New PC can't boot/read/copy old files from old PC HDD (C:\ Drive)

I have an older hard drive (WD1200 – EIDE Drive) that used to be the C:\ drive on another computer. I wanted to copy some files from that drive onto a new PC hard drive. I had installed the drive into a hard drive enclosure that works off of a USB connection. I was able to copy files without trouble using windows explorer. I copied about half the files I needed before I started deleting directories I did not want to copy. When I tried to delete some files from the \Windows directory the drive stopped being recognized by Windows Explorer.

In an attempt to get around this problem I removed the hard disk from the enclosure and connected it directly to the motherboard via a standard 80 wire cable for an EIDE hard drive. I went into the setup mode of the computer, and it did recognize the old hard drive as being connected. After making sure that the computer would boot up from the new hard drive, I tried to boot up. Shortly after starting the computer, the motherboard set up screen is displayed on the monitor as normal. Shortly after that the Microsoft Windows XP logo is displayed as it begins to load up into windows. Within seconds the monitor goes completely blank and the computer becomes dormant. The hard drive stops and the boot up process stops. I have to hit the reset button or do a hard shutdown at that point in time.

I have tried this multiple times including in safe mode (F8) various options without success. It reacts the same way every time.

Can you provide any assistance as to how I might try to retrieve the files on this old hard drive? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
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  1. I think it might be a good idea that you run SpinRite on that old harddisk to see if it's damaged and SpinRite will also fix the drive if it is.

    Other than that you can always boot up a Linux system off an usb stick or from a cd-rom and from there you should be able to access all the files on the harddrive which is still there.
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