Old computer died, need to get info off of it


Old 10-25-08, 11:46 PM
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Old computer died, need to get info off of it

My old computer wouldn't power up after disconnecting it to move office furniture around, the reconnecting it. A friend suggested a new power supply, but no luck. I have years of info on the hard drive (no recent backup - Duh), not to mention the accounting for my business.

I bought a new computer, which has Windows Vista, and the old computer had XP. I really can't stand Vista, and was wondering if I can just install the Hard drive from the old computer into the new one so I will not only get the info I need, but still be able to use XP.

I'm not much of a computer guy, but hard drives are easy to install.

Any thoughts?
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Old 10-26-08, 06:51 AM
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It is possible but it can be a chore getting it to work properly due to the different mother board you'll be connecting to. Best bet would be to install the old HD as a slave and take the data off it or leave it in place as a second drive.
Old 10-26-08, 07:05 AM
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You could also get a USB-IDE adapter (external) and connect the old hdd via USB. Many of the kits also give you the ability to connect laptop HD's and SATA drives.
Old 10-27-08, 09:28 AM
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I would highly not recommend putting the old drive in the new pc. Chances are the it would hose the install of XP on the old drive with the installation of all the new drivers for the new hardware.

You'd be better off copying the data off with one of the methods explained above, then reload the new drive with XP if that is what you wish to do. Just make sure there are XP drivers available for your new hardware before you load XP.
Old 10-27-08, 05:52 PM
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I actually like Vista. Of course it took awhile. I remember when xp came out. there was a campaign to give it two weeks and see how you felt. Well, I did that with Vista. Once I learned it and customized it to suit me, I really liked it. Give it a try. Learn how to turn off things you don't like, add things you like.
Old 10-27-08, 06:19 PM
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I would stay well away from Vista if you have a choice. I have a feeling that it's not long for the marketplace.

Last edited by Rick Johnston; 10-28-08 at 05:21 AM.
Old 10-28-08, 07:48 AM
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Herm - I am currently doing what everyone is suggesting. I had exactly the same problem. I unplugged my computer while installing a wireless router and new power strip. When I tried to power up the computer, it would not turn on. I swapped the PS from a spare I had and it still didn't work.

Now I have a new computer (Vista) and a ton of stuff on my old hard drive. I bought a external HD enclosure for about $50 (the GEEK Squad wanted $160 for a HD xfer) and I'm about to connect it to my new computer. I'll let you know how it turns out.

BTW - I too prefer XP to Vista, but that may be because it's new to me and I had XP for a while.
Old 10-28-08, 08:11 AM
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Thanks cwbuff,

I'm anxiously awaiting your results!
I suppose Vista may be fine, but like you stated, I'm just not as familiar as I am XP. I have heard a lot of other horror stories, though.
Thanks to all who replied
Old 10-28-08, 11:32 AM
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don't get your hopes up

It is not at all uncommon for a hard drive to fail to start up again after being shut down in cases where it had not previously been shut down for an extended period of time.

Example: You have had your old computer running for 5 years and can't remember turning off the power more than a couple of times (not the same as rebooting/restarting).

This was much more common 10 years ago but it still happens. Lower-end hard drives can experience failure when powered down for the first time after a LONG period (think 10+ months) of use.

In the old days, we could sometime get them going enough to get data off by giving them a good hard spin on the same plane as the platters would be spinning. If this is not clear, then think of holding a CD flat on the palm of your hand. Now imagine spinning your hand without changing the orientation of the CD. Sometimes you can jerk it just enough not to damage it but still enough to loosen the gears/bearings if they had gotten jammed.

In the end, if your computer died because you powered it off but no wires or cables came loose and it was not otherwise jostled - you probably have a hard drive failure and your data is in need of a backup copy (free) or a professional recovery ($$).

I agree that I would not try to use the old hard drive in my new replacement PC. Perhaps connect it long enough to try to get it started and copy the data off but that's about it.

- Peter
Old 10-28-08, 09:36 PM
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Peter - I'm not sure who's dead computer you are referring to, Herm's (OP) or mine. Mine was a no brainer, when I pugged it back in and turned it on there was smoke and sparks from the power supply.

Herm - I removed my old HD and installed it in an external Hard Drive Enclosure made by Rocketfish. So far I'm pleased. The install was easy (10 minutes) and it was plug and play. It uses a USB port and needs a power source. My computer recognized the hardware and apparently had the drivers on board. I didn't even need to use the software that came with the enclosure.

Transferring files from the external HD to the internal has been easy - just drag in explorer. Running existing programs on the external drive has been a problem. Some do and some don't. I'm still working on that.
Old 10-29-08, 07:57 AM
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Smoke and sparks from mine as well.


I looked for the rocketfish HD enclosure you mentioned. They were $60 at the local BB. Looked for them online and found one on Ebay (new in box) for $7.95 plus $8 for shipping. I figured for the price, it was worth the try.

I'll keep you posted.


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