Retrieving data from an old Hard Drive (PC)

13
Found 13th Sep 2017
My last PC had a problem with the graphics card and due to its age, it wasn't worth getting it repaired. However, I have some data on the Hard Drive that I would like to take off. Is there a cheap device that I could plug into my current PC, that would enable me to read data off of the old hard drive? I do not want to mess around with swapping around the hard drives, in case something goes wrong. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.
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Hdd dock
If it was graphics card fault can you not, remove/disable the graphics card, switch to on-board graphics then upload data/files/images to cloud. Then DL to whatever source you choose.
Edited by: "mrty" 13th Sep 2017
Depending on the age either a usb to sata or usb to ide adapter.
If you have a dvd drive in your current Pc chances are it will use the sata interface, so just unplug the dvd drive and plug both cables into the hard drive. Done.
Original Poster
Thank you for the advice. Just need to work out if I have an IDE or SATA hard drive now (from a desktop computer)?
Sophiasky5 h, 3 m ago

Thank you for the advice. Just need to work out if I have an IDE or SATA …Thank you for the advice. Just need to work out if I have an IDE or SATA hard drive now (from a desktop computer)?


Doesn't really matter whether it is IDE or SATA, because you have a desktop hard drive you will need the power supply that the £7.89 adapter kit comes with.
Edited by: "SUMMONER" 14th Sep 2017
SUMMONER3 h, 39 m ago

cheap SATA to USB 2.0 'laptop' hard drive adapter £2.48cheap SATA to USB …cheap SATA to USB 2.0 'laptop' hard drive adapter £2.48cheap SATA to USB 3.0 'laptop' hard drive adapter £3.80basic USB 2.0 adapter kit for any (laptop and desktop) IDE or SATA hard drive £7.89

Thank you for posting these links, I've been after something like this myself to retrieve data of a couple of old laptops.
Original Poster
To 'SUMMONER'

Thank you for your help. Just wondering, have you used this type of equipment before - just wondering if it all comes with instructions as to where all of the bits plug into? The desktop PC that I am borrowing at the moment belongs to my son (it's his gaming computer). If I manage to attach this equipment via the USB on his PC tower, it is not going to mess up my son's own hard drive/computer is it? I just need to retrieve some files and photos off of my old hard drive - would I need to transfer them to my son's hard drive (from my plugged in one) first and then transfer them over to my USB stick? Sorry, I don't really know how this equipment works. Thank you.
Sophiasky28 m ago

To 'SUMMONER'Thank you for your help. Just wondering, have you used this …To 'SUMMONER'Thank you for your help. Just wondering, have you used this type of equipment before - just wondering if it all comes with instructions as to where all of the bits plug into? The desktop PC that I am borrowing at the moment belongs to my son (it's his gaming computer). If I manage to attach this equipment via the USB on his PC tower, it is not going to mess up my son's own hard drive/computer is it? I just need to retrieve some files and photos off of my old hard drive - would I need to transfer them to my son's hard drive (from my plugged in one) first and then transfer them over to my USB stick? Sorry, I don't really know how this equipment works. Thank you.


Yes, I have been using these kinds of adapter kits for years.

If you want to maintain access to old drives in the long term you would buy a desktop cradle/full drive housing (turns it basically into a proper external hard drive) for £20-£30, but for infrequent/portable use the cheap adapter kits for < £10 are perfect.

As for instructions, just watch a couple videos on YouTube that show all the steps necessary. Once connected you can copy & paste your files from the old hard drive directly to your USB stick.

Connecting the drive externally can not really mess anything up. However just to be on the safe side be sure to only plug the usb adapter into the computer after you have booted it into Windows, otherwise the computer may attempt to start Windows off your old hard drive.
Edited by: "SUMMONER" 13th Sep 2017
The adapter looks complicated, but the larger side connector is for desktop IDE, the smaller is for 2.5" laptop IDE (adapter plugs into the drive)
For SATA, the cable plugs into the socket on the adapter and to the drive, while the power adapter cable converts the molex power to SATA.

It is plug & play.

Ensure that the drive is placed so it won't move, and unplug the mains power adapter before moving the drive, as that seems to be the only way to spin down the drive.

I like this style of "anything to USB" kit, handy for checking drives - wouldn't recommend it as a permanent external hard drive as the board of the drive is exposed.

NB. 2.5" laptop SATA drives use the same connection format as desktop drives, so it really does cover ALL popular types
Edited by: "matth9999" 14th Sep 2017
Personally I'd just attach it as extra to current PC. All you have to do is plug in 2 cables and turn the PC on. Doesn't have to be fitted, it'll only be temporary
xfaxfa20 m ago

Personally I'd just attach it as extra to current PC. All you have to do …Personally I'd just attach it as extra to current PC. All you have to do is plug in 2 cables and turn the PC on. Doesn't have to be fitted, it'll only be temporary


Agreed, unplug the P.C, take the side panel off, look at what cables go into the current drive, find 2 of the same (there will likely be spares) plug it in and rest inside the case, boot it up and it will just show as a 2nd drive. You can recover your data them take it back out or secure it properly inside and use for extra storage.
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