Extracting Data from a Dead Laptop's Hard Drive


I was hoping to finally solve an issue that I have spent a good bit of time on.

Background: I have a Dell Inspiron e1505 laptop that has started to display the BSOD intermittently. I’ve tried various things to fix it, but I believe the mobo is dead. I don’t care much for the laptop anymore, I just need to get the data off of the HDD.

Question: I pulled the SATA HDD out of the laptop and attached it to a working desktop, both directly to the mobo, and through a USB universal storage drive adapter. I have also attached the HDD with this adapter to two other laptops in an attempt to get a different result. On XP host machines the result is always the same: the drive shows that it is working properly in Device Manager under the Disk Drives category, but never appears in Disk Management. In Linux, the drive appears but cannot be mounted. So, what can I do to clone it?

The typical remedy to get the OS to recognize a new HDD would be to format it, etc. But, I cannot do this as I am trying to retain the data. The HDD is not defective, I can boot up the faulty Dell Inspiron e1505 with it. Problem is, the faulty laptop does not stay alive long enough to clone the drive.

The OS on the HDD that I am trying to clone is XP Pro SP3. Do I need to modify any files to make the HDD recognizable to other machines?

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

- G. S. McNamara
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More about extracting data dead laptop hard drive
  1. I believe you would have to import the disk in the diskmgmt.msc console or maybe just maybe its a bad master boot record and you should be able to rewrite that without losing any data
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