I have seen this question on the forums a few times, but I don't think I've ever seen a real answer to it. I just had this situation with a customer's laptop with a corrupted registry, so I played with it until I figured it out. This can be a major problem when trying to retreive your data from a corrupted XP installation or moving your data to a new PC or drive. Problem: Access denied to data on another drive or previous installation of Windows XP or Windows 2000. Solution: Take ownership of the directory and files. Microsoft sums it up better than I can, so I grabbed this article for reference... http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;308421&Product=winxp TIP: Windows XP Home users should boot into Safe Mode as an Administrator. The 'Security' tab will become accessible. ----------------------------------------- NOTE: You must be logged on to the computer using an account that has administrative privileges. If you are running Windows XP Home Edition, in order to have access to the Security tab, you must first start in Safe Mode and log on with an account that has Administrative rights. If you are using Windows XP Professional, you must disable Simple File Sharing. By default, Windows XP Professional uses Simple File sharing when not joined to a domain. For additional information about how to do this, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: 307874 HOW TO: Disable Simplified Sharing and Password-Protect a Shared Folder in Windows XP To take ownership of a folder: Right-click the folder you want to take ownership of, and then click Properties. Click the Security tab, and then click OK on the Security message (if one appears). Click Advanced, and then click the Owner tab. In the Name list, click your user name, Administrator if you are logged in as Administrator, or click the Administrators group. If you want to take ownership of the contents of that folder, click to select the Replace owner on subcontainers and objects check box. Click OK. The following message appears, where folder name is the name of the folder that you want to take ownership of: You do not have permission to read the contents of directory folder name. Do you want to replace the directory permissions with permissions granting you Full Control? All permissions will be replaced if you press Yes. Click Yes. Click OK, and then reapply the permissions and security settings that you want for the folder and its contents. back to the top How to Take Ownership of a File NOTE: You must be logged on to the computer using an account that has administrative privileges. To take ownership of a file, follow these steps: Right-click the file you want to take ownership of, and then click Properties. Click the Security tab, and then click OK on the Security message (if one appears). Click Advanced, and then click the Owner tab. In the Name list click Administrator, or click the Administrators group, and then click OK. The Administrator or Administrators group now owns the file. To change the permissions on the files and folders under this folder, continue to step 5. Click Add. In the Enter the object names to select (examples) list, type the user or group account to which you want to give access to the file. For example, Administrator. Click OK. In the Group or user names list, click the account that you want (for example, Administrator), and then click to select the check boxes of the permissions that you want to assign that user. For example, Full Control [Allow]. When you are finished assigning permissions, click OK.