Need help capturing data from old computers

By Steph05 ยท 6 replies
Jan 2, 2016
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  1. I have two units an older computer Dell tower (circa 2004) and a lap top that I would like to capture the C drive from for docs & such. Both units are running Windows XP.
    In the tower I am getting what I call the "Blue Screen of DEATH", and it will not recognize either the diskette or CD-rom drives.
    In the laptop the graphics card has stopped working so nothing will display even on an external monitor.

    Is it possible to connect via USB to a newer unit and see the hard drive so I can copy files?
    Old unit is running Windows XP home and the new one has Windows 10.

    Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    It is possible to get a connection - - accessing / recovering is a different matter.

    You need to get the HD out of the laptop, and some can be difficult.

    You then connect that drive to an enclosure and the enclosure to another system.

    Look at the Diskmgr and see how it shows up. If it's a normal drive, then you can suck files from it to another system.
    bazz2004 likes this.
  3. mike1959

    mike1959 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,034   +55

    Agreed, you have to get both of the hard drives out, then connect the data and power sockets on them to the correct type of plugs, (easier if you have the adapter kits that are included with the external 'caddy' adapters) which will then give you the USB plugs on the ends to plug into any working pc.
    The 2004 pc is likely to have the older style IDE drive, and the laptop is likely to have a 2.5 inch hard drive.
    Some pc's have SATA drives and a spare 'old style' IDE header on board, which would be so much easier to use.
    With laptops, there is sometimes a door or panel which will give you access to the hard drive.
    A thought about the laptop, it's possible that the screen has failed in some way, so if you have the blue VGA output socket on it somewhere, you could plug in a separate monitor to see what's happening, it's also possible that you have tried that already !
    bazz2004 likes this.
  4. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,585   +250

    A laptop has a 2.5" hard drive and a desktop a 3.5" hard drive. That means you need to think carefully about the caddy or caddies that you buy. A laptop sized caddy won't take a 3.5" drive. A laptop drive will fit in a 3.5" caddy but I expect that you would need to buy an adapter. Things like those are often not included. Amazon reviews are helpful when you don't know what you are buying. It'll be easy to get the hard drive out of the desktop. The laptop is worth nothing so don't worry if you break anything removing the hard drive. It may be accessible via a little cover underneath as will the ram.
  5. Steph05

    Steph05 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I have done some research realized for safety sake I should remove the old hard drives and connect them as an external hard drive.
    I am looking to purchase a Saberant device. But have questions as to which type I need. I know my new laptop has USB 3.0, and the older units have 2.0.
    Saberant comes in both. Do I need to purchase the 2.0 to ensure it will work with the older hard drives.
  6. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,585   +250

    My guess is that usb3 will be backwards compatible with usb2 but it's just that - a guess. I have no usb3 devices.
  7. mike1959

    mike1959 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,034   +55

    bazz2004 likes this.

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