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Can I use my old Internal HDD (SATA) on my new Windows 7 PC to access my old files (pics, docs, etc) only?

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September 22, 2013 8:50:26 PM

Good Evening.

After several hours reading threads on here, I still have a few questions that I'm hoping you can assist me with. I have an old HP Pavillion A1311n that I bought in 2005-2006 with WIndows XP Home.

I fired it up the other day and received a "DISK BOOT FAILURE". I tried accessing the BIOS/CMOS and seeing what was going on (boot from floppy, cd-rom, hard disk - changed several configurations) and no luck. I still get the disk boot failure message. The internal HDD that came with the HP is a Maxtor Maxline Plus II SATA 3.5 250 GB - 1.5 Gb/s.

If i understand this correctly, I can remove this HDD and install it in my new HP Pavillion A6750t with Windows Vista with it's current HDD (500GB 3Gb/s SATA) as a "secondary" or "slave" drive and access my old files (powerpoints, resumes, tax info, pictures, music, videos, etc) correct?

I don't care about running the old OS (WIndows XP) as i'm fine with VIsta, I just want to know if:

1. the hard drive is shot because of the Disk Boot Failure screen i get on the old PC.
***i've been told it may be the SATA Cable and not the HDD that's bad?

2. will the old HDD work on my new PC as secondary/slave drive even with the "Disk boot Failure".

3. What should I expect to see when I open "My computer" on the new PC, once i've installed the old HDD as a secondary/slave drive.

it's probably simple as hell, but I want to make sure before I fry and screw something up, ultimately losing data/programs, etc on both PC's.


any thoughts, comments, suggestions, advice, is greatly appreciated.

I can also be reached via email at militarydave at y ahhoo dotcom
September 22, 2013 8:55:06 PM

if you can, test it on another pc and try to get the data... thats pretty much your only homebrew option
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September 22, 2013 9:00:13 PM

I'll give it a shot and see if the drive is not corrupted and files are still accessible on the new PC.

worst case scenario: the drive is "bad" or corrupted or where I read somewhere that Maxtor (now Seagate) they tend to go bad after x-amount of years.

let's say i buy a new internal HDD for the old PC (like a WD for $60 or something) as I still want to use the old PC from time to time - is it possible to recover any of my old files (as i've stated i have resumes, etc) from the old HDD to the new HDD?

I know some IT guys at work that said that it's possible for them to recover the data from the HD that i'm holding on my left hand to the new WD drive that i'll have to buy (if it's bad) on my right hand for a small fee (or buy them lunch for a week or so... haha)

is this feasible?
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September 22, 2013 9:12:48 PM

militarydave said:
I'll give it a shot and see if the drive is not corrupted and files are still accessible on the new PC.

worst case scenario: the drive is "bad" or corrupted or where I read somewhere that Maxtor (now Seagate) they tend to go bad after x-amount of years.

let's say i buy a new internal HDD for the old PC (like a WD for $60 or something) as I still want to use the old PC from time to time - is it possible to recover any of my old files (as i've stated i have resumes, etc) from the old HDD to the new HDD?

I know some IT guys at work that said that it's possible for them to recover the data from the HD that i'm holding on my left hand to the new WD drive that i'll have to buy (if it's bad) on my right hand for a small fee (or buy them lunch for a week or so... haha)

is this feasible?


it all depends if you have the means to hook up the drive to an external enclosure... If not... just buy the dudes lunch :) 
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a c 99 G Storage
a b $ Windows 7
September 22, 2013 9:59:49 PM

Its possible that the "Disk Boot Failure" could entirely be from a corrupted OS and not necessarily a dead drive.

Theres not much point asking if it will work, if the drive is working correctly than you should be able to access whats on there pretty much as soon as you plug the thing into your new machine. Turn the machine off, hook it up, boot into Vista and it should be there as another drive with all your old stuff on it.

If you cannot access it at this stage, go into "Disk Management" and see if it can be detected there. If not, the drive is probably dead and there's not much you can do other than go to some data recovery expert. If you can find it in there, the drive works but for some reason the formatting isn't kicking in, it will probably prompt you to format the drive, which will delete whatever is on there if you do. At that point most I can suggest you do is keep rebooting the machine and hope it eventually works, and if it does copy over everything important.
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September 23, 2013 1:49:14 PM

I was told that I could install this as a slave/secondary drive by unplugging the power source and SATA cable from my CD-ROM drive and see if it boots up.

I"ll give it a shot when i get home from work.

thank you everyone for your input/advice/suggestions on this.

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September 23, 2013 7:33:50 PM

yay!!! so I was able to hook up my old HDD to my new PC and all my files were there!! PHEW!!!!!!!!!

Now, How do I go about re-formatting the internal HDD to it's original state?

manofchalk was right. it's the OS that's corrupted. everything else appears to work fine.

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a c 99 G Storage
a b $ Windows 7
September 23, 2013 9:56:18 PM

Go into Disk Management, right click on the drive/partition you want to format and the option should be there.
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September 24, 2013 6:51:21 AM

I'll have to request a Boot CD from HP ($12) as I dont have a way to reload Windows XP. I can format the HD no problem, and now not worried about losing anything - (I backed up the drivers, files, etc)

I read somehwere that the setup.exe for Windows XP is on the I386 folder.


forgive my ignorance, but that setup.exe (or winn.exe) does not mean i'm able to "boot" from it correct?


meaning... either way I have to have a boot cd to be able to re-load windows on the clean (formated) HD?
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December 26, 2013 2:31:37 PM


I do it alll the time, the master boot sector is probably corrupt. Just connect it to your new PC and under my computer it'll be there. I've retrieved my data and software like that a few times.
I strongly reccomend if you do go out and shop for a new hard drive, get a SSD (Solid State Drive) there a bit more money , but well worth it!!

Also get your hands on a program like Parted Magic and you'll be able to clone your drive you have in now to your new SSD, i would use the SSD as your primary OS disk, way fast! And with that program you can reformat your old HDD reinstall in your old PC and reinstall XP no problem. good luck

Neon






militarydave said:
I'll give it a shot and see if the drive is not corrupted and files are still accessible on the new PC.

worst case scenario: the drive is "bad" or corrupted or where I read somewhere that Maxtor (now Seagate) they tend to go bad after x-amount of years.

let's say i buy a new internal HDD for the old PC (like a WD for $60 or something) as I still want to use the old PC from time to time - is it possible to recover any of my old files (as i've stated i have resumes, etc) from the old HDD to the new HDD?

I know some IT guys at work that said that it's possible for them to recover the data from the HD that i'm holding on my left hand to the new WD drive that i'll have to buy (if it's bad) on my right hand for a small fee (or buy them lunch for a week or so... haha)

is this feasible?


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