Accessing hard disk removed from crashed Windows XP laptop

By want2b4good
Mar 1, 2005
  1. My Dell Inspiron 8100 laptop (running Windows XP Professional) stopped working at the turn of the New Year – and I need some way to at least access what’s in it (had much backed up – but not everything).
    When it crashed, I got an error message “Savedump.exe – Corrupt File. The file or directory C:\WINDOWS is corrupt and unreadable. Please run the Chkdisk utility.” And a bit after that – went to a blue screen, saying: “A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down… A process or crucial thread to system operation has unexpectedly exited or been terminated. … Beginning dump of physical memory.”

    After that, was never able to get the computer going for more than a very few minutes before it crashed in that same way again. Someone at the Dell ‘out-of-warrantee’ tech support dept. suggested that it was probably a motherboard problem, but suggested that I could get full access to the crashed computer’s hard-drive if I installed it in a 2 ½ inch external enclosure, which I could then connect to my other computer (actually, my wife’s). So at CompUSA I bought a 2.5” USB 2.0 Aluminum External Enclosure and installed the old computer’s HD in it. Now on Windows Explorer it does indeed show another drive – "Removable Disk G:" – but when I try to see what’s on that drive I get “Insert Disk (please insert a disk into drive G”.
    Now – it seems as the HD from my computer has been activated, because (1) the light is on, and (2) the case is warm, and I can feel a little vibration. Yet – can’t access it. What can I do now?
  2. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    sounds like it's reading the disc as a cd or virtual drive
    try right clicking on the drive and use explore maybe it needs to be mounted
    check the software that came with the inclosure (if any)
    you may need to get an ide adapter and run it from the ide cable to read as a reg HDD.
    be warned that if you do get the OS to see drive as a standard eide drive on boot OS may want to run chdsk DON"T let it.
  3. want2b4good

    want2b4good TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Questions to Samstoned from want2b4good

    Thanks! Certainly seems the that the OS reads this enclosure-with-HD as a disc or CD drive -- and when I followed your suggestion of right clcking and then going to "Explore", just again got the message "Insert Disk" into thte drive. Sas for the software that came with the enclosure, it was labeled for use only if I had Windows 98 -- but I have Windows XP.
    Don't know what you mean by "get an ide adapter" -- I have the drive connecting to my computer's USB, as it's made to do.
    So -- any more ideas?
  4. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    try the website of enclosure co. may have updat software
    as for adapters you can now get notebook hdd adapters that will plug into the iede cable of your pc
    warning most of these don't have a way to tell pin position for your power
    good ones do cost about 6.00 to 8.00 US for a good one under 4.00 for a cheapo
    do search for laptop drive adapters
    maybe check out how to mount virtual cd on xp
    should be something out there to get it started
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