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I reset admin passwd - deleted data?

By NeuroGoneGeo ·
[please insert loud 'arrghh' and so on]

I think I have made a supreme mistake.

XP Pro

Used password reset tool (on Austrumi CD) to reset admin password and one user password. There were two other users.

Didn't quite take on board the warning about "will remove acces to files under NTFS permissions" - now there doesn't seem to be "My Documents" folder for any user. Or anything on Outlook or Oulook Express

Now I'm new to this machine - don't know if the users had deleted their my docs folders themselves (loads of stuff on desktop still there) - but stomach has fallen thru floor.

Computer is FILTHY - no antivirus protection or firewall for months. Used by three teenagers. Was about to give it some love, but don't think I'll be going any further today.

Oh, and of course - this is the bosses home computer. I don't have the words to berate myself with for this.

SO - all advice welcome - did I ditch his data?

I prostrate myself before you inviting both scorn and advice.


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by p.j.hutchison In reply to I reset admin passwd - de ...

You can reapply rights to files by using the Security Properties page, Advanced to regain ownership of the files and folders and reapply rights to those folders to their respective folders and they should reappear again.

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by superacces In reply to I reset admin passwd - de ...

Okay relax

Give a search in all drives for .pst file so that you can backup outlook data

lauch search and enter the word documents.

If you are sure you have deleted something, then you can retrive it by ontrack software

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to I reset admin passwd - de ...

Sounds much more as if instead of just changing passwords you have changed the entire User Accounts.

The existing data should be in the folder for the old users account and is easily importable into your current new User Account or it should be unless you clicked on the Delete Files for this Account if that's the case you'll need some good Data Recovery Software and the On Track is the best available.


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by NeuroGoneGeo In reply to

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by NeuroGoneGeo In reply to I reset admin passwd - de ...

Hi, Update since first posting this:
I have calmed down somewhat, thank you! I located a folder called 'my documents' in the recycle bin, which I 'restored' - the documents restored to 'administrator - for common use', and appear to contain documents from all three users - there aren't that many of them, but I suspect that that's all there was.

Answer 1 - I cannot reapply rights to the folders - it is not the case that I can see the folders but can't access them, I cannot see any folders within each user - it has reset each user to the default empty My docs/my pics/my music folders. Thanks anyway!

Answer 2 - Thanks - A search for 'My Documents' located the folder in recyle bin as described above - I will further search for all documents changed in last month and variants ect to see if there is stuff hidden elsewhere. Unfortunately a search for .pst files didn't locate anything sensible - just new empty files as if the users were all brand new.

Answer 3 - I agree it sounds a bit like that - but I really did only blank the passwords - at logon the user accounts appeared exactly as before, just a bit on the empty side (with the exception of the desktop which seems fine). I have created no new user accounts, nor actively deleted anything.

So - In all, I now have more faith that the data is still in the system somewhere - I just need to find it!

The machine is at home so I won't be able to have another play with it until tonight (I'm in the UK) - I will try a more rigorous search process - by date mosified etc, and also boot with Knoppix/Austrumi and search files and folders from within a linux enviroment, (might help - should at least be quicker - the machine is *really* slow in XP and full of nasties!

I will report back tomorrow, if anyone happens to have any more suggestions I'd be grateful.

(and if I can't find it all - I'll be using the recommended data recovery folks!)

many thanks


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by LiamE In reply to I reset admin passwd - de ...


Nice to see you've got some stuff back - but it sounds like you are going to have a few problems with permissions. Thats not too hard to sort though. Copy the disc to another drive formated as fat32 and back again. That will lose all the NTFS security settings allowing you to gain control of the permissions again.

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by superacces In reply to I reset admin passwd - de ...

Glad to hear you got some files.

Regarding windows xp search feature

Try1 you have a feature to search hidden folders

Try2 download google desktop search and search for files


Also can try copernic to search files

Reagarding pst search in this manner


Try4 If you are sure you have deleted some data by mistake try this

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