How do I transfer files from a removed hard drive to laptop

I have a Dell Dimension desktop with windows XP that is getting an error on boot up and apparently the only way to fix it is to reformat. I'd like to transfer the files from the hard drive which I've already removed to my Dell Inspiron laptop with Vista. Can anyone tell me how I can do this?
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More about transfer files removed hard drive laptop
  1. put the drive in a functioning computer and transfer or get an external hd case and connect by usb should be able to find one for 20 or so at a local store
  2. I have something similar to one of these:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812104062

    Very handy. But I spend quite a bit of time working with PC's.

    But I suggest the empty drive case. Make sure it has the proper interface (IDE or SATA).
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