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Can I Data recover files by putting the HD into another PC?

Discussion in 'IBM Thinkpad' started by rajeshk4u, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. rajeshk4u

    rajeshk4u Guest


    My sisters laptop Thinkpad R50, is failing to boot even in safe mode.
    She did not do any backups!

    I am having trouble accessing the Windows partition using Access IBM
    tools. I can see the C: drive which is the IBM stuff, but when I click
    on Drive D and Z drive, nothing is down. Where will Windows be?

    If I remove the hard disk and put in into another PC will I be able to
    see the Windows partition?

    Her friend did put the Thinkpad's HD into a Lacie caddy, but he said
    Windows partition was not visible?

    I do have a Windows XP CD (from another computer), can I do a Repair
    from that? (That way I can get to ger data files and then re-install).
    rajeshk4u, Feb 1, 2008
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  2. rajeshk4u

    Ben Myers Guest

    If the hard drive from the R50 has not failed and has not developed serious
    non-fatal defects (i.e. bad sectors) in the middle of the WIndows file system,
    the drive's contents should be accessible. I do this sort thing all the time
    when I service clients' computers.

    I would first run the manufacturer's diagnostics on the hard drive to determine
    its condition. If the diagnostics show it is failing or that it has bad
    sectors, DO NOT attempt a Windows repair which will only mess up the drive
    further... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Feb 1, 2008
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  3. rajeshk4u

    John Doue Guest

    Going one step further than Ben, I would suggest you do not do anything
    further on that machine and trust it into knowledgeable hands. No
    offense meant, but your sister'data will go down the drain if someone
    with adequate expertise is not called in. I am not talking recovery
    services, which are awfully expensive, but a good techie who will
    determine if the problem can be solved by relatively simple measures.

    Good luck.
    John Doue, Feb 1, 2008
  4. rajeshk4u

    PirateBird Guest

    There is a good chance that it will boot in another PC "unless" there is a
    problem with the OS...and it sounds like there is. XP is pretty adaptable and
    will boot in several different TP models as it detects hardware and installs new
    drivers. IF yours won't boot at all in the original pC, it's unlikely to boot in
    a "cousin" model. If it does boot, haul ass and back up your user data to
    another drive or something like mozey.com. The nuke the OS with format, not
    juist a resinstall that harbors old XP settings.

    Ideally you can use an Ultrabay type HD caddy and boot from a working drive, and
    then extract the files from the failing drive.
    PirateBird, Feb 1, 2008
  5. rajeshk4u

    PirateBird Guest

    I didn't really address that question exactly in my last post.

    yes you will be able to see it. Done it many times to save data

    You may have to diddle with master/slave or Primary Boot Drive issues if the PC
    tries to boot from the bad drive, but once the PC boots you will see it.

    There is even a cheap laptop to full size IDE adapter you can buy and plonk the
    drive into a desktop. Works like a charm. Got mine off Ebay but maybe Radio
    Crack has one.
    PirateBird, Feb 2, 2008
  6. Easiest and best solution BY FAR is an ide-usb external drive kit.
    About $25 and you can use it for many jobs over the years. Attatches
    any IDE drive to any usb equipped computer. I'd go for a 5 1/4" case
    and a laptop adapter plug - then you can put a DVD burner or whatever
    you want/ned on any machine in the future.
    clare at snyder.on.ca, Feb 2, 2008
  7. rajeshk4u

    Ben Myers Guest

    Be really careful here! XP is not THAT adaptable! If you happen to put an XP
    hard drive into another computer with a vastly different chipset (e.g. Intel vs
    AMD) or one with a chipset hiterto unknown to that specific copy of XP on the
    drive, you get blue screens whether booting normally or in safe mode. The only
    way around is to do, at minimum, a successful repair of Windows. Been there
    and tried that all too many times.

    Most distros of Linux are 1000x more adaptable than XP... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Feb 2, 2008
  8. Not a problem using the drive as a secondary drive because you are not
    using the system files. Have the second computer boot from it's own
    drive. Read the data from the subject drive - I preffer putting the
    subject drive on the USB for simplicity's sake.
    clare at snyder.on.ca, Feb 3, 2008
  9. rajeshk4u

    Ben Myers Guest


    I absolutely agree that an XP system will have no problem reading a somewhat
    healthy drive attached as either secondary or USB. Do it all the time, whether
    replacing a drive or replacing a system for a client. But when someone
    cavalierly states that a drive will just boot right up with XP when moved to
    another system, I have a BIG problem. The only way that will work for certain
    is if the two computers are the same exact model or (usually) if they have
    identical manufacturer AND chipsets. There are some other situations where this
    would sort of "half-work", i.e. the system would boot but with some devices not
    working 100%. But is leading someone down a path to disaster or blue screens,
    whichever occurs first, telling them to simply plug the drive into another
    system as the boot drive... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Feb 3, 2008
  10. rajeshk4u

    John Doue Guest

    You are absolutely correct. I did occasionally move one OS successfully
    to an other machine, but both were from the same manufacturer, and very
    similar in many respects. This can be worth trying in such cases, but
    otherwise, it is a waste of time.

    Although, of course, I have nothing against reading a hd from an
    enclosure, IIRC, the OP mentionned the files were no longer accessible
    correctly on his machine and that a friend already had tried to check
    it, unsuccessfully.

    In that case, I believe the best advice still is to entrust the HD to
    someone who really knows what he is doing to preserve any chances of
    restoring the hd, or at least, recovering data. This is not a business
    for people with limited expertise, no offense meant, but the OP does not
    seem to have the necessary knowledge.

    John Doue, Feb 3, 2008
  11. rajeshk4u

    Ben Myers Guest

    As in many situations like this, a computer owner needs to make a serious value
    judgement as to whether his or her data is valuable enough to trust ones self or
    to go to experts. Many people underestimate the complexity of data recovery by
    a naive and inexperienced person. And some have to learn the hard way. I hope
    that the OP follows your advice. I always hate delivering the bad news to
    someone who manages to impossibly hose up their system, then brings it to me to
    fix... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Feb 3, 2008

  12. Boot them in safe mode and you will be able to read the files - but
    without cd burner, tape, modem or network, no way to get them off.

    Don't waste your time and energy - just do the USB thing.
    clare at snyder.on.ca, Feb 3, 2008
  13. rajeshk4u

    RedOne77 Guest

    I have dropped a stock XP drive into MANY machines and with a minimal amount of
    massaging, they worked just fine. maybe YOU need to work a little harder at your
    craft (McDoanalds?) and not make blanket staements. XP's bus enumerator and
    hardware detection is outstanding and can adapt to many systems
    RedOne77, Feb 4, 2008
  14. Many, yes. But there are likely just as many where it will NOT work.
    Can't remember the video controller - but if your old system had IT,
    it will not boot to ANY system that does not - even in safe mode. I've
    had at least 4 or 5 do that to me - which is why I bought the USB
    clare at snyder.on.ca, Feb 4, 2008
  15. rajeshk4u

    Ben Myers Guest

    Well, that was pretty insulting of you, wasn't it? I've been at this business
    perhaps since before you were born. I have built a loyal local following of
    clients who depend on my expertise to deal with any and all computer related
    problems they may experience. All makes and models. All vintages of computers.
    All versions of Windows. Desktops, laptops, and servers. I've serviced
    thousands of systems going back to DOS days, and I am very much up to speed on
    Windows XP (and WOW! Vista), its shoddily designed and overly complicated
    registry, and all its other warts and zits.

    I have stated many times that it the result is VERY unpredictable if you take a
    hard drive from one Windows XP system and install it as the BOOT drive in
    another system. I have experienced enough BSODs when doing so with a known
    fully functional drive, that I now caution people.

    Now I will repeat my statement: The result is VERY unpredictable if you take a
    hard drive from one Windows XP system and install it as the BOOT drive in
    another system. I have experienced enough BSODs when doing so with a known
    fully functional drive, that I now caution people. Got it?

    I agree that XP's bus enumerator and hardware detection are outstanding, but
    Microsoft has "engineered" the XP boot process to load up driver-specific
    modules early on in the boot process. From what I have seen repeatedly, the
    driver-specific stuff can do the same thing whether booting in normal or safe
    mode: the chipset driver assumes that its chipset is there, sends commands to
    the chipset, and the different chipset responds differently, causing Windows XP
    to trap a serious error and display BSOD, which is most often Stop 0x0000007B,
    sometimes Stop 0x0000007E. Micro$oft itself acknowledges the 7B error, exactly
    as I have stated here:


    You can look it up!

    I also agree that Windows XP or 2000 will have no problem at all reading a drive
    from another system attached as a slave, USB, or SCSI NON-BOOT drive.

    And I'll state that it is irresponsible advice to tell someone they can just
    boot a drive from another system right up, without at least some sort of
    cautionary statement. That is exactly what you did, and I called you out on
    it. So you responded anonymously with an insult and a vague statement.

    Look! These are usenet newsgroups, not partisan politics where everyone slimes
    everyone else. We deal with facts here, troll... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Feb 4, 2008
  16. rajeshk4u

    Ben Myers Guest

    Ben Myers, Feb 4, 2008
  17. I had to rebuild my desktop last year. The motherboard I took out, a
    Gigabyte, had an nVidia chipset on it, and I was running an nVidia video
    card, too. The Biostar board I put in had integrated video, but the whole
    chipset complement was nVidia. I'm running Win2KPro SP4 on this box, and I
    fully expected to have to reinstall Windows. But, when I hit the switch, it
    booted up just fine. Forty-'leven "Found New Hardware" screens popped up,
    of course, and it was trying to do its regular housekeeping -- downloading
    virus definitions, checking for new BHOs, etc., etc. -- so it was a bit of a
    Chinese fire drill for a while. :) But, it only took a few minutes to let
    it find all of the new hardware, etc., and I'm still running with the same
    installation, nearly a year later. I'm not sure I could've done it with XP,
    but I'd certainly try it. The worst that could happen, unless I'm missing
    something major, is that you'd just have to reinstall, anyway.
    Tom Rutherford, Feb 5, 2008
  18. rajeshk4u

    Ben Myers Guest

    If the motherboard chipset is an EXACT match between the two systems, the odds
    of XP or 2000 booting right up instead of STOP 0x0000007B are pretty good. If
    the motherboard chipset is a close match, e.g. Intel 845 family, the odds are
    reduced somewhat, but it is possible that the system will boot right up. If
    the chipsets are very different, e.g. Via vs Intel, the odds of the new board
    booting up properly are very close to zero.

    The nVidia motherboard chipset family for P4 systems of a certain age are pretty
    close to one another in their internal hardware architecture, so your drive
    booted up when installed in the new system. The same would be the case with
    Intel 845 variants with and without integrated graphics.

    Whether or not the system will boot up with chipsets of the same manufacture has
    a lot to do with how well the chipset software programmers handle various error
    conditions that ensue when the chipset driver encounters somthing unexpected.

    What is not clear from the OP is how much really important data is on a hard
    drive. A reinstall can blow away the data, which often is far more valuable
    than the computer itself, because it cannot be recreated. That is why I took
    apart RedOne77 or whoever he is, because his response did not take into account
    any potential value of the data on the drive... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Feb 6, 2008
  19. I can't even remember the chipset number on the Gigabyte mo'bo', but the
    video card chipset was a 5200FX. The Biostar board has a 6100 chipset on
    it, which includes mo'bo' and video, I believe. At any rate, I think I did
    install the chipset drivers for the new board, eventually.
    The processor on the old board was an AthlonXP 2800+. The processor on the
    new board was an Opteron, both AMD processors. The Athlon is a 32-bit chip.
    The Opteron is a 64-bit chip that will do native 32- *and* 64-bit
    arithmetic. Given those differences, it was a total surprise when the thing
    booted right up without a BSOD of any sort. Winderz was just jumping up and
    down and giggling about all the new hardware it had found. :)

    Well, let me put it this way: If I were on the first manned mission to
    Mars, I'd want those programmers working on the mission-critical systems.
    That is a question, alright. Now, I'm preaching to myself, here, because I
    don't do it enough, but what should be done is to make regular and complete
    backups. I backup my O.E. message store to external media every time I shut
    O.E. down. My financial files get copied to a CD-RW every time I shut
    Quicken down. But, there are a few things that need to be synchronized that
    I haven't, yet. Those data would hurt to lose, but they're not vital. I
    should make regular images of the hard drive, but I haven't even gotten
    around to installing the software yet. I'm hoping it won't jump up and bite
    me on the parallel port someday, but who knows?
    Tom Rutherford, Feb 7, 2008
  20. rajeshk4u

    Mike Y Guest

    The more you do the more you risk loosing the data. I wouldn't do anything.

    I'd pick up a 'Sabrent' (I think that's right) cable and copy the data off.
    makes a cable that is a USB adapter that in a block at the end has
    for both 0.1" connector hard drive and CD/DVD ATA, and 2.5" ATA drives.


    Or you can replace your HD and get a formal case to pop your old 2.5" drive
    into for about $10.


    They even make them with SATA support as well. I have both the units above,
    and they work well. But here's the cable with SATA


    The advantage here is if the drive is failing you get it OUT of the machine,
    and can go into it as a DATA drive and get off what you can. I had a
    machine fail, and replaced the drive. I used one of these to pull all her
    off piece by piece. (She had hundreds of files that were one of a kind) I
    would get errors, but with multiple trys, I eventually got off every file.

    Mike Y, Feb 7, 2008
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