A friend of mine recently corrupted some files on his Windows XP laptop. The fix is fairly simple and can be handled by a Windows XP recovery CD. Unfortunately one was not readily accessibly and he needed access to his files.
Since I run a few linux systems I thought I would try booting to a live CD and mounting his local drive from there. It was a very simple process with lots of documentation all over the web. I am posting the commands here because it was so useful that it was a must have post for my blog.
mount /dev/sda? /mnt/mountpoint (you need to find the correct number of your partition here: use fdisk -l)
cd /mnt/mountpoint/home/username (puts you in your home directory)