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Sata to USB (old proken pc hd to new laptop) questions


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#1
jayjay23

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Hi guys,

My old PC died a while back.
It was running Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit installed over the top of a Vista x64 OS (on a 2006 machine).

Anyway, I started having problems with the PC overheating and crashing, did the new heat sync paste thing but it got worse and never booted up again since.

I have been using my laptop since then... Win 7 Home Premium x64 and I want to retrieve all my lost data from my old PC HD. I have a few questions as it's something I have read about but don't fully understand.

1. What happens when I plug in an old HDD with an OS installed on it? Will I be attempting to boot from that and thus open the old copy of windows to get to my files? Or can I plug and play and access the files like using an external storage drive? And if I can use it like an ext hdd what about the fact that the old HDD would have had a password to open Windows, if it does let me access the files, will all the files be password protected meaning I would have to start assigning permissions and so on in the security settings for every file?

2. I am guessing that I can't just take out the old hdd and plug in a sata/usb from the hdd to my laptop. But why is that? Is it because I need a power source for the HDD? And is that what an enclosure is for?

3. If I just need a power source can I simply leave the HDD in position in the old computer case and run a sata cable with USB at the other end to my laptop instead of to the old computer's mother board? And if not, why will this not work?

Thanks everyone...

Hope you can advise me!
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#2
SleepyDude

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Hi,

1. What happens when I plug in an old HDD with an OS installed on it? Will I be attempting to boot from that and thus open the old copy of windows to get to my files?

It will depend the way you connect the disk if internally or external but I will say nothing happens because you normally have to change the boot order. If you try to boot the old disk on a machine with different hardware it most likely will fail to boot because the drivers windows tries to load will not match the new hardware.

Or can I plug and play and access the files like using an external storage drive? And if I can use it like an ext hdd what about the fact that the old HDD would have had a password to open Windows, if it does let me access the files, will all the files be password protected meaning I would have to start assigning permissions and so on in the security settings for every file?

Yes you can use it like any external storage drive. The password is only to access windows, if you didn't enable encryption on the files you should be able to access all of them. Windows can complain about permissions when you try to access some folders but you can bypass that by taken ownership of the folders/files.

2. I am guessing that I can't just take out the old hdd and plug in a sata/usb from the hdd to my laptop. But why is that? Is it because I need a power source for the HDD? And is that what an enclosure is for?

The Sata connections are the same for Desktop's and for a Laptop's if your Desktop have a Sata HDD 2,5" it can be installed just fine on a Laptop and the contrary will also work.
If the desktop disk is 3,5" it will not fit on the laptop and if I'm not wrong it needs extra power to work so its best to use an enclosure for easy use or and adapter like this.
The adapter is more useful for a rescue situation the enclosure is better to reuse the hdd, protect the drive and to move around...
Both the adapter and the enclosure will have to convert from SATA to USB.

3. If I just need a power source can I simply leave the HDD in position in the old computer case and run a sata cable with USB at the other end to my laptop instead of to the old computer's mother board? And if not, why will this not work?

Hum, Sata cable with USB at the other end! Don't know that.
This doesn't sounds like a good idea!
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#3
jayjay23

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Hey there, thanks for the great reply.

For the 3rd option I meant something like this...

Posted Image

Can I leave my HDD in the old PC, connected to the power, and plug SATA cable end from that image into the HDD and the USB end of that image into my laptop?

I don't have any interest in an enclosure because I don't want to keep it really. Just want to rescue the files from it.

Thanks

Edited by jayjay23, 06 July 2013 - 02:17 PM.

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#4
Kemasa

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Yes, you could use the old case as a large enclosure and use its power supply to power the drive. This assumes that the power supply comes up, which might not be the case if the CPU is toast.

If you turn on the computer and the disk spins up, then you can do it.

As a side note, it is not a bad idea to have an external drive to backup data to. Also, you should wipe the data from the disk before getting rid of the disk since it can have personal information on it.
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#5
jayjay23

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Lovely, thanks for the tip. I do back up data, I just have other external drives for the purpose. I'll give it a whirl and post how it goes. Thanks again. Might take me a couple of weeks to get around to it!
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#6
jayjay23

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Hi just as an update to other people in my position. I did buy a sata to usb cable without power supply - from ebay, about £3 or £4.

I disconnected everything in my old desktop pc on the motherboard except from the power supply to the hdd. Then I plugged the sata end of the cable into the hdd and the usb end into the laptop. Pressed the power button. Nothing happened. Tried several times. Strangely I swapped the usb end of the cable into another port on my laptop and it worked! I could access all my old, lost files and folders. I think I was just given one security prompt on the way which I allowed and that was it. Job done*.

*Technically job not finished because I haven't copied them all over yet but it work on the test files I did so far.
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