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Get files off hard drive from dead computer?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by poptart1600, Jul 21, 2005.

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  1. poptart1600

    poptart1600 Thread Starter

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    My computer died last week - was told that the power supply went which in turn fried the motherboard. Cost of repair was dangerously close to what I paid for the computer so I bought a new computer instead.

    I was pretty diligent about making backups of files to CDs and Zips. When I tried to restore the files onto the new computer, it just didn't work. I tried various backup restore utilities to no avail. Some of the files are things I really do need so I'm willing to try anything to get the files.

    Is there a way to take the hard drive out of the dead computer and connect it to another computer? I have a third PC that still works. I'd use this instead of the new computer. The computer is dead anyway, so I'm OK with taking it apart to get what I need.

    If this can be done, can someone point me to specific step-by-step instructions? I'm pretty good at installing things (I put an internal CD burner and other things including memory into the older PC that still works) but need step-by-step instructions. I'm not good with very technical computer terminology, though.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Triple6

    Triple6 Rob Moderator

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    All you need to do is to remove the hard rive from the dead computer and attach it to the one you want to use it on. The hard drive requires two connections; one for data(80 wire IDE cable) and one for power. It'll be just like the CD burner you installed. As with the CD drive you'll need to set the jumper correctly on the drive. If you are placing the drive on the same cable as another drive you will want to set the jumper as Slave(thats assuming the other drive on the cable is set as Master). Then the drive will in My computer with the next available drive letter.

    Note, if the hard drive has Windows XP and was NTFS then you'll need to put it in a computer with Windows XP to read it.
     
  3. poptart1600

    poptart1600 Thread Starter

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    Thanks - definitely sounds do-able. I was afraid to just go in and yank out the hard drive. The computer doesn't work, anyway, so I'll go for it.
     
  4. ballpark570

    ballpark570

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    You need to stop right in your tracks before you go any farther and ask yourself if there is any possiblity that the drive you want to get stuff off might have spyware or virus's on it because if it does, then you stand a real good chance of infecting the computer you put it into.

    Not long ago My niece asked me to rescue some data off an old hard drive of hers and without giving it any thought I put it into my pc as a slave to get the data she wanted. Her harddrive was filled with virus, trojans, worms and spyware and it got into my system and I had to reformat and start over with my own PC.
     
  5. Triple6

    Triple6 Rob Moderator

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    Or you could just use antivirus software and not run any executables off the old drive.
     
  6. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I agree with Triple6, this is a non-issue. I've put heavily infected disks into my system, and it's never been a problem. I'm not foolish enough to execute anything from the drive, and I normally do a virus scan, but I've just picked files off at times without addressing any infections.
     
  7. poptart1600

    poptart1600 Thread Starter

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    I doubt there's any viruses as when it initially started to act up, I ran a bunch of scans because I thought maybe the problem was a virus or spyware.

    I did just realize, though, that the older computer to which I was going to attach the hard drive had Windows 98. Is it still possible to do it?
     
  8. xgerryx

    xgerryx

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    From #2
    It should be just fine hooking up to your new computer using the above advice. Buying and using an anti static strap would be a good idea as you seem to be quite keen on servicing your own equipment.

    When you have the Hd connected and you can see it in 'my computer', you should be able to right click it and select scan with your AV.
     
  9. ballpark570

    ballpark570

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    I think I came off as too alarmist with my recomendation in my previous post. I agree that the virus/spyware thing is for the most part a non-issue if you are a seasoned computer geek.

    The computer that I had trouble with never is online and as such, I run no spyware or virsus apps on it.

    As I am not a deeply experienced PC geek, I never thought about the possible problems I might have in that situation when I blindly just put this old hard drive into my unprotected pc. Thats the kind of thing that comes with experience and I think you more experienced people here might be overlooking.

    I think when most of the people post here, they do so because like me, they have limited or no experience with the issues they are facing. To the people here with lots of knowledge, some of these simple things seem like they should be obvious to all of us but many times they are not.
     
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