How can I find my personal files on the hard drive I salvaged from my old computer?

Jon Crescenzi August 24, 2012

My IBM ThinkPad is toast. I have retrieved and attached the old hard drive externally to my new Dell Latitude. All the system files etc are there but I cannot find my personal files, i.e. photos, iTunes music, Word documents etc.

How can I find these and place them on the new computer?

  1. Bodi Hemanth
    October 11, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    which operating system was used in your previous laptop

  2. Dimal Chandrasiri
    September 12, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    you can get them if you go to your drive, documents and settings and to the folder which is named after the account name you had when you had the windows installed.

    for and example if your account was named by your name search for a folder with your name. it will contain all the details and files you are looking!

  3. Krishna Vallabhaneni
    September 2, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    just get a sata adapter and plug it into the usb of a new computer

  4. cypherinfo
    September 2, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Hello, try easus data recovery wizrd professional:
    try it, is free trial to download. That was the only app that worked when I find in troubles. It is capable to recover deleted files too.
    I'd suggest you to run an antivirus scan after the recover.
    Let me know if it worked; if not I'll help you; contact me on twitter: @cypherinfo
    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.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:29 am

    Hello, what operating system was your old computer using? If as you say, the old harddrive is recognized and accessible, all the information you seek should be located under the Document and Settings folder for Windows XP and the USERS folder in Vista/7. Once you find and open the Documents and Settings folder, you would see folders for all the users in the computer and also the default user folder. Once you click on that folder, you would see the My Videos, My Pictures, My Music folders.

  6. Abdallah Hodieb
    August 24, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    For WindowsXP : Documents and settings folder / your user name / your files and folders might be hidden and marked as system folders .

    For Windows7 : Users Folder / your user name / AppData /
    this folder is most probably hidden and marked as system folder . but just write the path in the explorer and u will get in

  7. Bruce Epper
    August 24, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Under WinXP there is a 'Documents and Settings' folder which contains subfolders for each user on the system. Under Vista and 7, this would be the 'Users' folder that conatins the equivalent folders. So if your username on the computer is Jon and you are using Windows 7, the your data files would be in C:\Users\Jon\.

  8. Alan Wade
    August 24, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    To prevent this from happening again, partition your drive and move your personal folders to the relevant partitions, at least then you will be able to find them easily.

  9. Darren Reynolds
    August 24, 2012 at 10:30 am
  10. jrasulev
    August 24, 2012 at 10:20 am
  11. Sebastian Hadinata
    August 24, 2012 at 7:48 am

    No document and settings folder (WinXP) or Users folder (Vista & 7) available?

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