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Getting information off of a laptop Hard Drive


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#1
JCrazy84

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Okay, so I am new here, but I do not know where to turn with my situation. I am more of a software person and when it comes to hardware I am just baffled. My Dell Inspiron E1705 recently died either due to video card failure or LCD failure. Thus, before hand I was instructed to remove my hard drive so as one of the techs wouldn't mistakenly figure that to be the problem and format/replace/etc. Well, since the LCD or the video card were dead, I was unable to see to back anything up. Now 3 weeks+ after I sent in my laptop, they tell me that instead of replacing the bad part, I am getting a new comp, free of charge. Well, that's all well and good, but I now have a hard drive with no way to get information off of it. The new computer is a different model and the old hard drive will not fit so they are sending me a new hard drive as well. I have already contacted Dell about this, but the warranty in which I have does not cover "Data Recovery" which is where this problem would fall, even though it is them who by not replacing the part put me in this situation. I have looked into making the hard drive into an external, but I cannot find the right connector/anything of the sort to make this transition. Below are links in which will assist you to assist me. In the first, I have the exact hard drive model. In the second I have a picture of the hard drive itself with the back visible.

HD Model

Picture of the HD

If I cannot make this into a full blown external hard drive I am fine with that, but figured it would be the best for the value as a new external and consistent access without booting from the hard drive. I am open to other suggestions if anyone may have them. Thank you in advance. I will be going to bed now and will read all replies I get in the morning.
-Joe
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#2
123Runner

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Welcome to geeks to go.

There is a way to put that drive in a USB enclosure. I am not that up on SATA drives (that is what yours is).
I am doing some research on the connectors to verify what they are.
Someone else here will know exactly by the picture.

I would rather be 100% sure before recommending a enclosure, because I am not positive they are all the same when it comes to SATA.

EDIT: For new info.

The drive you have is listed on the specs with a Ultra ATA/100 and a SATA/150 NCQ interface. The ultra ATA interface is not 1 I recognize.
I got that info from HERE.

I suspect that what you need is something like THIS

Edited by 123Runner, 26 December 2008 - 10:24 AM.

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#3
PedroDaGR8

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OK, this is easy. You just need a 2.5" SATA external USB enclosure. I took the liberty of narrowing the search down for you at newegg. The results are here. This will allow you to see what you need to get. It will allow you to turn it into an external drive as you mentioned. The two blade like connectors are your SATA data connector (small one) and your SATA power connector (wide one). The last connector (with pins in it) is a jumper block for factory use only.

What bothers me is what do they mean that drive won't fit. SATA is the NEWEST technology, so unless you are getting a 1.8" drive, this should work just fine. Unless they are giving you a computer with a lower speed drive, which I personally would be a bit miffed about, because this is a nice drive 7200rpm, sata means it is nice and fast.

Also, you may need to remove the drive cage from around the drive before installing it in an enclosure. The drive cage is that shiny metal thing with the round holes in it.

Good luck with this. Installing it in an enclosure is super easy but if you have any questiosn just ask.

Edited by PedroDaGR8, 26 December 2008 - 10:37 AM.

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#4
PedroDaGR8

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Welcome to geeks to go.
I would rather be 100% sure before recommending a enclosure, because I am not positive they are all the same when it comes to SATA.


Heh, seems like you answered while I was researching one aspect :) (that odd connector with the pins).


Just to let you know, YES all SATA enclosures are the same. The connector locations for power and data are defined in the SATA spec. This holds across 2.5" and 3.5" drives. Which is nice because it can be put in a SATA desktop and will work with no adapters. I was thrown off a bit by the jumper block (SATA doesn't need jumpers so I hadn't seen one that had them, turns out it is for factory use).

Edited by PedroDaGR8, 26 December 2008 - 10:20 AM.

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#5
123Runner

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And you answered while I was doing researc.
At least we are on the same page, and I am also correct.

According to the spec sheet on the drive, it has an ide interface also?
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#6
PedroDaGR8

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And you answered while I was doing researc.
At least we are on the same page, and I am also correct.

According to the spec sheet on the drive, it has an ide interface also?


No Seagate made two versions of the drive. One with an IDE interface and one with an SATA interface. From the image he provided, his has an SATA interface.

Edited by PedroDaGR8, 26 December 2008 - 10:37 AM.

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#7
JCrazy84

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Wow, thank you both, but the thing is, it doesn't look like a traditional SATA drive to me. This is why I was confused, there are only 4 pins on the left of it and the rest is more or less a slot that would plug in, I wouldn't go as far as to call them pins though, which is why i didn't think a traditional enclosure would work. In the ones I researched myself before posting here, they all required like 40/44 pin connectors, and i only have 4 pins with the rest not being pins. I did remove the drive cage earlier, but nothing else comes off and it is just an odd connector which does not appear to fit the enclosures. This is why I have held off buying any because it does not appear to fit. However, after looking at the newegg results, I looked through many to get an internal picture at what they would look like. This is the first one I found with the internal picture: Newegg
Are all of them in the result page you provided were like this? Once again, before coming here I found another website which said to do the same thing with the enclosure, yet all of the results I found with that all had the wrong connectors (most seem to be based on pins, whereas this one is not). The one I linked above appears to have the correct ones, but I am just paranoid that if I order one which I like better/better price if it will contain the wrong internal adapter. Once again, thank you both.
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#8
PedroDaGR8

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Wow, thank you both, but the thing is, it doesn't look like a traditional SATA drive to me. This is why I was confused, there are only 4 pins on the left of it and the rest is more or less a slot that would plug in, I wouldn't go as far as to call them pins though, which is why i didn't think a traditional enclosure would work. In the ones I researched myself before posting here, they all required like 40/44 pin connectors, and i only have 4 pins with the rest not being pins. I did remove the drive cage earlier, but nothing else comes off and it is just an odd connector which does not appear to fit the enclosures. This is why I have held off buying any because it does not appear to fit. However, after looking at the newegg results, I looked through many to get an internal picture at what they would look like. This is the first one I found with the internal picture: Newegg
Are all of them in the result page you provided were like this? Once again, before coming here I found another website which said to do the same thing with the enclosure, yet all of the results I found with that all had the wrong connectors (most seem to be based on pins, whereas this one is not). The one I linked above appears to have the correct ones, but I am just paranoid that if I order one which I like better/better price if it will contain the wrong internal adapter. Once again, thank you both.


Ignore the 4 pins. Those are for factory use only and of no consquequence for you. Just click on the picture to enlarge it. The image will open as a pop-up, so you may need to temporarily turn off your pop-up blocked to see it (It worked fine in FF for me even with the Pop-Up blocker on).

The others needing the 40/44 pin adapaters are IDE HD's (which is the traditional harddrive technology). SATA, a newer faster technology, does not use pins at all, it uses L shaped blades instead with contact strips on top. Without a doubt that is a standard SATA laptop interface, so any 2.5" SATA USB enclosure will work.

For clarities sake I have highlighted everything in your picture and what it is.
Analysis_of_Drive_Connectors.jpg

The green box at the left is the factory jumpers that you should just ignore.
The red L shaped connector in the middle is the SATA data cable connector. The L shape is called a key allowing the connector to only fit one way.
The yellow longer L shaped connector on the right is the SATA power connector. Once again the L shape does the same purpose.

This is why I say it is a standard SATA connector, therefore all 2.5" SATA external USB enclosures will have these.

These keying shapes actually fix a big problem with the older IDE method, which was a straight 2x20 pin format which could easily be hooked up upside down. This would result in the death of the drive because power was transmitted through some of these pins and when hooked up upside down, it would send power down some of the data lines killing the drive. I know this from experience. :)

Edited by PedroDaGR8, 26 December 2008 - 03:14 PM.

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#9
JCrazy84

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Thank you very much, you have been very nice and very helpful. Now, I can get all of my college documents off before I have to finish my research! If I have any problems I will be sure to come back and recommend this website to my friends!
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#10
PedroDaGR8

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Thank you very much, you have been very nice and very helpful. Now, I can get all of my college documents off before I have to finish my research! If I have any problems I will be sure to come back and recommend this website to my friends!


You are quite welcome and thanks for the compliment.

By the way, since you mention doing research, you may want to start doing backups. My wife and I are both graduate students in chemistry and I have set up our external backups to backup our important data files nightly. It only backs up the ones that change so some night it spends under 5 minutes but I like knowing that everything is safe and secure. I use the free program SyncBack Freeware. Others like the pay program Acronis Image, as a backup program.

My wife would die if she lost all of her data. She has 5 yrs of data sets (she is an analytical biochemist), at last count around 4000 excel files of data.

Either way, imagine if instead of the problem you were having it was a dead HD. A backup helps. Especially, now that you will have an external drive to use as a backup. I strongly advise you to use it to make backups. This way a dead HD just slows you down and isn't catastrophic (just an annoyance).

Edited by PedroDaGR8, 26 December 2008 - 03:23 PM.

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#11
123Runner

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I use the SyncBack free program for my company laptop and my home computer. very simple and easy to use.
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#12
JCrazy84

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Chemistry?! Hahahaha, no way! I backup at the end of every semester and in times between, but I was so busy at the end of the semester I was putting it off till the end as I had to finish collecting all of my Mass Spec data and do a presentation on the process and theory of UV-Vis spectroscopy, as well as an Advanced Inorganic Chemistry final breathing down my neck. Well, the week before finals week, which was AFTER giving my presentation, the problem occurred. So, I had nothing that was VERY VERY important for immediate use, but very important for later use. But yeah, I understand that I should no longer put this stuff off, haha. I will checkout SyncBack when I get the new laptop, thanks again.
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#13
PedroDaGR8

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Chemistry?! Hahahaha, no way! I backup at the end of every semester and in times between, but I was so busy at the end of the semester I was putting it off till the end as I had to finish collecting all of my Mass Spec data and do a presentation on the process and theory of UV-Vis spectroscopy, as well as an Advanced Inorganic Chemistry final breathing down my neck. Well, the week before finals week, which was AFTER giving my presentation, the problem occurred. So, I had nothing that was VERY VERY important for immediate use, but very important for later use. But yeah, I understand that I should no longer put this stuff off, haha. I will checkout SyncBack when I get the new laptop, thanks again.


Cheers and don't forget your trans-effect series :). I love how they teach UV-Vis and it really isn't used all that much anymore. In my Spec-ID class, the book actually dropped the UV-Vis section saying it was so seldom used that it was taking up too much space to be worthwhile, yet what does the Prof do, go copy it out of the old book and distribute it. :)
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