how to access password protected windows folders?

Jan 30, 2003
Before I begin, I should mention that I'm not trying to steal anyone's files or gain unlawful access to anything. These are my files and I have the password. ;)

I have a drive that was taken out of another computer. The drive has Windows XP Home on it, and is set up with a passworded user account that was set up to have windows protect that user's files (IE - couldn't be accessed without logging in). My question is, is there any easy way to open these files when booting a computer off a different drive? Is there some way to put in the password, or any freeware program that would help me? Or am I stuck booting off the drive with the files, logging in, and burning them off the computer in order to have them?

Thanks :)


i'm so nice
Feb 10, 2003
assuming they're not encrypted, which i don't think given your description, you just have to take ownership of them.

first ensure simple file sharing is disabled
open my computer
tools -> folder options -> view
uncheck use simple file sharing

next go to the folder with the stuff you need (if there's one folder with everything in it go to one level above that folder
rt click the folder (or select all the files/folders) -> sharing and security
go to security tab -> advanced ->owner
click your username to change the owner to and check replace owner on all subcontainers and objects
then click ok on all the dialogs to get out

i think that's the process. i haven't had to do it in a while though