>Off the Beaten Path>Ask the computer wizards thread
Meat is Murder
We all have a question or two we need to ask some computer wizard but can't get a hold of the IT guy/gal. This is the place for these questions. I will start.
I have a computer whose hard drive failed and won't start. I gave up on it and I am buying a new box. How can I save some of the files on the old computer's hard drive?
The first time I see a jogger smiling, I’ll consider it. - Joan Rivers
Depends on what you mean by "failed drive". If it is hardware failure data can be recovered but it is expensive. Last time I had this done was 4 years ago and it set me back $1500.
jez: I've got some issues
If the drive spins but the operating system part of the drive is corrupt, yes, you might be able to put it in another computer and recover some of the files. Another option is an external usb adapter.
Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject. - S.J.
I'm no expert but I think it's not the boot sector since the computer boots. But I think it's where the OS is that got corrupted. I think I can add it to a different computer as a secondary HD. How do I do that? Just plug it in physically and let the OS recognize it when I turn on the computer? Also, what does the external USB adapter do? How do I use it?
Sometimes it's just the boot sector corruption, can you remove the drive and add as a secondary drive to another working computer?
My laptop died because the video card melted (not exactly, but close enough) and the video card couldn't be swapped out without a motherboard change and the laptop is almost 5 years old etc etc etc.
Anyway, I pulled out the little drive, bought an external SATA-to-USB enclosure from newegg for about 9 bucks and voila... I now have a backup drive. Which had all my old files on it already. In my case, it was about 30 minutes of work... 20 of which was me being a dumbass. Zip zap zoop. However, sometimes it is harder, especially if the manufacturer was not nice about how the drive inhabits the old machine***. The important note on this idea is to know the physical dimensions of your drive before buying an enclosure.
*** I finally swore off dell after one too many issues and one too many Adventures with Indian Customer Service Scripts. But the ONE thing they did right on that laptop, which honestly lasted about 5 years and that's pretty cool too, is that the hard drive was amazingly easy to get out. Four screws, one slide, ker plunk.
If this is a desktop it's easy(er), if a laptop, go the route of buying the SATA-USB adapter SRL mentions and plug in, the adapter will work with a desktop too, but there you have the option of not buying the thing. The drive cable will have a jack where you can plug in the secondary drive, but you may need to mess with jumper settings on the drive, so if you are not comfortable messing around with the insides of a computer, go with the USB adapter
It's a desktop's HD and yes I'm not so comfortable messing with the inside of the computer. I guess the jumper settings are to tell the computer which HD is the master and which is the slave, right? In case I want/have to do that, where can I find the right jumper settings?
I don't think I have the original Windows disks anymore.
I'll just throw this out there: depending on where you buy the new box, they might be able to do it for you in-store. This would assume you were buying at a brick-and-mortar establishment.
"God guides us on our journey, but careful with those feet." - David Lee Roth, of all people
Prince of Fatness
SRL's idea is easiest, IMO. I believe that they make caddies even for the bigger desktop drives. Remove drive out and take it a store, like Best Buy. Even if they do not carry the item they should tell you what you need to buy.
Or post the manufacturer and part number of the drive here and someone may be able to help find something for you online.
I have recovered files from a HD with a corrupt boot sector using USB external enclosure. Fairly easy to do. Just plug it in. I suppose this should be a reminder to make backups.
I have an NAS to back up all of our PCs, but alas, I haven't even configured it yet. I've had it almost a year. <sigh>
Good luck with it Arie.
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
I had a windows system that crashed because of a bad sector on the hard drive. I booted up with a Linux distribution called "Puppy" on a CD I was able to save the files off.
I found Linux to be a better OS than Windows and wound up installing Ubuntu and haven't had an issue since.