Trying to get data from a laptop without an OS

By Bigman143
Dec 6, 2005
  1. My laptop was stolen from my college dorm room a little less than a month ago. Luckily, the police out here were able to recover it and arrest the thief, but not after I had already bought another laptop. I have to turn this laptop over to my insurance company (as part of the claim I made), but before I do that, I would like to retrieve some files from the computer. The problem is that the thief uninstalled my copy of Windows XP Pro and was in the middle of installing his own version when the police recovered it. So right now the laptop boots up each time into the Windows XP Pro setup installation. I don't have a copy of XP Pro software on hand, so I cannot complete the installation, but I still want to get the files from the computer.

    Is there a way I can connect my new laptop to the old one to read the information on it, or is there any other way to retrieve the info (without physically opening the case and removing the drive)?

    Thanks in advance

  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Most likely the hard drive in the laptop was formatted - it is the obvious thing to do when installing Windows. You would need advanced data recovery programs to retrieve anything. If you had several partitions or the thief was silly enough to do a Windows install without formatting then you can access the still intact iles easily. The simplest method is using a CD Linux like Knoppix or INSERT.
  3. patio

    patio TS Maniac Posts: 482

    If it were me i would pull that HDD from the laptop and turn it in as is...if the insurance co. has a problem with that just tell them you did it for security reasons.
    Then purchase a 2.5 to IDE adaptor cable and install that drive as a slave on a desktop machine and use the advice already given above to attempt to retrieve the data that's left.

    patio. :cool:
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