Hard Drive Problems/Data transfer


QUESTION: Okay, here's the problem that's shown up. I just bought a brand new computer and everything is great. But I've got a dead older computer which has a bunch of my files on it. I'm about 95% sure it's a motherboard problem and not a hard drive problem with the old rig. But it won't boot.

My old rig was running XP and the new one is running Win 8. And while I put the hard drive that's in the old computer in, my new computer is a slimline design and I don't know if I'll be able to put in the old disk in my new computer (not sure about connections and if the old disk will fit.)

Is there a way for me to get my data off the old and onto the new? BTW, I'm pretty sure the old computer crashed when I was doing a backup so I don't even have the latest backup on the thing.

If I've asked this question in the wrong place please let me know. Otherwise thank you for your time.

ANSWER: Hi Ryan!

If your PC has enough power and data connections for the drive, then you should be able to hook up your old drive and pull data off of it, even if the case doesn't close all the way while on/copying.

If you don't have enough power or data connections to connect it directly to the new PC, then you can use an adapter like below to attach your drive to your computer via USB:

SATA/IDE USB Adapter on Amazon

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

Good luck!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Okay, I bought the thing and it works like a charm with my old desktop running XP. I'm able to transfer what I need to my new desktop.

But I'm stumped again. I've got a laptop that needs a new power supply. It won't boot. I took the hard disk out of my laptop (it's running win 7) and I can see everything on that laptop drive except for my documents and music - which are the only things that I need. Documents, pictures, and music - that's all I want and I can't find them. With the old XP hard drive I'm fine. But with the laptop not so much.

Any ideas?

They should be accessible just like with XP.  Things that might affect that are if you were running with multiple drives and had "moved" the location of your folders, or if they somehow got "hidden".  Make sure in Windows Explorer that you have enabled hidden files to be shown.  Windows 7 puts these folders in a different location:  C:\Users\username instead of C:\Documents and Settings\username (XP), so make sure you are looking in the right place.

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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