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Can I remove harddrive from blownup computer & transfer files externally to a new pc?

By shirley
Sep 16, 2005
Topic Status:
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  1. :wave: My youngster switched my (now abandoned old) computer over to american voltage or something and when I switched it on the thing went up with a bang (and smoke)...A friend told me I may be able to salvage some of the files, ie photos of family etc, from the old hard drive by taking it out of the old computer and reading it externally, ie..transferring data and files as I please, however as you may have guessed, I'm no computer whizz......lol.
    If this is possible what would i need to do that and is it as simple as implied...or should I just give up on the stuff in the old computer?? :confused:
    Many Thanks
    Shirley
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 9,431

    It is possible and relatively easy.

    The simplest way is to open up the new computer and connect the old hard drive in place of the CD-ROM device (the computer is turned off and unplugged of course). It will most likely Just Work (TM) unless you have an unusual computer setup.
  3. PanicX

    PanicX TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 829

    If your powersupply was working properly, it'll have saved your PC components. Meaning, if you put in a new powersupply, your computer should work as if nothing happend. However it is all to likely that your system components may have been damaged as well. It's a good idea to copy your data by putting the hard drive in the other computer, however after you copy the data, you may be able to salvage your PC with a $50 part.
  4. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 464

    Another method is to buy an external enclosure like this pretty nice one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817145125 and plug your Hard Drive into it and then hook it up to another PC via the USB port. The other PC should see it and bring it up in your My Computer window. After you salvage your stuff you can use the drive in the enclosure as the backup drive you wished you had after the explosion :rolleyes:
  5. shirley

    shirley TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks...guys

    :wave: I think, (as I know really nothing about computers), I don't want to be messing around inside my new one, I would prefer to read the old hard drive externally... Someone told me something about a caddy :zzz: ...(I thought that was golf)...I'm guessing...(mmm)..that this is the same type of device mentioned here.....however,...I don't want to fork out more money if things aren't compatible...cos I've really no idea what you or I'm talking about... :confused:
    Many Thanks
    Shirley
  6. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 464

    Shirley-
    It is very likely that your drive is an IDE drive. You can tell by opening up the case and lookinfg at the size of the cable comoing out of the back of the hard drive. A wide, flat, ribbon-like cable with lots of tiny wires all connected to gether is IDE and a very small 4 wire cable is SATA. More than likely uouhave an IDE.

    SO after you verify you have an IDE drive you purchase the external enclosure, or caddy, that is built for an IDE drive. How it works is you remove the hard drive from your PC and install it in the caddy. Your hard drive is held in the PC by probably 4 screws and has a 4 pin power cable connected to it and the long ribbon-like IDE cable where the data passes through. Making sure your PC is unplugged from the wall and you have gotten rid of static by touching a metal part of the case, you pull both cables out of the back of the drive and then unscrew it and take it from the cae.

    When you open the external enclosure you'll see a shoirt IDE ribbon cable and a short 4 pin power cable. Plug these into the hard drive and then secure the hard drive in the caddy with 4 screws. CLose up the caddy and now you can connect it to another PC through a USB cable. Plug the caddy into the wall and start it up. Your drive should appear in the My Computer section and you can download your files.

    Now, after you rescue everything you just kep that drive safe in the enclosure and use it as permanent back up.
  7. shirley

    shirley TS Rookie Topic Starter

  8. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 464

    That is exactly what Iwas talking about.
  9. Fred

    Fred TS Rookie Posts: 43

    My youngster switched my (now abandoned old) computer over to american voltage or something and when I switched it on the thing went up with a bang (and smoke)...A friend told me I may be able to salvage some of the files, ie photos of family etc, from the old hard drive by taking it out of the old computer and reading it externally, ie..transferring data and files as I please, however as you may have guessed, I'm no computer whizz......lol.
    If this is possible what would i need to do that and is it as simple as implied...or should I just give up on the stuff in the old computer??
    Many Thanks
    Shirley

    ------------
    Your old hard drive might have been fried too when the whole thing went up in smoke, but if it wasn't damaged you might be able to salvage your files. You can take the the hard drive out of your old and put it in another computer as a slave or you could buy a USB external enclosure like this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817604006 and put the hard drive inside that and plug it into the USB port on a working computer and use it that way. I personally would just install it into another computer as a slave because then you won't have to buy anything. I did a google search and this site might help with instructions: http://www.helpwithpcs.com/upgrading/install-hard-drive.htm . After it's installed correclty just boot up Windows and click on the MY COMPUTER icon you will see a C: and a D: drive.
  10. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 9,431

    Read the thread you are posting in before doing so?
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