Connect laptop hard drive to desktop computer

Yesterday my laptop failed to boot. Everything appears to be normal but each time I turn it on it hangs on Windows screen with a running bar. I cannot boot my laptop to the desktop. I tested the hard drive and it passed the test. I think that my hard drive is fine and the operating system is corrupted. I have very important files in my documents and I need to recover, transfer them to the desktop computer as soon as possible. How can I connect the laptop hard drive to a desktop computer?

It is nice that your hard drive passed the test. I think you have very good chances that your data is still good and you would be able to transfer it to the desktop computer. Here are some tips for connecting a laptop hard drive to a desktop computer:
1. You can use 2.5” hard drive adapter and connect the laptop hard drive directly to a desktop computer through the IDE connector on the system board. The desktop hard drive would be connected to IDE1 so you can connect the laptop hard drive to IDE2. After you boot the desktop computer the second hard drive would be detected and you can access it as a regular HDD. Now you can recover, transfer all needed files from the laptop hard drive to the desktop hard drive.
2. You can use an external USB enclosure for laptop hard drives. I think that would be the easiest and fastest way to access your data. You can find an external USB enclosure in any computer shop and it would cost you about $20-$30 or buy it on ebay for $10. After you remove the laptop hard drive, place it inside the enclosure and connect to the desktop or another laptop computer via the USB cable. It is not necessary to install any drivers for the enclosure if the desktop PC runs Winodws 2000 or Windows XP. If the desktop PC runs Windows 98, then most likely you’ll have to install a driver for the enclosure before you can access the hard drive. The USB cable and the driver usually supplies with the external enclosure. Now you can access the laptop hard drive as a regular drive on your desktop/laptop computer.

135 Responses

  1. I have the opposite problem (sort of). The screen for my desktop, which is now several years old and in need of replacement, is broken. Rather than buy a new screen I am thinking of getting a new computer.

    I was wondering whether it is possible to access the old harddrive to recover music and pictures without having to wait until I can get a new desktop / new screen. I have a laptop and have just purchased an external harddrive for my laptop – can either of these be used?

  2. Laptop Freak

    Dave,
    You mentioned that you have an external hard drive for the laptop. Do you know if it has a laptop 2.5” hard drive inside or a desktop 3.5” hard drive? If the enclosure has a 3.5” HDD, then you can remove the hard drive from the desktop and install it inside the enclosure. Otherwise, you’ll probable have to wait for a new desktop and then attach the old drive as a slave and recover all personal files.

  3. I have a compaq series 5000 desk top that had a problem with the hard drive. Someone told me i need a new operating system and it is better to get a new computer. So i bought a compaq laptop. Now i wonder if i can remove the hard drive and transfer the data to my laptop. I am not sure if it will connect or work.

  4. Laptop Freak

    Bob,

    Now I wonder if I can remove the hard drive and transfer the data to my laptop.

    It depends. If the old hard drive is dead and will not spin at all then you cannot recover data yourself. You’ll have to use a clean room recovery service – very expensive service. If the old drive doesn’t work because it has bad sectors or corrupted OS, you can attempt accessing the drive via an external USB enclosure.
    Remove the hard drive from the old desktop computer and install it into an external USB enclosure for 3.5” hard drives. After that connect the enclosure to your laptop and see if the laptop can recognize the drive. If you can access the hard drive, transfer all needed data to your laptop.
    You can find a 3.5” USB enclosure in any local computer store or on the internet.

  5. My laptop recently crashed and I can no longr boot it up. I have an external 2.5″ harddrive (Firelite) that I use for storage. I took out the existing Toshiba harddrive and replaced it with my laptop harddrive (A Hitachi) and tried to connect it to my PC to transfer the files and recover my documents. But Windows is not detecting the harddrive, so I can’t transfer anything. It should be noted that the original external harddrive (Firelite/Toshiba) is driverless, so that could be a reason why it is not picking it up.

    If it’s any use, the error i’m having with my laptop(HP Pavilion Ze5385US) is that it wont continue the boot past the Windows logo and instead gets stuck in an infinite rebooting loop. Here’s the error that flashes on screen for about half a second before it reboots:
    “Page Fault in Nonpaged Area”

  6. Laptop Freak

    Brad,
    Regarding the error “Page Fault in Nonpaged Area”. I think you might have a faulty RAM. According to the maintenance and service guide for HP Pavilion ze5385us notebooks, you can access both memory slots from the bottom of the laptop. Here’s what you can try. If you have two RAM modules installed, remove them one by one and test the laptop after each removed module. If you have only one RAM module, move it from the slot A to the slot B. See if playing with RAM modules can help you successfully boot the laptop. Download Memtest 86+ utility (Link on the right side) and run the memory test to find out if you have a faulty RAM modules.
    To test the hard drive you can use Hitachi’s drive fitness test (link on the right side) utility. It’s a free HDD test utility that works on most hard drives.
    You mentioned that the laptop cannot pass Windows logo, so I assume the Hitachi drive is not completely dead and it spins when you install it into the external enclosure, right? I don’t know why Windows cannot detect the Hitachi drive; there shouldn’t be any compatibility issue. I have an external enclosure that I use with many different drives and never seen a problem. Take a look at the Hitachi drive, may be pins have a jumper (allows to set master/slave/cable select manually)? A generic USB enclosure usually has 2 USB connectors on the end that goes to a PC, so the hard drive gets enough power. What about your enclosure? If it has 2 USB connectors on one end, make sure both are connected to the PC. For some laptop hard drives getting power from 1 USB port would be enough, for some you must connect both USB connectors.

  7. Can I use a plain ol’ USB cable to connect my laptop to my desktop to transfer files? My CD-ROM died, so until I get a new one I need to transfer large amounts of data somehow. I also don’t have means to make a wireless network or LAN metwork or whatever it’s called… So, I was just wondering if data transfer is possible with just a USB cable. I tried just pluging them together, but I don’t get anything popping up, so I need help.

  8. Hello,
    My laptop crushed, but the C Drive survived. I connected it to another computer via USB. I am able to view and access all the folders. I was first unable to access “My documents”, but found way to do it by taking ownership of the folder.
    HOWEVER here is my problem, .. even though I can access “my documents” folder, and see all the files in there, including the size, etc, when I double click to open any of them, they do not work. It does not matter if it’s a picture, a notepad file, or other documents, music, etc. .. as if though they were encrypted or corrupted (i did not have a setting for them to be encrypted)
    Any help would be great.. thank you.
    Ella

  9. i want to transfer movies for my regular computer to my laptop, but i dont know how to connect them directly. I also wanted to know how to connect the laptop to the tv, is there a usb wire with 3 imports, is that what i need.

  10. Laptop Freak

    Mara,
    You cannot transfer data just using a regular USB cable. You have to use a crossover Ethernet cable and setup a network in order to access files on one PC directly from another PC. If you don’t know how to do that, then I would go with an external USB enclosure.

  11. Laptop Freak

    Ella,
    Can you copy files from the laptop hard drive to the other computer? Do you get any error messages when you try drag-and-drop or open a file in My Documents?

  12. Laptop Freak

    Michael,
    In order to connect the laptop and PC directly, it’s necessary to set up a network. It’s not as simple as just connecting both computers via a USB cable.
    The easiest way to connect the laptop to TV is via S-video port using S-video cable.

  13. Hello.
    Yes, I can copy them, drag them, no error message. Do you think They are corrupted?
    I do remember that I was going to copy them to the CD, but they were big in file, and the CD was not (only 700 MB), so I deleted the temporary files that were going to be written to the CD. (which was the whole “my documents” folder copy… I don’t think that should damage anything, but just in case I thought I should say it.
    So right now I have these files, pictures, music, but I can’t do anything with them. Yesterday I tried to upload a file from the folder, just a simple notepad file to the web and it said “invalid file”.
    Any thoughts? Thank you very much.
    Ella

  14. They all say they were modified on Saturday (the day I connected C Drive). Besides this folder all other folders are fine. Is there a way to retrieve a prior version of files? lol.. I must sound not very smart.. I just spent countless hours since then trying to figure this out.. If i try to open for example any music files, they can’t. I get the message that they can not open, the file might be corrupted. Any text files open, but they are “blank”.. if my move my mouse over them, there is something there, but nothing visible, .. but like I said, they are not empty, they still have the same file size as they had before. System restore would not help, since it’s “my documents” folder. I was lucky enough that my mom has the same laptop model, and so I put it in my mom’s laptop, worked just like mine, all programs, etc. I am not sure if I the folder did not work from the beginning.. it actually maybe did work, that’s why I mentioned that I was going to copy that folder to CD that was too small in the size and then deleted those temporary files that were waiting to be written to the CD. I also was trying to do the “file transfer wizard”, but it did not let me put it to the CD’s as well. After that I opened one of the files and from that point on I know that the files are “bad”

  15. Laptop Freak

    Sorry Ella,
    I’m not really sure what is going on. I don’t know why you can copy files but cannot open them. Are you positive that files are not encrypted? The file name letters are black (not encrypted) or green (encrypted)? When you encrypt a file, the filename changes to green.

  16. Hi again.. I’m sorry I did not come back here since last post. No, they are not encrypted, the names are black. :( I don’t have a clue of what to do anymore with this. I still have a hope that someone would know and maybe post something here. A friend of a friend might take a look at the C-Drive in a couple of weeks, if he has a chance.. I slowly started to get over the lost files, but it’s not easy seeing them there and not being able to access them.. very weird. No programs out there to retreive a previous version of a file? They all seem to say that they were modified the day that I connected the C-Drive (as posted above in more details). Either way.. thank you for your time, please let me know if you can think of anything else.
    Ella

  17. hi there,my laptop was smashed up but i managed to retrieve the harddrive as well as few other parts here and there,the problem i have now is i bought a 2.5 enclosure so i could transer files from the drive onto my desktop or my new laptop but i cant find the drive anywhere on either computer.
    it came with a little driver disk but when i click setup it comes up with an error saying some file is missing,then it says all drivers are fully installed.
    the external drive i brought is a blueye Xeasy portable hard drive model:U225 usb2.0
    both my desktop and laptop recognise the new hardware but i cant find the drive to access my files.
    is there something im missing?

  18. Laptop Freak

    Helen,
    If you connect the hard drive enclosure to a computer with Windows 2000 or Windows XP, you don’t need to load any drivers. The hard drive should be detected automatically. Here’s how it usually works:
    1. You connect the external hard drive enclosure to a working computer. The balloon will pop up in the lower right corner and it should say “A new hard drive is detected… Blah-blah”.
    2. The second balloon will appear “New hard ware is installed…Restart the computer”
    3. You restart the computer, go to My Computer and you should see the external drive in there. Access this hard drive like a regular drive and transfer all needed files.

    If the external hard dive will not appear in My Computer, then either the hard drive has been damaged or you got a bad enclosure. I got one of these “bad” enclosures. When I connect it to my desktop computer it bluescreens and reboots, but the same enclosure works perfectly with my laptops.

  19. You’re the greatest. You just saved me $650 on a new laptop.

  20. My laptop died, so I salvaged the HD and stuck it in an external enclosure. I see the HD on my new PC now, but I can’t access the My Documents folder. I also can’t run some of my programs because they say they haven’t been installed on my computer. How do I fix this? Thanks in advance!

  21. Hello,
    I downloaded a virus recently and had problems with XP. So I bought an enclosure and followed the steps above to pull my files off my hard drive onto another computer. The problem now is that all folders are visible except “\documents and settings\milton…” where all my music and pictures are. I attempted to run the File Transfer wizard and it lists the subfolders “My Music, My Pictures”, etc. But, when I try to access them via Explorer it says “F:\Documents and Settings\Milton… is not accessible. Access Denied.”

    What do you think is going on?

    Milton

  22. Hi all,
    I figured out a solution to my problem! I simply had to take “Ownership” of the files on the removed Hard Drive. This Microsoft KB article describes the process: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308421

    Good luck…
    Milton

  23. Laptop Freak

    Yoski,
    You cannot run programs from the external hard drive, you actually have to install them on your new PC.
    Do you get any messages when you try accessing My Documents folder? Check out comments 21 and 22. Milton posted a possible solution in the comment 22, may be that’s your problem?

  24. HI,
    Milton’s suggestion (22) does not work for me as the complete laptop, now accessible via USB, does not allow me to share the my documents. Any other suggestions?
    Scott

  25. Hi,

    My IBM T40 Windows XP operating system crashed and then kept on going into the blue screen. The hard drive is in the early stages of dying and has corrupted the operating system beyond repair. I was able to get a new hard drive, use the recovery CDs, and transfer my files using a 2.5″ USB adaptor. However, I am wondering if there is a way to transfer the wireless network settings from the old hard drive to the new one? Thanks.

  26. Julian

    Hello I have a problem wih my external case.
    I have a ATA 80 gb 2.5″ and when I connect it to my laptop it does not appear in My PC, but it does appear the little green logo on the left hand side of the windows tool bar.
    What should I do? I have a Windows XP home edition
    Thanks

  27. Laptop Freak

    Julian,
    If it is a brand new hard drive then you’ll have to partition and format it. I think it could be your problem.
    Go to Control Panel – Administrative Tools – Computer Management – Disk Management. Can you see your external hard drive in there?
    You’ll have to initialize the hard drive, then partition and format it.

  28. I had connected a usb cable from my laptop to desktop inorder to try and transfer files from the laptop to the desktop. The desktop immediately quit working as soon as the usb connection was made. Now the only thing working on the desktop are the fan and light. Can’t shut power on/off.

    Does anyone know if the motherboard is fried?

  29. I got my old laptop harddrive connected to my new computer alright (using a usb connection) and I see it in the “My computer” menu but when I try to open it up to get my old files it tells me I need to format my drive. Is there any hope to get my stuff or should I just format it and all is lost?

  30. Laptop Freak

    Cat,
    I think there is a chance to recover personal data from the hard dive by using data recovery software (something like GetDataBack by Runtime Software).
    I think it this case you’ll have to scan the hard drive for raw data. This is just a guess but if the data is important it’s worth trying.

  31. I recently lost the motherboard on my Dell Inspiron, but the hard drive was intact. So far I’ve been able to retrieve all documents, but I’m still missing Outlook data (calendar entries, email, etc.) and similar data from the Timeslips billing program. If I connect the hard drive to my desktop using an external enclosure, will I be able to export the data I need from the laptop HD? No recent backup files were already available, so that’s essentially what I’m trying to make from the old drive. The programs have all been reloaded on the desktop.

  32. Laptop Freak

    Lance,

    but I’m still missing Outlook data (calendar entries, email, etc.) and similar data from the Timeslips billing program.

    You’ll find Outlook data in .pst file. Scan the hard drive for .pst file and back it up. After that import .pst into the new installation of Outlook.
    Cannot help you with the Timeslips program, I’m not familiar with this software.

  33. I have a Toshiba Satellite 1905-S301 laptop. Few weeks back when I started it, a dialog box opened up saying there is some problem with the registry. I have tried connecting my laptop hard drive using USB enclosure to my new Mac Book Pro, however it mentions that the disk you inserted was not readable by this computer due to unrecognizable filesystem. My question is if I connect this hard drive to Windows XP pc, will I be able to transfer the important files then? Its hard to understand that the Desktop will have access to the files which originally require administrator password to log into. I seek some advise on this. Thank you.

  34. Laptop Freak

    Rahul,
    If you connect this hard drive to a computer with Windows XP, you shouldn’t have any problem transferring personal files, unless the hard drive has some kind of mechanical problem.

    Its hard to understand that the Desktop will have access to the files which originally require administrator password to log into.

    In this case you’ll have to take ownership of the files on the external hard drive.

  35. Hi,

    I just tried connecting my laptop HD with USB enclosure with my desktop (windows xp pro). The baloons on the bottom right state that the drive is ready to use but I do not see the corresponding icon in My Computer. I checked device manager and Disk management, and both show that the device is working properly and healthy. In Disk Management, It mentions the details of the Hard drive but when I right click it, the options for Open and Explore cannot be selected. Please advise me what to do now. This hard drive has roughly 5 years of my work on it. Thanks.

  36. Laptop Freak

    Rahul,
    First of all, try rebooting the desktop PC. In some cases you have to reboot computer after you attach an external hard drive.
    Most likely your external USB enclosure cable has two USB connectors on one end. Make sure both USB connectors are connected to the PC so the hard drive is getting enough power.

  37. Hi,
    I have figured out what was wrong with the hard drive and currently I am transferring file (folders infact) to my office desktop :D :D
    My USB enclosure has just 1 USB cable. Actually I came to know that I had this software Roxio GoBack on my old hard drive which was failing the desktop to display the hard drive in My Computer. I had a feeling that my hard drive is not damaged. So I made the jumper setting of the old HDD to master again(I had previously changed it to slave) and rebooted the computer. As soon as it rebooted, I pressed F12 to enter the BIOS set up, where I selected the USB controller to boot from. Once I did this, my old HDD came into action as I could see Roxio GoBack software. Pressing Spacebar, disabling it and clicking continue, desktop asked for a reboot (this was expected as windows registry in my old HDD had some problems). I went to BIOS set up again to change the boot to hard disk of desktop. and shut the computer down to change jumper position of laptop HDD to slave again. Starting the computer and logging in, I could see my hard drive in My Computer (I was ecstatic at this moment!!). As mentioned in the previous post (thanks to Laptop Freak), I gained the ownership of the folders I wanted and now the transfer process is on its way!!!

    Roxio Go Back software is a disaster!! Better remove it before it creates more problem! (My advise) In last 5 years of installing this software, I used it just once which did not create a restore point where I wanted it to restore to!! I guess it has never helped me!

  38. Laura/FI

    Hi, I have the same problem as scott: my laptop crashed but the HDD works fine. Now i connected the HDD to my work laptop with a USB-connector, where then the HDD works as an external hard disk. I had on my old laptop a password with my user profile, and now i cannot access the folder on the old hard disk X:/my documents/USERNAME as i get a reply ‘access denied’. Milton’s suggestion of changing user rights does not work, as i am logged on my work cpu with a different username.

    Any ideas?

    # scott Says:
    February 7th, 2007 at 3:40 pm

    HI,
    Milton’s suggestion (22) does not work for me as the complete laptop, now accessible via USB, does not allow me to share the my documents. Any other suggestions?
    Scott

  39. Laptop Freak

    Laura/FL,
    Milton’s suggestion didn’t work for you because he linked you to a wrong page. :) I fixed the link.
    You don’t have to change user rights, you have to take ownership of the My Documents folder.

  40. Shrawan Kumar

    Hi,

    Can i connect my external CPU to my laptop monitor… Actually i am having a laptop and i am planning to get a desktop CPU but i want my laptop screen should work for that external CPU… So that i will not purchase any Monitor… i will swap between laptop CPU and Desktop CPU…. but the monitor will be only one that is laptop screen….

  41. Hi ..
    My laptop OS crashed suddenly .. I have no recovery cd’s . I have some documents that i need to transfer real urgently, so i connected the laptop hd to an external case and tried copying it to my desktop. But it says access denied cause my documents ere passord protected on my laptop …
    Is there any ay to go around this???????
    Please Help …..

  42. Laptop Freak

    Ravi,
    You’ll have to take ownership over the folder and files you are trying to transfer to the desktop computer. Apparently a lot of people experiencing the same problem trying to transfer files, so here I explained how to take ownership over folders and files.

  43. Thanks so much man .. Big Help ……
    Cheers

  44. Hi again ….
    in my task manager, the system process is always running at 99% and my system is getting real slow .. any idea what the problem could be and how to fix it …
    My ram is fully functional ….
    I have repeatedly changed my hard disk …

    Any ideas????

  45. Ok I have a dell Inspiron 1200, the Hd crashed, so I bought a new one, about a week after the HD crashed, the cd/dvd drive also crashed so I have no access to the cd drawer.

    I have access to a IDE adapter and think I am going to use it however I need a little more of an explanation on what to connect to in my desktop to have the desktop see the laptop’s HD, above you said connect the IDE adapter cable to IDE 2 is that on the motherboard or is that the same IDE cable that is connected to the harddrive on my desktop the cable has a second connection point on the cable.( I think that is used for a slave ) I have not opened the tower yet and maybe should have looked before asking but I thought I would ask anyway.

  46. Laptop Freak

    Lance,

    above you said connect the IDE adapter cable to IDE 2 is that on the motherboard

    Most likely right now you have a DVD drive connected to the IDE 2. You can temporarily unplug the DVD drive and plug your adapter with the laptop hard drive instead. In this case you’ll have only one drive (laptop hard drive) attached to the secondary IDE channel and there shouldn’t be any conflict between drives. The laptop hard drive will be detected and recognized by the computer.

    or is that the same IDE cable that is connected to the hard drive on my desktop the cable has a second connection point on the cable.

    No it’s not the same cable. The desktop hard drive is connected to the primary IDE channel. If you connect the laptop hard drive to the same cable there could be a conflict between drives. You can avoid the conflict and make it work if you set the desktop hard drive as a master and the laptop hard drive as a slave, but you’ll have to find a small jumper for the laptop hard drive and then find out with pins you have to short in order to set it as a slave drive. If you connect the laptop hard drive to the same cable with the desktop hard drive without configuring drives, most likely both drives will be conflicting each other and one of the drives or both of them will not be detected.

  47. ED1CHUCK

    hello i purchased a 2.5 dd enclouser im using my hd from my lap top. i want to recover the files from this drive but it keeps telling me to format.you state that i have to set the drive to master.on the hard drive the master
    has no pin covered the slave does im talking about the little white four pin plug how do i set it to master? thanks a head of time.

  48. I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you to you for making this info available and easy to understand. My laptop ended up with a corrupted registry, and none of the possible fixes worked. So Dell told me my only option was to reformat the hard drive and lose all my data. Or I could pay $250 – $350 for someone to “rescue” the documents and pics from my hard drive before reformatting.

    I tried your solution and it worked like a charm! I used an external USB enclosure for my laptop hard drive and saved my important files onto my desktop hard drive. It was easy and fast, just as you said it would be. I encountered no problems of any kind.

    I am SO relieved to have this nightmare solved. A thousand thanks!

  49. now what if the files are in your desktop portion of the harddrive and since you cant get to them from the original computer will you be able to acess them from an external device or will you need special skills please help me contact me here or my email campos.city@gmail.com

  50. This is exactly the site I was looking for. Reading all the above messages gave me a few ideas for my problem.

    I dropped my laptop (HP) with all my kids pictures saved on the HD. The laptop WILL boot up, but everything is VERY slow – takes 30 minutes to copy 1 small picture to flash that use to take 10 seconds. I have 100’s of pictures. To make matters worse…some pictures say they can not be copied (something about system redundancy).

    Does this sound like I damaged the RAM or something more serious. Any ideas how to fix? If not, sounds like I need to do what you all are doing:

    Try a HD enclosure transfer to desktop via USB.

    Any thoughts?

    Thank you so much!

  51. Laptop Freak

    Lana,

    The laptop WILL boot up, but everything is VERY slow – takes 30 minutes to copy 1 small picture to flash that use to take 10 seconds. I have 100’s of pictures. To make matters worse…some pictures say they can not be copied (something about system redundancy).

    This sounds more like a problem with the hard drive, not the memory. Did you notice if the laptop is making repetitive clicking sounds coming from the hard drive area when you are trying to copy pictures? If it does, you have a problem with the hard drive.
    I think you may have better luck if you use an external USB enclosure. In this case, if you cannot transfer one particular picture, go to the next one. Hopefully you can get some of them.

  52. thanks for the input. There are no unusual noises coming from the the laptop at all. Guess I’m just going to suck it up, get the enclosure and HOPE it works!!!

    Thanks again.

  53. Marcia

    I was reading the above comments and they are extremely helpful. My Gateway 5350 crashed and it continues the reboot loop from the safemode screen. I cannot get it to boot up from any mode. I recently purchased a Dell Insp. 1525 but waiting for it to arrive. I was wondering if there is anything I need to know about connecting these two together using an enclosure? I have not yet purchased an enclosure yet so any advice would be greatly helpful!

    Thanks in advance, have a great day!

  54. Joshua

    Hi,

    I have an exact problem but this is my pc’s hard disk. For my pc, i cannot even turn on windows.

    Read the posts and was very helpful. Encountered a different problem however. My hard disk is connected via a IDE to a usb cable which is then connected to my laptop. My laptop detects the hard disk and and am able to open it on the My Computer icon. However, instead of detecting it as a 40gb hard disk, it is only detected as a 10mb disk with 7mb of space being used up. There is only 1 file present when i click explore. The file is labelled c; with a size of 46kb+.

    Stuck now as I really do not know what the problem is and do need to remove some data before i can reformat this drive. Appreciate any assistance you can render.

  55. Mudassar Qazi

    Thankyou so much for the valuable information. I am just going to buy this usb enclosure. :)
    God Bless You!

  56. Ali Khan

    Recently my Laptop IBM – Think Pad T40 stoped working. My windows can not start in any mode. It boots up to windows option then just stays there forever.
    I tried to connect my Hard drive through USB, but my computer is not detecting it. I even bought new IDE connector case but still the issue is same. Infact even working HDD from any IBM thinkpads are not detected. Tried it on many laptops and computer, never works.

    Can any one help please. I have very important data to recover from Hard Disk.

  57. Laptop Freak

    Ali Khan,

    Think Pad T40 stoped working. My windows can not start in any mode. It boots up to windows option then just stays there forever.

    Sound that you have a problem with the hard drive.
    Here’s what you can try.
    1. Download a copy of live-linux CD, for example Knoppix (I love this distro, very useful).
    2. Boot your laptop from the Knoppix CD. The environment will be very similar to Windows.
    3. If the hard drive is detected, it will appear on the desktop. You can click on the hard drive and see if your files are readable.
    4. Knoppix comes with CD/DVD burning software, you’ll find it in the start menu. You can use this software to burn all personal files on a CD or DVD.
    5. Alternatively, you can transfer files to a USB flash drive formatted with FAT or FAT32 (not NTFS) but before you can do that you’ll have to play with USB drive properties (right click on the drive and then go to Properties) in order to enable writing to the USB drive. This is more advanced but you’ll figure out.

  58. Cathy

    How can I recover *.tib files back to my hard drive?

    — I backed up my files using an acronis software before I installed a new OS in it. How can I copy those files back into my computer?

    Thank you so much for all your help!

  59. Laptop Freak

    Cathy,
    I’m not familiar with this software but let me guess. Here’s what I found about *.tib files.

    Acronis True Image creates the exact copy of your hard disk and allows you to instantly restore the entire machine including the operating system, applications, and all the data in the event of a fatal system crash or virus attack. Full or incremental backups are available and the disk image can be loaded as a virtual disk using True Image so copying individual files out of the image is possible.

    Where did you save the *.tib file? Is it on a separate partition on the hard drive?

  60. Mark

    I might have missed it if someone else asked the same question but my laptop boots to the password screen and I can access the shared files vie ethernet (wireless is not working). My question is : I would like to know if there is a way to access files on my drive that are not shared. I tried remote desktop and a few other things but the only thing I can access are my shares. Unfortunately this does not help when a majority of my work is not shared.
    Any ideas without going to the store to purchase anything? I was going to directly connect them through USB but read a post that scarred me about messing up my desktop.

    Any suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated!
    Thank you

  61. Hi,

    My DELL inspiron 9300 laptop hard-disk crashed along with optical drive. I have got the new parts in place now. I am connecting my old hard disk in an USB enclosure to the laptop. I cannot see the drive in mycomputer though it shows up in disk management as healthy. It is FAT 32.

    Please help me to recover the data. Do I need any recovery software? thanks,
    mkb

  62. Laptop Freak

    my laptop boots to the password screen and I can access the shared files vie ethernet

    First of all, try to login in Safe mode and then use user name: Administrator without any password. You may be able to log in, change the password and then login in normal mode.

    I would like to know if there is a way to access files on my drive that are not shared. I tried remote desktop and a few other things but the only thing I can access are my shares.

    You’ll have to remove the hard drive, install it into an external USB enclosure ($15-20) and then connect it to another computer.
    Also, you can find software tools to reset administrator’s password on XP computer. For example Locksmith in ERD Commander boot CD.

  63. Laptop Freak

    mkb,

    I am connecting my old hard disk in an USB enclosure to the laptop. I cannot see the drive in my computer though it shows up in disk management as healthy. It is FAT 32.

    If the old drive appears in the disk management but not in My Computer, it’s possible that the file structure on the hard drive is corrupted. In this case you’ll have to use data recovery software. It’s still possible to get some personal files with the data recovery software even though the hard drive will not appear in My Computer.
    BTW, I posted your question here.

  64. I pulled my hard drive and switched it out with my wife’s computer and had to redo my Windows authorization again but was able to get to and backup my files. I did a virus scan, check disk and defrag with no errors – I placed to drive back into the original laptop and the same thing happens where it goes to the password screen but everything is unresponsive (system won’t recognize function keys at startup to get into safe mode).
    How can I be sure this still might not be a hard drive error issue vs hardware. If this is hardware is there any way short of spending a lot of money to have it diagnosed. I’m worried the repair might cost more than a new laptop.

    Any ideas?
    Thank you

  65. sherwin

    hi,

    i have toshiba 305cdt laptop, and when my windows starting up i got this error message:
    “cmdninst has caused an error in KRNL386.EXE” and it hang.

    any reply would be greatly appreciated,

  66. Sybron

    Thank you in advance for providing your expertise. I had a Toshiba Satellite A15-s129 and after 6yrs it died and said that the system32.exe file is missing. I’m assuming that it’s my OS, I have removed the hard drive and from your previous advice going to buy an enclosure, I just want to make sure that my new laptop (HP)will not be harmed when I download the old files. Also will this work with Windows Vista?

  67. Thank you for your willingness to help. I am upgrading my daughter’s laptop to a larger hard drive. I have the new drive up and running and have connected the old drive through an external enclosure. I can see the files and folders on the old drive, but her personal files (photos, classwork, etc.) are not showing up. It is not a matter of being denied access; they just don’t appear at all. Unlike most people who are in this situation because of a hard drive failure, I am lucky enough to be able to reinsert the original hard drive for troubleshooting and am able to verify that the files are actually there and are not corrupt. I have also tried connecting the old drive in the external enclosure to my own laptop and the results are the same. I have reinserted the old drive into her laptop and backed up the important files to a Maxtor external hard drive. It would be easy to now copy them from there to her new drive, but what she would prefer is to be able to copy some of the files now and then connect the enclosure as future needs arise. That means I need to figure out why the folders/files aren’t showing up.

    To this end, I (yet again) reinserted the old drive into her latop and turned off password protection. Seemed like a good first step but no change. So…what do you suspect is the problem? I’ve read with interest your “taking ownership” comments and am willing to try this if you think it might be the solution, but before I do I was hoping to get something straightened out in my mind. One benefit of having her old hard drive around will be that in the event of a problem with the new drive she can get up and running quickly (necessary in Pharmacy School!) by reinserting the old drive. What effect would “taking ownership” of those files have in the event she goes back to the old drive? Would she have to take ownership back again?? Does my question even make sense? The whole point of this is to make things as easy and stress free as possible for her, so I appreciate any suggestions you can give me toward getting this set up like she wants it.

  68. Laptop Freak

    Lisa,

    I can see the files and folders on the old drive, but her personal files (photos, classwork, etc.) are not showing up.

    Maybe you are looking for these personal files in a wrong location? Are you searching for these files in the right user profile?
    If she keeps all personal files in “My Documents” you should be able to access them through her user profile.

    Also, you can use Window search and search the old hard drive for images or documents. After you find her pictures or documents take a look at the path where they are located.

  69. Jason

    I am trying to recover files from a laptop that will not boot. From the posts above, it seems like the external enclosure is the more popular option. What are the advantages of the enclosure vs. connection to a PC motherboard using an adapter? Does one option offer faster file transfer than the other?

  70. Laptop Freak

    Jason,

    From the posts above, it seems like the external enclosure is the more popular option. What are the advantages of the enclosure vs. connection to a PC motherboard using an adapter?

    You can connect the external enclosure to any computer – laptop or desktop without opening up the computer. It’s always “ready to go”.
    The PC connector can be connected only to a desktop computer and you’ll have to open up the case to get inside.

    Does one option offer faster file transfer than the other?

    PC connector is faster then USB enclosure. That’s the only advantage.

    If you are a home user, I would go with the external USB enclosure.

  71. Jason

    Thanks for your speedy reply and for the great information on this site. It’s a lifesaver! Plan A was to boot up using a Linux recovery disk and transfer files that way; but barely into the process, my CD drive died. Your solution would have been much easier to begin with! (Can you tell I’m a novice?)

    Anyway… One more question: Do they make an external enclosure that will accept both 2.5″ and 3.5″ drives? I actually have two hard drives I’m trying to retrieve from. One is a laptop, the other is a PC. The laptop drive is a one-time deal. Once I get the files off, I’m done. The PC, on the other hand, is something I’ll hold onto, so an enclosure makes sense in that case.

    Thanks again for your help.

  72. Laptop Freak,
    Thanks for the quick response. I had the same thoughts yesterday so I did a search on the word “pharmacy” (a common word on her old drive) with zero results. I also rebooted on the old drive and doublechecked the path.

    When the old drive is in the enclosure the only folders that show up under her user name are Desktop, Favorites, LexiConnect (her palm software) and My Documents” Under My Documents the only folders are My Music and My Scans. The music folder is empty and the scans folder has several of her scans in it.

    There should be roughly a dozen folders under “My Documents”. I’m stumped. Any more suggestions?

    Thanks!!

  73. Laptop Freak

    Jason,

    Do they make an external enclosure that will accept both 2.5? and 3.5? drives? I actually have two hard drives I’m trying to retrieve from. One is a laptop, the other is a PC

    Apparently, they do make it. Check out this universal enclosure for SATA, IDE, 1.8″, 2.5″, 3.5″ hard drives.

  74. Laptop Freak

    Lisa,
    1. Are you logged in as a user with administrative rights?
    2. Maybe all her personal folders and files are hidden? Set your computer to show hidden folders and files. Tools-Folder options-View. In advanced settings check show hidden files and folders button.

  75. Laptop Freak

    Lisa,
    Just another thought.
    Maybe here files are compressed or encrypted and because of that you can see them only on her laptop? If that’s the case uncompress them or remove the encryption, but you’ll have to do it from her laptop.

  76. Laptop Freak,

    You’re my new hero; All I had to do was turn on hidden files! I bow to your infinite knowledge and have to wonder why I didn’t think of that myself! You’d think when I was searching yesterday I would have thought to check the box for search hidden folders! In my defense, it was after 2 o’clock in the morning when I finally gave up the hunt and maybe my thinking was a little fuzzy!

    Anyway, that’s taken care of so on to my next battle. Btw, do you happen to know offhand an easy way to import her files and settings from Outlook on her old drive to Outlook on her new drive? (Not Outlook Express)

  77. Laptop Freak

    Lisa,

    do you happen to know offhand an easy way to import her files and settings from Outlook on her old drive to Outlook on her new drive?(Not Outlook Express)

    Back up her .pst (I believe outlook.pst) file and import it into new Outlook. You can search for files with extension .pst using Windows search utility.

  78. Thanks. I found the Outlook.pst file and made a backup copy. I guess I’ll have to wait to import it until she gets home from work. When I try to open the new Outlook it wants me to configure it with an email address and password which I will have to get from her. I guess there’s nothing I can do on that until then? If I ignored the configuration wizard (if that’s possible) and attempted to import, would it import the email address and password settings from the .pst file? That would be awesome since she has the old one set up for several email addresses (home, apartment and university). She also has it set up to synchronize with her Palm TX.

  79. Erik Anderson

    Hello. I was working on my desktop one night and the power flickered resulting in my cpu to reboot and then I could no longer start up to windows. It seems as though something corrupted my boot records.

    I also have a laptop and bought an HDD enclosure to try and transfer my files from my desktop HD to my laptop. Unfortunately, now when I click on the enclosure HD drive, it says the drive is not formatted and asks if I would like to format it now. Is there anyway to bypass this or am I hooped? Do I have to get someone to try and recover the data from desktop’s hard drive for a ridiculous amount of money?

    Any help is appreciated.

    -EA

  80. I’m trying to access an old laptop drive, using an external enclocure. It doesn’t show up in My Computer Automatically. When I go to disk management I can see the drive and it gives me the option to initialize and it lets me, but I still can’t access the drive. Can you please help? Thanks!

  81. Can someone help me! I have an HP Presior desktop and just recently somthing happend with my Monitor the light on the side still blinks but the monitor will not turn on ! Well anyway my System tower turns on and off seems to have no problem, I was just wondering how could i get my pictures and everything off of my system tower and onto my Laptop without having to buy another monitor. Is there away to do that do I just Plug my laptop in my system tower with a usb cord or what do i do??? I dont know much about this stuff so anything would help me!

  82. Victor Lopez

    Hello there,

    My laptop crashed and will not start again due to a motherboard problem.

    The laptop’s HDD was still working, so I got a USB enclosure to connect the HDD to a desktop.

    Now my HDD had two partitions, one for the OS (Windows XP) and the other for data (that is my job files, and most important my postgrad thesis)

    When I connected my new USB-HDD to a desktop I was able to read and copy from the first partition (originally disk c). However I can’t see the other partition (originally disk d) in the windows explorer.

    So basically I do not have access to my data since the “d” partition does not show up.

    Any ideas how can I get those files back? The HDD is working, but I can’t read partition d. Both partitions are NTFS

    Any help will be highly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

    Victor

  83. Mavis Enders

    I have an HP Pavillion 9000 series and the motherboard got fried. HP said to send it back but to get my stuff off of my hard drive first because they will probably have to wipe it. I bought a hard drive enclosure and when I hook it up to my PC it recognizes my hard drive but when I open the folder it’s just one big text file. I asked at Best Buy and they basically told me they would have to send it off to their headquarters where they have the software to get my files off. I’m assuming this is a software that HP puts out to make more money off of you. Is there anything else I can try?
    Thanks!

  84. Ron Fortier

    Hi Laptop Freak.
    Is there an enclosure made to handle A Laptop IBM hard drive 80 Gig and connect to a USB 1.1
    My laptop does not support 2.0

    Any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you.
    Reynald

  85. ..Is it possible to attach an (tower) hard drive, to a laptop? …using a cord or such?……once transfered, and connected…can the viruses from that hard drive infect, my laptop?

  86. Laptop Freak

    Joe,

    Is it possible to attach an (tower) hard drive, to a laptop?

    Yes, it’s possible. You’ll have to use an external enclosure for desktop hard drives and then connect it to the laptop via USB cable.

    once transfered, and connected…can the viruses from that hard drive infect, my laptop?

    Yes, it’s possible. Before you transfer data from the external drive to the laptop, check the external drive with your antivirus/spyware utility. Delet viruses and then transfer data.

  87. Can I use an old hard drive from my fried laptop as the primary operating system for my daughter’s computer running windows me? The laptop drive contains Windows XP Pro. The problem I forsee is the speed through the usb as bogging down the operations. Right?
    Thank you, Bruce

  88. Hi, I have “2” Dell Inspron B130’s. The one is perfectly fine. The other has some issues. First the screen quite working. I just hooked the laptop upto a regular monitor. This worked fine for about the last 9 months. Now even that is not working. I tried pluging it into another monitor with still no luck. I can hear windows boot up fine when I start the computer. Just no longer have any way of viewing anything.

    What I need is to atleast get the files from the computer. What would happen if I took the hard drive from the bad computer and put it into the good computer just to copy some files and then switched back?

    Would it be better to just get an External Enclosure and go that route. Saving the bad laptop is not a priority because fixing the screen issues are a little pricy. for what the laptop itself is worth. I just need the files off of it before I retire it.

    Thanks for any help in advance.

    Kevin

  89. My laptop is a Toshiba Portege M200 that does not have a DVD drive. It crashed recently and the message tells me to use the recovery disc. I don’t have the Optical drive that toshiba wants me to use to run this recovery disc..theirs is quite costly. Do you know of any way to run the recovery disc using a thumb drive or by going thru my desk top? My company recently sold about 75 of these laptops to our employees and several of us are having the same issue. Our IT department has washed their hands of them and is offering no help. Your help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Debbie

  90. I did exactly what you have told others above to do but when i restarted my computer, found my desktop hard drive which is attached to my lap top through the enclosure… it said do you want to format drive e: it is not formatted. If i do this, all my data will erase right? So how do i get my files then?

  91. RE: Debbie Says:
    November 16th, 2008 at 6:10 am
    My laptop is a Toshiba Portege M200 that does not have a DVD drive. It crashed recently and the message tells me to use the recovery disc. I don’t have the Optical drive that toshiba wants me to use to run this recovery disc..theirs is quite costly. Do you know of any way to run the recovery disc using a thumb drive or by going thru my desk top? My company recently sold about 75 of these laptops to our employees and several of us are having the same issue. Our IT department has washed their hands of them and is offering no help. Your help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Debbie

    >>Go to ebay, or get a USB drive. SAVE A BUNDLE!!!

  92. Hi,
    I just purchased a Toshiba laptop for my son for Christmas. I am tring to find out a way to transfer purchased games from a desktop and transfer them to his laptop. I have a external hard drive but am not quite sure of what to do…….Please help!!!!
    I need computer for dummies 101!!

  93. I have an Acer Aspire One that the guy at B*st B*y says is likely a failed motherboard. It is covered under warranty. Problem is, this little guy has no way to easily remove the hard drive so that my confidential information (some client files) are safeguarded. He can give me a backup of the files for $159, but I am more concerned with whether I get the original drive back, and if not, where the files on the old drive end up. Is there any fix to this other than having someone fix it locally outside of warranty? Any other laptop I have owned I would have taken out the hard drive, taken the files off, and sent it in to be fixed.

    Thanks for any help.

  94. Kevin Doucet

    How do I know if I got a “bad enclosure?” I bought one, hooked up my old laptop computer, and it worked fine the first two times I used it. Every time after this, it freezes my desktop computer. Once I remove the USB cord from the desktop, everything goes back to working normally again; but anytime he USB cord is connected it freezes.

    Any thoughts or suggestions?

    Thanks,

    Kevin

  95. HELLO FRIENDS,I just got this nice problem with my laptop,when i try to boot it says

    1782 disk controller failure

    non-system disk or disk error
    replace and strike any key when ready

    my laptop is a HP COMPAQ NC6000
    I GOT WINDOWS XP PRO
    any idea what this mean or what i should do or how to fix it
    thanks
    miguel

  96. BrazilianBro

    Dear LTF,

    Hello. I have a GAteway 5350 and after several years I powered up but I forgot my passwrd to login. How can I recover or bypass this? Thnak you for your time.

  97. Laptop Freak

    BrazilianBro,

    I have a GAteway 5350 and after several years I powered up but I forgot my passwrd to login. How can I recover or bypass this?

    Are you asking about Windows user account password?
    1. Try booting in Safe mode. Can you see the administrator account? Try this account without any password. Sometimes it helps.
    2. Reinstall the operating system from the recovery disc.
    3. Use Active Boot Disc. It has locksmith utility which helps to clear the password.

  98. Brazilianbro

    Hi Laptop Freak, Thanks for the help but I couldnt crack in. What if it is the same comp Gateway 5350 but once upon a long time ago I used Novell Client 4.91 ? When I boot up it asks me to hit control alt delete and then takes me to the username password screen. I cant find my old disks either. Help!!! Thanks

  99. primate9683

    This relates to similar questions back in late ’06: WD hard drive from an ’04 Gateway with corrupted XP OS. Put it in external enclosure, power up and connect to computer, system detects new hardware, installs drivers, says it’s ready to use. But doesn’t appear in My Computer. Appears in Disk Management as WD mass storage device (seen as Disk 7 on a newer Dell), only no volume alpha is assigned. Disk Management options for assigning volume alpha are grayed-out, no Enable is visible, only Disable/Uninstall.

  100. Hi

    Even though i think you have already answered this question I still wanted to confirm….
    Is there any way in which I may be able to transfer contents from my PC’s hard disk to a laptop?

    Thanks

  101. raghav kinger

    I have an old Toshiba A45-S120 laptop. When i switch it on the Windows XP screen shows then after 15 seconds it turns off by itself with a blue screen, which flashes for a fraction of a second, then boots up again continues doing this. I dont have a CD drive so i cant reinstall windows. Has my hard disk crashed or have my windows gone corrupt??? And is there a way that i can install windows and my Toshiba laptop drivers by connecting my hard disk to my new Dell laptop or via networking or something else??? Please help.

  102. Robert M

    I am using a USB to IDE Hard Disk adapter to connect a hard disk (from a dead Acer Aspire notebook) to a laptop and/or desktop PC. I hear the drive spin up when I connect it to the laptop and/or to the desktop PC, but I can’t see it. A friend said this is because it has an operating system (XP) on it, so I should boot it from the BIOS setup on startup. This hasn’t worked, and I’m now wondering whether the drive is getting enough power. I notice the ‘enclosures’ shown in the links from this page have two USB plugs. Any thoughts?

    Thanks

    Rob

  103. I need a recommendation for an ATA external USB enclosure.

  104. Joshua

    Have an even faster solution:
    Re-install the operating system, without deleting any portions or reformatting. Of course, no programs will work besides those that are directly integrated with the OS. Now you will be able to copy all your files to a flash drive, DVD, CD, etc.

    I would recommend however after coping said files that you reformat and reinstall Windows

  105. Hey,
    i have the same problem described above only i have an MSI Wind U100 with a windows XP on it.
    is there any way i can retrieve the data without taking the hard drive out or opening my computer at all? just a USB plug of any kind??
    THANX!!

  106. Hey, I have been having problems with my HP laptop recently its a DV6000 series, first it started with the speakers, (im not sure if it was because of the loud music that i played) my left speaker just stopped giving sound while my right one still did. Shortly after that, my right speaker also ceased to play any sounds so I just bought some external speakers and plugged it, it worked fine. This wasnt a problem until I turned off my laptop one day and turned it on, and at first i thought the screen was blank but the laptop was on, the lights were on and everything, but as i noticed closely the screen wasnt blank but just really dark, as if i changed the brightness of it but never did. So i just concluded that there is a problem with my screen, but the laptop still worked. My main concern is losing my files on that laptop, music, movies, pictures, etc. I think one solution would be plugging a vga cable from it to a tv that supports it (so i can see what im doing) and just transfer all the files into a hardrive or something but I was wondering if there are any easier ways to access my harddrive, I mean thats the only component that I value from the laptop. Getting the laptop totally fixed would take some major time and expenses which im not really willing to spend, and most probably I would lose my files. Anyways, I would like to transfer the files anyhow, either to a desktop or most preferebly to my new laptop. Any suggestions would be appreciated, oh and Im sorry if this might be a bit too long.

    regards,
    Renato

  107. Laptop Freak

    Ren,

    You can transfer file using an external USB enclosure.

  108. Laptop Freak

    Ren,

    I have been having problems with my HP laptop recently its a DV6000 series

    Also, HP offers a free repair for some out of warranty dv2000, dv6000, dv9000 laptops. Maybe your laptop qualifies for this repair?

  109. merideath

    ok, my old laptop(xp) was dropped and the screen broke. i had no money to get it fixed so i just took out the hard drive in hopes to later recover it. i just got a new laptop with vista 64bit. i bought an enclosure and hooked it up properly. the computer recognized it as a mass storage in my taskbar but i was unable to access it at all. the company who made the enclosure told me it wouldnt work because the hard drive had an operating system on it.. someone else told me that wasnt the case and that it was probably due to the 64bit vista. noting that many programs are not compatible with the 64bit. when i bought my old computer my sister got the same one so i figured i could just switch out my hard drive for hers but her computer wouldnt boot up from my hard drive and i wasnt technical enough to try and make it boot. i took it to geek squad and they shook it and said it was broken because it made a small noise, even though there is a sticker on it that says “rattle noise is normal when handled”. im jumping through so many hoops with no luck and i really would love to have the 5yrs of pics and documents on my hard drive. if it is due to the 64bit i can try the enclosure on an older xp computer. sorry for the length of this post but im going insane! could you please tell me if theres anything i can do. thanks!

  110. Laptop Freak

    merideath,

    my old laptop(xp) was dropped and the screen broke. i had no money to get it fixed so i just took out the hard drive in hopes to later recover it.

    If the laptop has a broken scree, you can try starting it with an external monitor attached to the VGA port. If there is nothing wrong besides the broken screen, you should be able to start the laptop with video on the external monitor and recover your files.

    i bought an enclosure and hooked it up properly. the computer recognized it as a mass storage in my taskbar but i was unable to access it at all.

    Did you get any error messages? Can you see the external hard drive in My Computer? Can you see the hard drive in the disk management utility?

    the company who made the enclosure told me it wouldnt work because the hard drive had an operating system on it..

    This is not true. You should be able to access the hard drive even if it has an operating system. Of course if there is nothing wrong with the hard drive.

    someone else told me that wasnt the case and that it was probably due to the 64bit vista. noting that many programs are not compatible with the 64bit.

    This is not true. You should be able to access the hard drive even if you have 64bit Vista installed.

    when i bought my old computer my sister got the same one so i figured i could just switch out my hard drive for hers but her computer wouldnt boot up from my hard drive and i wasnt technical enough to try and make it boot.

    The laptop didn’t boot at all? Did you get any video on the screen, any error messages? It’s possible that your hard drive has been damaged.

    im jumping through so many hoops with no luck and i really would love to have the 5yrs of pics and documents on my hard drive.

    I would suggest taking the hard drive to a professional repair shop for diagnostics. Let them take a look at the drive.

  111. merideath

    Thanks for the response! Unfortunatly the computer itself was “tweaked” apart by a guy claiming to know what he was doing. With the enclosure, it showed the mass storage device in my computer but when I clicked on it it said “insert a disk into drive e”. In the taskbar it only showed an icon to safely remove hardware. I have come to the conclusion that the hard drive is damaged and I have to send it to a recovery clean room. I hope is doesnt cost me to much lol! Thanks again for the tips!

  112. laurie lynch

    I just got a Dell 1707fpt monitor flat screen from my friend and I have a gateway computer. I have the usb connected and power cord, but all that comes up is a screen that has a box with yellow, red, blue, white boxes in it and nothing else. What do I have to do to make it work?

  113. Scott parsons

    Hi I flashed my bios recently, mother board died and I’m now replacing it. In the meantime I have files I need to access on my sata drive. I have pulled this out, placed in external usb enclosure but there are files in specific user foolders that seem to be blocked. I know my passwords ect. but how do you enter these when you can only view hard drive as an external drive?

    Thanking you in advance for you help,

    Cheers – Scott

  114. Laptop Freak

    Scott,

    I have pulled this out, placed in external usb enclosure but there are files in specific user foolders that seem to be blocked. I know my passwords ect. but how do you enter these when you can only view hard drive as an external drive?

    I think you’ll have to take ownership over the folder and all files inside the folder.

  115. my 12 inch powerbook laptop body was no good, but the hard drive was. I had a powermac g4 tower with a bad harddrive. After researching, I found this site and I mounted the laptop harddrive into the desktop and boom! my old laptop drive booted up on the desktop powermac. here is the link. a 3 yr old can install this it is way too easy

  116. Caessy Cunanan

    I hope you can help me with this, i have a desktop computer built by a friend with os windows xp that is now freezing and having a lot of errors and i tried so many fixing errors using suggestion i got from the internet to fix it and it ends up making it worst and i think it needs formatting. because i dont have the xp CD someone told me that i can use my laptop to format it, is that possible? is so how can i do that? my laptop has windows vista. i hope you can help me.

  117. How do I recover software on Toshiba Satellite laptop? - Ask Laptop Freak

    […] In order to backup all personal files, you’ll have to remove the hard drive and connect it to another working computer using an external USB enclosure. […]

  118. i have a note book and the screen is broken i don’t want to take it apart for now, but i need to recover files from it. I don’t have a network hub,can i hook up a cable between it and the desk top to get in the hard drive? I thought about using the either ports to do this.

  119. Michael S.

    Hi, Does external USB enclosure for laptop hard drives need computer admin rights to work? I’m asking because The motherboard on my laptop died so I was thinking I will buy a external USB enclosure for laptop hard drives so I can access my HD at College but the computers at college need admin rights to install programs and etc.

    I don’t want to waste money on a external USB enclosure for laptop hard drives if it/you do need admin rights for it to work.

    Thank you!

    Michael S

  120. Shelia

    What is a VGA port and where is it because I droped my laptop and the screen is broken and I would love to get my pictures on my home computer

  121. Laptop Freak

    Shelia,

    What is a VGA port and where is it because I droped my laptop and the screen is broken and I would love to get my pictures on my home computer

    Read this post: http://www.asklaptopfreak.com/laptop-notebook-help/2010/04/13/what-is-vga-port-on-laptop/

  122. Hi,
    Is this the right place to ask a question?

    I have just purchased a laptop hard drive enclosure for my old laptop’s hard drive. It seems to work well however I can’t find some documents. Is it possible to see files that were on the desktop of my old laptop?

    Many thanks,
    Dan

  123. Laptop Freak

    Dan,

    I have just purchased a laptop hard drive enclosure for my old laptop’s hard drive. It seems to work well however I can’t find some documents. Is it possible to see files that were on the desktop of my old laptop?

    Yes, it’s possible.
    In Windows XP all desktop files could be found in: C:\Documents and Settings\User_name\Desktop\
    In Windows Vista all desktop files could be found in: C:\Users\User_name\Desktop

    I think you just looking in a wrong place.

  124. I cannot find desktop documents on old laptop hard drive - Ask Laptop Freak

    […] cannot find desktop documents on old laptop hard drive I have just purchased a laptop hard drive enclosure for my old laptop’s hard drive. It seems to work well however I can’t find some documents. Is […]

  125. there are two cables on your desktop monitor…. 1 is the power cable and 2 is your vga cable…just plug it into the appropriate place on your laptop and viola

  126. How can I connect a desktop hard drive to a laptop computer so I can transfer files?

  127. I have an HP laptop hardrive that I have connected to my desktop but I get a access denied message when I try to access my documents. Any suggestions?

  128. Kelsey A

    Hello,
    I am currently trying to connect a hard drive to an INTRAnet hard drive. An IT person at work said to make a shortcut-link between the hard drives. I am a little confused. Is there a way to connect one hard drive to an offsite hard drive to access the information? THANKS!!! :)

  129. Repair menu says “Windows cannot repair this computer automatically” - Ask Laptop Freak

    […] Before you reinstall OS, don't forget to backup personal files. […]

  130. The mainboard of my vaio laptop recently failed. As the cost of replacement and instalation ect is just not cost effective I still need to be able to recover data/files from the old hard drive.

    Am i right to assume that if i buy an external hard drive bay(caddy) and install the old drive into it, then connect the caddy via usb to another pc I can read the old drive?

    Also, when putting the old hard drivd into the new caddy, will I need to set any jumpers to ‘slave’ configuration or will it just work as is?

    cheers.

  131. Laptop Freak

    jts123,

    Am i right to assume that if i buy an external hard drive bay(caddy) and install the old drive into it, then connect the caddy via usb to another pc I can read the old drive?

    You are right. It’s called external USB enclosure for notebook hard drives.

    Also, when putting the old hard drivd into the new caddy, will I need to set any jumpers to ‘slave’ configuration or will it just work as is?

    Nope, there are no jumpers.

    If you cannot access files and get “Access denied” error message, you’ll have to take ownership over the main user folder.

  132. Helpful psot my laptops donig same shit wont come bk on corrupted or missing registry files.. even tho i took it into a shop already n had it partitioned the problem is till there n thers over 250gb of shit i have to get to.
    The shop can do this again but idf it keeps donig same thing i need a brand new hardrive and would cost me £114 as its so big 320gb hd altogether., but my question is, even tho ca access the c and d drie via a pc can i also access fles that are on the laptop screen page./desktop.
    therse files on there and also all favourites of interent webpages etc. is it posible to access those?
    need to know asap

    Gavin

  133. Laptop Freak

    Gavin,

    my question is, even tho ca access the c and d drie via a pc can i also access fles that are on the laptop screen page./desktop.
    therse files on there and also all favourites of interent webpages etc. is it posible to access those?

    Yes, you can.
    If you had Vista/Windows 7 installed, you’ll find those files in Users on the C: drive.
    If you had Windows XP installed, go to Documents and Settings on C: drive.

  134. Confusdad

    I recently bought a case for my laptop hard drive. I can connect it to my new laptop via USB. Every folder that I try to open says I do not have permission. I have many many pictures and audio files on the old hard drive. I tried to become the new owner for the folders and it still says I do not have permission. Help

  135. OK, i have a laptop hard drive and i need to transfer the pics to my desktop but my desktop hard drive isn’t big enough for the entire hard drive contents. I just need the pictures and I cannot get the desktop to read the laptop hard drive. I connected it using a SATA usb cable.

Leave a Reply