Solved: Accessing a Vista HDD?

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Pandimensional

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Jan 25, 2009
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Hello,

An old Vista laptop (with a bad battery and other possible power issues) containing valuable user documents was replaced with a new Windows 7 laptop. The user docs from the previous laptop are needed.

My first approach has been to put the old laptop's Vista HDD in the the new laptop. It won't boot into Windows (despite it booting fine in the previous laptop). Startup repair can't seem to help.

My first question is if this latter method typically works, or if it is not advised. Meaning, I can't swap system HDD's and expect them to work?

Second, seeing as though my first idea didn't work, I have questions about my second idea - using an external HDD USB kit to access the drive from another system.

Will I be able to access user files in this manner, so that they can be saved to a flash drive? Might I run into a permissions issue, and if so, what do I do?

Thank you!
 
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As with most laptops, the OS installed on the old drive will have an OEM licence and is not transferable to another PC.

What you should be doing, with the old hard drive installed in the new machine, is booting into Windows 7 from where you should be able to access the old hard drive through Windows Explorer and copy all the important files. Check that it is recognised in the Bios and set as a slave drive.

If you have any permissions problems accessing the drive then follow this guide: How to take ownership of a hard drive
 

Pandimensional

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Joined
Jan 25, 2009
Messages
249
How can I boot into Windows 7 when I have the Vista HD installed? This is a laptop. I can only have one internal HD installed at a time.

I can put the Win 7 drive back in and access the Vista drive from an external usb kit, but I don't understand how I can have both drives installed at the same time as to be able to boot into 7 and access the Vista HD as a slave?
 
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I am sorry, I misunderstood, I thought you had a spare drive bay that you were putting the old drive into.

This being the case, you can use a USB Hard Drive Adapter which should allow full access to anything on the drive.

You could also use an Ubuntu disc (which is free) with the old drive fitted in the new PC.
Ubuntu Live CD to back up files from your dead Windows
 

Pandimensional

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Joined
Jan 25, 2009
Messages
249
Thank you Mark. I will check out Ubantu. That's looks like a great tool.

I was able to use an external USB kit to access the files. There was a permissions issue but Win 7 took care of it.

All the files have been transferred to the new system and all is good in the shire.

:)
 
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