Saving files from a crashed hard drive?

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Grandpa Chuck, Mar 24, 2007.

  1. My friend whose computer is stuck in a boot-loop now believes his hard
    drive has crashed. Consequently, he has not been able to boot up.

    Can I take that hard drive out of his computer and put it into my old
    computer as Drive X (or whatever) and then copy the files and folders
    from it either to the Drive C or CDs so when he is able to get a new
    hard drive he will still have his vital data, etc.?

    Right now he is unemployed and has been for some time so does not have
    any money to spend on the computer at all. If I am able to save his
    files I can probably come up with a hard drive he can use. Even if it
    is smaller than the one that crashed he will have his files on CDs if
    that will work.

    Thank you for you suggestions friends. If I can help him to get his
    computer up and running he should know why I had been telling him to
    backup his critical files to CDs right along.


    Grandpa Chuck
    Grandpa Chuck, Mar 24, 2007
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  2. Grandpa Chuck

    Salil Guest


    you can do what you describe, if you have a little expertise. First,
    you'll need to know what kind of hard drive he has in his system, and
    also what kind of hard drive controller your system has. It'll either
    be IDE or SATA (don't worry about the technical differences, but if
    they're not the same, this is going to get more complicated, and will
    involve adapters or additional controllers, which we'll try to avoid).

    If they're both the same (your machine has an IDE hard drive and so
    does his) then we're in business. You can add his drive as a second
    hard drive using either an additional IDE cable on the second IDE
    channel in your computer, or as a slave on the channel that your
    existing hard drive lives on. It's pretty much plug-and-play; you hook
    it up and it should work.

    Some info you need to know:
    Most motherboards have 2 IDE channels on their IDE controllers.
    Physically, they look like a long rectangular connector with two rows
    of gold pins. Each IDE channel can support 2 devices. One must be
    "Master" and the other must be set as "Slave." You usually do this
    with jumper pins on the device in question. There's usually a small
    diagram on those IDE devices that describes how to set the jumpers for
    Master, Slave, or "Cable Select."

    Hopefully, this will help you!

    Salil, Mar 24, 2007
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  3. Thank you Salil. I am familiar enough with what you are talking about,
    I think, to be able to tell when I see his hard drive. He has a
    refurbished HP Pavilion that is a few years old. I have never actually
    been in his house to see the machine, but if he wants me to attempt
    this I will go over there since he doesn't have a car. I will get the
    hard drive and a bunch of blank CD-RW disks he said he has.

    I want to check his CMOS setting for the boot sequence if I can get
    his computer to do that the way it is now. He said he has a WinXP Home
    Edition recovery disk that someone loaned him but the computer won't
    boot up from it. The disk does say it is for a Dell computer only. It
    has been so long since I have changed a boot sequence that I do not
    recall how to do it right now. (I refuse to admit that is a senior
    moment.) LOL


    Grandpa Chuck
    Grandpa Chuck, Mar 24, 2007
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