Problem recovering data from a hard disk using a caddy

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Thread Starter
Jan 9, 2013
My old laptop died :( It crashed whilst I was editing some pics (I had just uploaded 800+ pics from my DSLR). It then got stuck in a 'safe mode' loop. It kept giving me the option of opening in safe mode, or open normally. Whatever option I used it would just take me to a blank black screen with a cursor - the only way of getting out of this screen was to power down.

My laptop was 4 years old so I wanted to get a new one anyway, but needed some way of recovering my files from the old hard disk. I was told a caddy would be the best option - so I bought a Dynamode USB caddy, put my old hard disk in it and plugged it into my new laptop - and nothing....

the new laptop hasn't even acknowledged that something has been plugged in, although ever time I plug it in a red light appears on my caddy.

My new laptop has windows 8, the old one was vista - not sure if this is relevant.

Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated - as I really want my pics of my old hard drive :(

Thanks for your help


Oct 2, 2003
what type of drive was it - IDE or SATA
images here,r:2,s:0,i:94

if IDE what was the jumper set to ?

if you goto disk manager - can you see the driver there

is the OLD laptop dead completely - it maybe a copyof ubuntu running from the CD may work to copy the data off

UBUNTU Stand Alone CD

NOTE : version Ubuntu 12.04

It may be possible to boot from another Operating System
This will at least test the Hardware and also see if you can see the Harddrive and possibly get data off.

If you have another PC with a cdwriter and spare CD
goto and download the ISO

You can also run from a USB device now - if the Machine supports booting off a USB Stick

full details are here (Note this is for version 9 - so the start up options are slightly different )

click on the image "download ubuntu"
Select a location
then begin download
Save the file onto your PC – remember where you saved it – so you can find it again to create the image bootable CD.

You do NOT copy the ISO file onto a CD - you have to use the ISO to create a bootable CD
The CD creator software you have on the PC may have an option to create an image from an ISO
If not - use this free program - Choose the option Write image file to disc
you can use this stand alone ISO Burner to burn the ubuntu onto CD

When the UBUNTU CD boots - you will see a screen - with Language on the left panel and two option images labelled

== > Try ubuntu
== > Install ubuntu

You can try Ubuntu without making any changes to your computer, directly from this CD

Use "Try ubunto" ONLY this option this will run from the CD and not install onto your harddrive - be careful, if you do install onto the PC - you will wipe the data and software OFF your hard drive.., so repeat only use option 1

Now you should see a UBUNTU desktop
This at least proves the main parts of the PC are working

NOTE: if you only see a black screen - then this is a known issue, and can be resolved by using the following:-
On some hardware configurations, you need to set some kernel parameters for ubuntu to boot or work properly. A common one is nomodeset, which is needed for some graphic cards that otherwise boot in to a black screen or corrupted splash, acpi_osi= to fix lcd backlight and other problems.
full details are here

If you press the F6 key, a menu at the bottom will open allowing you to set kernel options with the space bar or enter key. You can close the menu with escape key and resume booting by selecting the option “try ubuntu without installing” (please note that session does allow you to install ubuntu once you found the kernel options cured your problem).
If everything worked OK and you should be on the ubuntu desktop

You may see your Harddrive on the desktop - if not have in look in the places on the tool bar at the top of the screen.

If you can see your harddrive – see if you can find the your datafiles –
XP look in “documents and settings” under the user name you had on the PC
Vista/Windows 7 look in “user” under the user name you had on the PC

Now if you have a USB flash drive or external harddrive – you should be able to copy your data from the harddrive onto the USB device

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