Retrieving files from hard drive

My computer died and I bought a new one. The old one won’t turn on. Bad power supply I think. Latest backup to external drive was 6 months ago so anything since then is still on the old computer. How can I retrieve those files?

  1. Buy a USB hard drive docking station.
  2. Physically remove the HD from the old computer.
  3. Put HD in docking station.
  4. Plug docking station into new computer.
  5. Profit!

Looks like just what I need. Time to go shopping. Thanks JKilez!

One thing to be aware of is if your old computer is old enough to have used IDE interface drives (vs newer SATA drives) you will need a USB docking station that handles both IDE and SATA.

I’m pretty sure it’s SATA but I’ll double check when I open the box. Thanks for the heads up.

I was just using a HDD dock to retrieve files off a bad drive. When you plug the bad drive in and turn the dock on, as soon as the drive appears in My Computer try and start retrieving files asap*!* Bad hard drives often have a limited time window of accessibility. IOW the longer they’re powered on the less time you’ll have. If the drive stops responding while copying a file don’t bother waiting too long for it to recover, it probably isn’t going to. Turn it off for a minute and try again (avoiding that file or folder if possible). Normally turning a drive off during a copy isn’t recommended, but it’s already a bad drive*!*

You can try reading it with recovery software, but I’ve found it takes forever to run (hours, sometimes days*!*) and it never works anyway…

If you are comfortable with opening the computer cases, you can spare yourself buying a HD dock. Disassemble the HD from the old computer (as easy as unscrewing four screws and removing the SATA cable) and plug it in a free SATA slot in the new computer (look out where the main HD is plugged in, there should be a free slot next to it). After reboot, the old HD should appear as a new drive in Windows Explorer and you should be able to copy the files.

But a bad SATA drive will/can freeze your PC. Best to put it in an external, USB enclosure for copying files over.

Do we know if the drive is bad? The OP only said that his old PC won’t turn on, this can have any kind of reasons. And if it freezes, well, turn the PC of and unplug the bad drive, the possibilty of permanent damage to the PC may be there, but is improbable from my experience. But I really don’t want to be the one who trashes Peanuthead’s new PC, so maybe be careful and put it in an USB enclosure. shrug

Yeah, I’m not really comfortable opening the new PC. The old one, no problem. I did remove the drive and it is indeed a SATA. Just to be on the safe side I’ll pick up a dock in the near future.

In the meantime I’m really struggling with Windows 8. I was very comfortable with Win7 but this 8 has me banging my head against the wall. Setting up the Windows live email account was damn near impossible. Had to go in and change all the settings. IMAP/Ports etc.

And now Windows 10 is coming right behind it next month. Not looking forward to that at all.

From everything I’ve read Win 10 makes Win 8 more like Win 7. It gives you the option to restore the Start Menu and other things familiar from the pre-Win 8 interface. It does what 8 should have done all along, lets you choose from ‘Desktop Mode’ (i.e. icons) or 'Touchscreen Mode" (i.e. tiles)…