Solved Unusable pc files transfer

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arrowwes

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Jul 6, 2007
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I am in possession of a desktop computer with a damaged motherboard. I want to transfer files from it's hard drive to an external hard drive. How do I do that.?
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
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Pull the drive out of the computer with the bad m/b, attach it to another computer.

If you can't attach it internally, you will need some sort of SATA to USB adapter, assuming the drive is SATA (which it most likely is if it's less than ~15 yrs old and this was a home computer not a business computer).

Since the drive was in a desktop and a 'hard drive' (HDD) not a solid-state drive (SSD), it is likely to have a 3.5" form factor. That means it will require external power, so make sure to get an adapter that allows for that. 2.5" drives (used in laptops, and most every SSD) can be powered by the USB connection alone.

As long as the drive was not encrypted and is in working order, when attached by USB, it will show up in File Explorer and you will be able to navigate through the directories on it and copy files.
 

arrowwes

Thread Starter
Joined
Jul 6, 2007
Messages
80
Pull the drive out of the computer with the bad m/b, attach it to another computer.

If you can't attach it internally, you will need some sort of SATA to USB adapter, assuming the drive is SATA (which it most likely is if it's less than ~15 yrs old and this was a home computer not a business computer).

Since the drive was in a desktop and a 'hard drive' (HDD) not a solid-state drive (SSD), it is likely to have a 3.5" form factor. That means it will require external power, so make sure to get an adapter that allows for that. 2.5" drives (used in laptops, and most every SSD) can be powered by the USB connection alone.

As long as the drive was not encrypted and is in working order, when attached by USB, it will show up in File Explorer and you will be able to navigate through the directories on it and copy files.
Thanks for the info. It is not my computer . I am trying to repair it first for a friend. I might try first to get another motherboard for it.
 

JohnWill

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Oct 19, 2002
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106,723
The advice still applies. If you want the files off the drive, that's the safest way. If you install a new motherboard, unless you replace it with an identical motherboard, you may end up not being able to boot the drive to recover the files.
 

arrowwes

Thread Starter
Joined
Jul 6, 2007
Messages
80
The advice still applies. If you want the files off the drive, that's the safest way. If you install a new motherboard, unless you replace it with an identical motherboard, you may end up not being able to boot the drive to recover the files.
I have decided to take it to a computer shop to transfer the files. I would have the dead computer and a working computer. Could I remove the hard drive from the dead computer and along with the working computer to their shop and that is all they would need?? I looked into getting a usb to sata adapter and found it would cost me the same price(approx 30 dollars) as what the computer shop would charge.
 

JohnWill

Retired Moderator
Joined
Oct 19, 2002
Messages
106,723
All you really need is a $4 SATA cable I expect, most computers have an extra power connector for the SATA drives. You can connect the drive to your working computer and move all the files over. If you want them on another drive, connect that drive and move then over.
 
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