Ugh. In the middle of moving files around on my home Windows PC the filesystem was corrupted and I lost access to my files. I knew the files were there but the the few configuration files that Windows XP needed to give me rights to my folder were kaput and because I was the administrator on this machine, it couldn’t even boot up.
I installed another copy of the core Windows files into a new directory (c:\windows2) so that I could at least boot up.
Access Denied when I tried to navigate to my Documents folder.
I found a helpful forum post on a site called Techspot and learned that this is what happens when you install another version of Windows on the same computer. The Administrator on the new version of Windows didn’t have rights to read the files written by the old Administrator.
Following instructions on the forum post, I then booted up off of that new install in “safe mode” and re-assigned the file permissions and am now copying over the files out of that old directory into a new disk.
Disaster averted! Without my old Outlook .pst file, I didn’t even have my Grandmother’s phone number! Yet another reason why I really should get this stuff uploaded to the cloud!