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Backup Laptop data to my Desktop

By macarlin1 ยท 16 replies
Jun 18, 2005
  1. My sons Toshiba Tecra M2V-s330 will not boot up to Windows XP. Tried all the "Help" stuff as far as trying to boot in Safe Mode and DOS command mode but it still won't go. Called the Toshiba "TECH SUPPORT" line and was basically told the Recovery DVD would have to be used to reinstall the system which would FORMAT the harddrive and of course he would lose everything. Of course we could bring it to a service center to back up the hard drive but I'm assuming they would charge an arm and a leg to do it.

    So my question is: Is there a way to backup his data to my desktop hard drive even though his system can't be booted up. I'm running XP pro and have plenty of harddrive space but just don't know if it's possible.

    Would appreciate any help or suggestions somebody can give me.
  2. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    :wave: Hello & Welcome to TechSpot :wave:

    Yes, that should be possible, and there are a few different ways to do this.

    The first is to get a bootdisk which has the correct drivers to load the filesystem (if it's ntfs) and support network in DOS. Connect the laptop to the desktop with a network cable (use cross-over cable if you don't use a switch/hub) and share a folder on the desktop where you can copy the contents.
    Next you probably want to mount the shared folder as a drive, as it'll make it a lot easier to copy the files.

    Then just copy every file you want to save to the mounted drive and you're done.

    Alternative 2.
    Remove the harddrive from the laptop (should be modular and easily done). Then open the cover so you can access the harddrive. It's just like a regular harddrive, only it's 2.5" instead of 3.5". Take it out of the casing/cover and connect it to the power and IDE cables in the desktop. (Remember to disconnect the power from the desktop first!)
    Then you should be able to boot into windows as usual, it should find the new drive and you should be able to backup anything you want.
    Just make sure that when you connect the drive, that it's set to slave and pref. not on the IDE1 channel, as the desktop might then try to use it to boot instead of the regular drive.

    Lastly you you can use an external USB drive instead of the network as I outlined first. For information on how to load the usb drivers, do a search on the forum as another member (was it RBS?) posted a short guide.

    Good luck!
  3. macarlin1

    macarlin1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Backup Laptop to Desktop

    Thanks MrGaribaldi.
    I'm kind of leaning to option 2 or 3.
    I appreciate the response. I just hope my sons harddrive isn't fried.
  4. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    You're welcome.
    I personally would probably go for option nr 2, but that's mostly because it'd take the least amount of time and work...

  5. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,243   +446

    I would try a Knoppix disc if it's just an OS related issue and not hardware. It's what I do for my friends who have machines go down and it require no prep time except getting my knoppix disc out.
  6. macarlin1

    macarlin1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Knoppix disc?

    Sorry I don't know what that is. I'll go look it up.
  7. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    What exactly do you do to them, if you don't mind me asking? I've used knoppix before, but just a bit and didn't get too deep into it.
  8. macarlin1

    macarlin1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Desktop not reading laptop harddrive

    I pulled the laptop hd and was all set to hook it up to the desktop and realized I had to get an adapter to go to the 40 pin ide ribbon. Went to Microcenter and saw a 2.5 hd w/ usb 2 interface(NexStar) that seemed like an easier option (and only $8 more than the $10 adapter).

    Hooked it up, desktop recognised new hardware and I can see the drive (K)
    when I want to disconnect it but it doesn't show up in "MY COMPUTER"?
    Also, the PC was taking a long time to end tasks(like my computer) and when I tried to disconnect the external hd it kept telling me it couldn't do that cause some application was accessing it.
    I went to Disk Manager and after a while the drive finally showed up. The weird thing is that my other drives show that a percentage of the drive is free but this one from the laptop says it's 100% free? It also shows the whole drive as Primary (blue). I'm assuming that doesn't matter since it's an external drive.
    I have a very bad feeling the laptop harddrive is kaput.
  9. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    (The easiest thing in my opinion is to buy a Q-TEC 2.5" HDD USB2 caddy, and take the HDD out of the laptop, and put it in the caddy. Copy data off it. Then replace the HDD back in the laptop and reinstall Windows. All over in 2 hours, if you don't count going to the store to buy the caddy, which is very cheap by the way....)

    Anyway, to your current predicament - can you post a screenshot of what you are seeing in disk manager?

    My computer--->Right Click--->Manage--->Select Disk Management.

    Take a screenshot by clicking on PRINT SCREEN key, and then pasting into paint shop pro, pbrush, whatever.

    You may well have a damaged partition table on that HDD, or worse.
  10. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    You can take a screenshot of just your disk management (or any other active window) by pressing ALT-PrintScreen. This will only capture your active window and not your whole desktop :)
  11. patio

    patio TS Maniac Posts: 482

    I could be mistaken here but i think if it's showing the laptop drive in Blue then he was using disk compression on it. This would also explain why it takes awhile for it to recognise...

    patio. :cool:
  12. IronDuke

    IronDuke TS Rookie Posts: 856

    Could well be right, we'll see when we get the screenshot.
  13. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    It's most likely due to the manufacturere having created a special partition for recovery purposes, which might very well be compressed in some way. This is not supposed to show when you're using the harddrive in the laptop, but when you connect i to another computer like you've done, it'll show up as used space...

    Did the laptop have any "Press F3 to start recovery" or similar messages on startup when it worked?
    On my laptop, I get a cryptic "F3..." on startup to remind me I can do a system restore.
  14. macarlin1

    macarlin1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    OK, sorry I haven't responded to any of this.
    Thanks to all for the help/suggestions. I finally got the laptop harddrive recognized in my desktop.
    I brought it into work yesterday and a techie guy was able to run some diagnostics and perform some repairs on it.
    I took it home and hooked it up via usb2 and... still not recognized. I jerked around with enabling/disabling usb2 ports and finally got it up on "My Computer".
    Was able to start copying the data to my pc so my son is happy.

    The laptop hd is 40gig and there is about 2 gig free.
    Would this cause it to have problems booting up?

    Thanks again to everybody.
  15. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    Congrats with getting the data off it!

    As for the last question, no... I've booted with harddrives with much less free space without any problem.

    It could be that the drive had become corrupted, and that the techie fixed it.
    So you might want to try to boot it now, since it worked well enough for you to copy from...
  16. macarlin1

    macarlin1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    That's what I thought about the free space. Still cleaning up the harddrive a little tonight and then I'll try to boot it.

    Thanks for the help.
  17. IronDuke

    IronDuke TS Rookie Posts: 856

    The problem with such little free space is you can't do a good defrag. You'll probably be surprised at the amount of space you can reclaim.
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