so I cannot move the in the usual way.
Any ideas about how I can either:
Reveal or bypass the password to allow me to run a repair?
Unlock the files so that I can back them up and format the drive?

Posted by astrocan on

  • astrocan Oct 23, 2007

    I will try your suggestion for booting in safe mode but I have not had any success with that so far. You suggest putting the HD in another PC with XP installed but I already have XP on another drive on the current PC, Is that the same?

  • astrocan Oct 23, 2007

    Thanks, I have got ownership of the documents and files that I wanted but I would still be interested in getting the original installation going again so that I can archive my emails and transfer them to the new installation. Failing that where does Thunderbird file emails so that I can import them into the new installation.



1 Answer

Chuck Gluth

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You need to take that hard drive that you wish to get info off of, stick it into another pc with XP and boot into safe mode. During the power on, before the XP logo, us the F8 key (tap a few times) to get the boot menu. Choose safe mode.

In safe mode, if you encounter a folder that says access denied when you try to open it, simply right click on it and choose properties. You will then see a tab for security. Under this tab, you can chage the permissions for that folder, by adding the correct user and granted permissions to view/read/write. This will allow you to gain access and be able to copy off what you need. You cant make these permissions change sin safe mode that I am aware of.

Posted on Oct 23, 2007

  • Chuck Gluth
    Chuck Gluth Oct 23, 2007

    I meant, you cant make the permission changes in normal mode. Once your in safe mode and you can access the security tab of a given folder with the right click, properties option, you should be able too easily figure out how to add a user and grant permission. If you have further questions, feel free to ask.

  • Chuck Gluth
    Chuck Gluth Oct 23, 2007

    hmmm, never used thunderbird for emails. so im not really familiar with it... if it were Outlook I could tell you. Don't know if this will help, but, with outlook, emails are stored in a type of database file. Each box in outlook has its own file. Such as INBOX and DRAFTS, etc.. When backing up the files, you can re-import them into outlook on another pc if you want. But you have to use the import function in Outlook, then point it to where these files are that you copied. As far as the address book, in outlook, theres a WAB file on your hard drive that has that info in it, I would assume though that Thunderbird has its own book.

    So with that in mind, you should be able to find somewhere on your drive, the files that Thunderbird uses to store your emails it downloads. Simply copy the folder over to the other drive. Install TBird on the new drive and then see if it has an import function to import old email, and point it to the folder you copied over. Hope that makes sense... should be similar, then again, I've never used TBird.

    The tbird files may be located in Documents and Settings/Username/Application Data/Thunderbird or something similar, have a look around in that profiles docs and settings folder. You may also have to have your folder options set to show hidden files and system files. Find that under Tools/Folder Options in your explorer.

    Now what was the issue with booting the old drive? Just a password problem, couldnt get onto the windows desktop?



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Boot to hard drive is normal but from your post it appears that it cannot communicate with your hard drive. Normally, when you have hard drives issues, the file is corrupt and at this point the computer complains but is sounds like it just freezes which suggests to me that the controller is gone.
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Method 1

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For more information about how to edit the Boot.ini file, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: 289022 ( ) How to edit the Boot.ini file in Windows XP

Method 2

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