Hard Drive Problems/c drive externally


My motherboard failed so I've bought a replacement second hand PC of similar spec (also running XP).
I've mounted the 'C' drive from the dead computer in an external enclosure and can access My Documents but can't get programmes to open from that drive - I just get lists of files in the programs or messages, usually saying something like a .dll file not found. Why can't I use the programmes - is it because I've got OS's on both the new PC and on the old 'C' drive?
(Most importantly, I want to be able to access my OE emails)

Hi Andrew!

You can't run installed programs from a non-active Windows disk.  The "active" disk is the one containing Windows and is currently booted.  Windows has to know where to find all the pieces needed to run a given program.  If you run an installed EXE from a non-active disk, then Windows doesn't know where to find all the pieces to run it (many of them are DLL's).  Non-installed programs (standalone EXE's) will usually still run fine - it is the programs that were installed that cannot run.

As for attempting to recover your Outlook Express emails ...  you can try it one of two ways:

1. If it was just your motherboard that died, then you may be able to boot to your old drive and then attempt to Export your emails.  However, it is likely that if the hardware is dissimilar enough that you'll get a blue screen instead of it booting.

2. You try to browse your old disk for the Outlook Express files, then attempt to open them with the new Outlook Express:


Feel free to follow up with any additional questions you might have.

Good luck!

Hard Drive Problems

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I can answer questions about server hardware RAID and general storage for servers and PC's - hard drive issues, troubleshooting, advice, specs, and information. While some apparent drive/RAID array failures can be recovered, I can only provide advice/recommendations in the event of catastrophic data loss. I don't assist in actually recovering from this type of data loss on this forum.


I worked as an analyst in Dell server support for 2 years, and have since worked with many Dell PowerEdge servers. I am currently employed as IT Manager. I am currently ranked in the top 5 All-Time in Server Hardware and Hard Drives in a very popular and large forum similar to AllExperts.

I have a BS in Computer Science and have earned the following certifications: CompTIA Security+, A+, Project+; CIW Web Design, Database Specialist; Microsoft Windows 7; Dell DCSE Server. I am also an expert in Windows 7, Servers, and Hard Drives (I don't normally do XP - not because I don't know it inside and out, but because I have "retired" personal support for XP, and I want to see it die :)).

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