Computer monitor question

I have a computer tower (circa 2002) but it has no monitor. Before I get rid of this computer, I want to make sure that I haven’t left any pictures, etc., on it that I don’t have other copies of. It hasn’t been booted up in over a year.

My other two computers are an iMac and an HP laptop. Is there any way I could hook the computer up to either of those to use a monitor and have a look on my hard drive?

I jsut don’t know how cables would hook up and compatibility issues and such with such an old computer.

I don’t want to go out and buy a monitor just so I can see what is on it.

Can you borrow one?

I can’t imagine there being a compatibility problem. At worst, if the monitor you borrow has only DVI output (is there such a critter?), you might have to find an adapter. The last monitor I bought came with multiple cables.

Do you have an HDTV? I know mine has a RGB input and in a pinch, I’ve used it as a monitor.

Yeah, I could, but I was sorta trying to avoid that. I want to be able to browse my HD at leisure, and I’d feel the need to return a borrowed monitor quickly. I can buy a used 15" LCD for @$30, so I’d probably go that route if I was going to borrow one. I was hoping to be able to use what I have…

Ok, you guys lost me. DVI, RGB cables? My tower is from 2002 and the monitor connection is a huge elongated thing with a couple rows of pins…I have no clue other than that. But we do have a HDTV.

There may be no need for a monitor. Can you network the computer? If so, do you recall the admin account details? If so, simply connect to the c$ (and maybe d$) share.

I can barely network with a monitor. Nope, I don’t think that is a viable option, especially since I don’t know what the c$ (and maybe d$) share are.

Take the hard drive out and drive a nail through it.

Problem solved.

I think the OP is worried about losing pictures, not someone else getting sensitive info from the hard drives.

Go buy a usb hard drive case, put the hard drive into it, and plug it into your laptop. You end up with a hard drive you can use for backups.

You’re right.
I hope he reads his post carefully before taking my advice.

photograph the back of your tv and pc, show them to the guy at the computer shop and ask for a cable to connect the two.

Thank you! That looks like a great solution.

I want to ask another question…I really like the external HD enclosure idea, but I was looking around - am I going to have a difficult time finding one for my HD, which was made in 2003? I found the date after removing it - I got it replaced after the original one went south. Some I found on Newegg said SATA compatible, mine is IDE and I’m not sure if these can be interchanged?

Lost here.

No, they can’t.
Just find an IDE enclosure, they’re widely available.
I just threw one away yesterday.

Here’s a cheap one on ebay.

thanks! You’ve all been a big help.

PS - I’m a she.

Well, I got the HD usb enclosure I bought on eBay, but now my HD won’t spin up. I tried putting it in the freezer and it managed to spin up for like 5 seconds, then it spun down and wouldn’t start back up.

Any advice? I’m ready to smash it and forget it, but thought I’d try. I knew I should have tried booting it when it was still in my computer - I hadn’t booted it up for over a year, now it won’t go.

How long did you put it in the freezer? Did you put it in a sealed bag?

I was reading up on this topic this weekend (trying to fix a corrupt drive), and people reported they tried for 2 hours and 24 hours, and they got different amounts of usable time each time they froze and ran it. Try again?

I tried it for a half hour. No bag. Is that bad? It got a little frosty but I tried it anyway; it spun up and died. Maybe it is truly dead now.

I would try the opposite - get it as hot as possible. Open the enclosure and heat the drive itself with a hair dryer until you can’t put your had on it, then try it.
Try to keep the heat away from the electronics in the enclosure.

And if all else fails, do what I saw an IBM tech do years ago. Take the drive out and smack the edge of it about as hard as you can against your palm. I’d do this just before the next option is throwing it out. I’ve managed to revive one drive by doing this (and probably killing off a couple of others).