Are you trying to recover the OS from the old drive or files that you want/need? I'm not sure you would be able to recover the OS from and old computer as a fresh install on a new computer. Even if you could there would be an issue with drivers. If you simply want to recover the contents of the drive and have not overwritten any data on the drive you could try Recuva ( http://www.piriform.com/recuva
Thanks for the response. I'll try to be more specific. I don't need to recover any files. What I want is to get my old laptop operational again, but right now, the hard drive is wiped and the optical disk drive is not working. I have the two supplied system recovery & application/driver discs to reinstall the OS but since my ODD is broken, I do not know how to run this software.
I did some more searching on this topic since I posted and it seems I could use an external USB optical drive to run the software, but I would rather avoid opening the wallet until absolutely necessary.
I suppose I can boot from USB flash drive as well, but how would I go about creating copies of my system recovery disks? Could I use an external USB hard drive instead of a USB flah drive?