How can I transfer data from a non working computer?
Question by Mattie Gray /

How can I get my data and files off an old computer that will not turn on? Old computer has Windows XP and new computer has Windows 7. Is there any hope?

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Answers (3)
  • Irshaad Abdool

    detach the hrdsk frm the computer, then get a USB-to-IDE/SATA device (so as not to open the working computer :) ), connect the hardisk to the device and trnsfer the data

  • Anonymous

    well datas are storred on hard drive so just take it out and plug it as slave into another pc, but since it has an operating system then perhaps you can make a kind of dual boot on the host pc.


    Hello, as long as the harddrive is still working and it is recognized, you can uninstall the drive from old computer and attach it to new.  Once you do this, you could try moving data that way.  Another possibility if drive is attached to your new computer is to use a live linux CD/DVD.  Download a linux live CD/DVD like knoppix, burn it CD or a USB flashdrive and start your computer from it.  Once linux live CD is mounted, you can mount old drive and move data that way or copy it to a flashdrive.   The following is the download link for knoppix:

    If you do not want to burn to cd/dvd, you could try making a bootable linux live cd in a flashdrive.  You can use the software in the next link:

    I am assuming your old computer uses IDE drives.  If the motherboard in your new computer doesn’t have IDE connectors, you could try using an enclosure or a USB IDE to SATA adapter.  If your old drive is SATA, it is just a matter of connecting to your new motherboard.

    You can use an enclosure such as the following:

    or USB IDE to SATA adapter:

    Of course, you can also try starting your old computer from CD/DVD.  If computer turns on, enter BIOS and change boot order to CD/DVD.  Insert linux live cd and see if you can data to flashdrive or burn it to an external drive.  I would be faster using your new computer.

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