Recovering the data in an internal hard disk of a PC whose OS is not working
Thread poster: Ivette Camargo López

Ivette Camargo López  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:36
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jun 8, 2009

Hello,

I have an old computer, whose operating system is not working, but whose data is in the hard disk and, since the OS is not working, I cannot access it.

What would you consider the best method of recovering the said data?

1) Re-install the OS in the hard disk, without formatting the hard disk, in order to be able to access the old (untouched) data? (In theory it should work, but it is a bit time-consuming.)

2) Remove the internal hard disk and plug it to a HD caddy, in order to retrieve the data? (I have never tried this option, as I have never used a HD caddy, but I am curious to hear comments about how HD caddies work.)

3) Using KNOPPIX's disk tools to boot the PC from a CD/DVD-based operating system in order to make a copy of the old data? (I have never used KNOPPIX, so I am also interested in learning if anyone has used this system to retrieve data.)

T[hanks]I[n]A[dvance],

Ivette


 

Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:36
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
I am not sure if it is an option but Jun 8, 2009

If you are using a PC computer it may be a good idea to remove the HD from the old computer and plug it into your current machine as a slave. Practically all PC computers allow to plug in second Hard Drive.

Once it is correctly plugged in you should see its contents in Windows Explorer or similar program.

BR
S


 

Ivette Camargo López  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:36
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
4th option Jun 8, 2009

Stanislaw Czech wrote:

If you are using a PC computer it may be a good idea to remove the HD from the old computer and plug it into your current machine as a slave. Practically all PC computers allow to plug in second Hard Drive.

Once it is correctly plugged in you should see its contents in Windows Explorer or similar program.

BR
S


Yes, Stanislaw, it is a PC (forgot to mention that) and what you are suggesting is actually the 4th option. I guess my main concern about unplugging/plugging the hard disk is the risk of "losing" the data in the process of unplugging/plugging. You think it's "safe" enough to mess around with the hardware?

Thanks,

Ivette


 

Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:36
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
For various reasons it may not work Jun 8, 2009

But you will definitely not loose any data (just in case unplug your PC first) and as it is practically the easiest option it is worth a try. One thing you may need to is to change settings of the old HD from Master to Slave. Here is instruction how to do it: http://www.dtidata.com/resourcecenter/2007/04/23/how-to-slave-hard-drive/

Stage 9 with setting a jumper is a bit tricky but there should be instruction on the cover of your HD.

Best Regards
S


 

Andreas Nieckele  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:36
English to Portuguese
plug it into another PC Jun 8, 2009

I agree with Stanislaw: the easiest option is to just plug it into another PC. There is no risk of losing any data, unless your HD is already corrupted somehow, before switching PCs.

I think you don't even need to manually set the jumpers... you should be able to set everything up from the BIOS.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:36
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
What kind of disk it is? Jun 8, 2009

And how old is the computer? The disk interface in the old computer could be different from that of the new computer, and in that case you would not be able to connect the disk... I'd say that booting the old PC with a CD-ROM (for instance the CD-ROM of an antivirus product) would be the best option. You can then somehow take the data from the machine over the network or by saving to an USB pen (if the old PC has USB).

 

FarkasAndras
Local time: 22:36
English to Hungarian
+ ...
CD boot Jun 8, 2009


3) Using KNOPPIX's disk tools to boot the PC from a CD/DVD-based operating system in order to make a copy of the old data? (I have never used KNOPPIX, so I am also interested in learning if anyone has used this system to retrieve data.)


This is what I'd do, except with Ubuntu because that's what I know. You can DL a Ubuntu live image, burn it to a CD (DVD won't work), boot and copy your data to a USB HDD or flash drive. You can pretty easily make a bootable USB flash drive as well, instead of a CD. Having one of these around can be pretty handy.
It's a full OS so you can browse the disk with a decent file manager, view files (using the built-in Openoffice.org suite), even use the internet.


 

Ivette Camargo López  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:36
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Update Jun 9, 2009

Hi again,

I decided to use a bootable KNOPPIX (version 6.0.1) CD, which works like a charm. The PC is old, but not old enough to make it impossible to work with KNOPPIX. Thanks Farkas for the tip about Ubuntu.

I must say I like the idea of using an OS from a bootable CD, because at least it gives you the option of not having to immediately mess around with the hardware, which, as Stanislaw commented, is not for sure that will work.

I will install the hard disk on one of my PCs, to take advantage of the storage space, so in a way I will also follow Stanislaw's and Andreas' advice.

Tomás, thanks to you, too, for the tip about using an anti-virus bootable CD for accessing the hard disk. Again, so far I like KNOPPIX better, because it offers all the functions of a normal OS from a CD, which is more than what an anti-virus bootable CD offers.

Cheers,

Ivette

[Edited at 2009-06-09 08:15 GMT]


 


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