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Old comp just died, trying to extract files to win7 comp....

Sup guys, I have this problem: an old winxp computer that my dad has just died, and it has all of the tax information that he was doing, which took him several hours. Anyway, I just want the files, and now that I installed the hdd on my custom win7 build, it says I have to format it to use it. Is there any way I can get the files off of this HDD? It's an IDE btw if that matters. Thanks in advance
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  1. I would recommend getting a cheap $20 external IDE hard drive enclosure, install the hard drive in it and excess the files as you would with any external device.
  2. I would agree with the above comment, but instead of getting an enclosure it would be better to just get an IDE to USB converter at about half the price. When you connect it to your Windows 7 computer and select the My Documents folder it will ask you if you wish to take ownership of this folder, reply “YES” to be able to access your files, this operation can take some time particularly if you have a large number of files and folders.
  3. Ok thanks, just one last question: It seems that the hard drive, while in the failing computer displays the message it is operating outside of specification. Do any of you know what that means? Is the hard drive itself the failing part? Thanks for the other answers btw.
  4. I am not sure, but I think that that message comes from S.M.A.R.T error reporting, which basically means that the hard drive is failing and that it is time to get a new one. To prove this turn of SMART error reporting in the BIOS and you should no longer get this message.
  5. Best answer
    I don't think it would need be formatted. Maybe it's trying to boot from the hard drive if you have Windows on that drive.

    Try this:
    1) Install that hard drive
    2) turn on the PC and go into BIOS (DEL key usually)
    3) change the bootup order for hard drives so the drive you just put in is NOT first.
    4) bootup if possible
    5) Make a folder on the computer on its normal drive and copy the data to it

    If that doesn't work then a USB option is probably best then you could buy a different drive and have a USB backup drive. I'd recommend getting Acronis True Image then backup your main Windows installation (C-drive usually) so you can restore it if you have problems. You can also setup periodic backups.
  6. Ok thanks to all who replied
  7. Best answer selected by cnor.
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