How can I extract files from an old hard drive?

macchavez August 25, 2012

My HP fried back some years ago — it actually smoked. I have the hard drive and would like to extract my pictures. Does anyone know who can do this without costing me a fortune.

  1. Dave Rimmer
    October 5, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Don't no if this is sorted but if you have not fixed it then try one of thes|cat:20348837|prd:20348837e -

  2. Dwayne Nicholson
    September 13, 2012 at 4:42 am

    purchase a cheap hard drive enclosure for the specific size hard drive you have, ebay usually has them very cheap, insert the hard drive into the enclosure, now it becomes an external drive

  3. Freecycle Me
    September 9, 2012 at 10:32 am

    As you say, the hard drive was actually smoking which could mean that the hard drive components have fried and then the data may still be on the disc but it may not work when connected through an enclosure or other connection. If you cannot get the data off you may need to pay some good money as you say you are not technically minded and it may be that someone would need to take the physical platen out of the drive and put in a similar one to read the data

  4. Joel Alar
    September 5, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Please check if the harddrive is still functioning by connecting your harddrive to a harddrive enclosure, be sure to check what type of harddrive you are using before you buy a harddrive adapter/enclosure. sata or ide? hdd size=2.5 or 3.5?

  5. cypherinfo
    September 2, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Hello, try easus data recovery wizrd professional:
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    If you do not have access to your hard disk may be: it is a boot disk; so when you plug it windows cannot recognize it: you have to access it and change not to boot disk; the other one is you have to assign it ownership and admin permissions; right click go to security tab, click advanced under the Permissions for SYSTEm and go on.

  6. Usman Mubashir
    August 28, 2012 at 8:58 am

    try connecting it to any other system and get it to boot, if it fails, try paragon hdd tools to copy data from it.

  7. jrasulev
    August 27, 2012 at 4:52 am

    You've got two options, mount your HDD on you PC or purchase HDD mobile rack to plugin you PC

  8. John Paul Wohlschied
    August 26, 2012 at 1:18 am

    The best thing to do is get a external disk enclosure or a SATA/IDE to USB adapter. Once you get everything hooked up (Be sure to plug in the power and then the USB. I learned this the hard way.), it will act like an external drive. Once your up an running, you can search for and copy the files you want.

    FYI, since the drive has not been indexed by Windows Search, searching the drive will be slow. If you want to find a file by name quickly, you can use a tool named Everything ( Also, if you install another program called TeraCopy ( you can copy files much faster than the default copy program in Windows.

    Hope that helps.

  9. danielooi
    August 25, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    If it still works, just plug it into a external HDD dock or external HDD casing. Just make use u got the correct one such as IDE/SATA, 2.5" or 3.5".

    If it no longer works, you might want to consider to send to your nearest recovery center

    • Miriam
      August 30, 2012 at 1:33 am

      I am not very computer savy. The hardrive is a Seagate Barracuda 80 GB Internal hard drive 7200.7. Where can I go so they can tell me exactly what I need to see if the drive is not damaged and I can view the files? Do you think CompuUSA (if they still exist around here)? I am only interested in getting pictures out. I have no idea what HDD dock or external HDD casing means but I do see a small picture on back that says SATA signal. Anyways I now own an MAC and that drive is from a HP Pavilion computer -- I would HATE to hurt my MAC. Anyways, any additional guidance you have is appreciated.

  10. Antonio Ruiz Mateos
    August 25, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    If the hard disk is not broken, the first thing is to check the interface.

    If it's SATA you can easily connect it to any computer, either directly to the motherboard or using a external dock to avoid the mess.

    If it's IDE, you should use an older computer, and adapter or find a external dock compatible with both interfaces.

    In any case, the most expensive option is a external dock and it won't cost you a fortune (nowadays $30 or less) and you might find it useful for future uses, like having HDDs for backup.

  11. Kao Vang
    August 25, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    The cheapest way to attempt to read it is to get a cheap USB enclosure. That'll only work if the hard drive is not toast along with the laptop itself. You'd have to get the one that is compatible with your hard drive depending on how old the hard drive is (IDE/SATA).

    Another other is, depending on your current computer and the hard drive itself, is to get a cable (IDE/SATA) and plug it into your motherboard.

  12. Edward
    August 25, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Definitely use an external enclosure. If you were mistaken about the status of you od drive you could smoke your current computer by attaching it directly!

    • GrrGrrr
      August 25, 2012 at 7:31 pm

      true. Never take such a risk

  13. Nicholas Aronne
    August 25, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    A very low-cost but highly effective solution would be a SATA/PATA/IDE Drive to USB 2.0 Adapter. I have one and it comes in handy very often.

  14. Erlis D.
    August 25, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Just connect it with your computer! And if it is so old, that it can't be read, then there must be a update to read the type of your hard drive!

  15. Alan Wade
    August 25, 2012 at 6:57 am

    If the hard drive is not damaged then it is just a case of hooking it up to your new computer and seeing what can be salvaged.

  16. Anjan Das
    August 25, 2012 at 6:48 am

    Connect you old HDD to a new PC (if You have one) or someone else's pc and extract your data to Thumb Drives or External HDD...

  17. Bruce Epper
    August 25, 2012 at 1:04 am

    As long as the hard drive itself was not damaged, you can connect it to another system and simply copy the files off of it. Depending on the type of drive and what is supported by the system you will do the copying with, you may be able to connect it as an additional internal drive or you may need to resort to an external enclosure that can connect via eSATA, FireWire or USB (again depending on what the running system supports).If the drive itself smoked or was damaged, you may need to bring it to a professional recovery service where you may be paying hundreds or thousands of dollars with no guarantee that anything at all can be recovered.

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