I have a Dell Dimension 8200 computer I must have bought over 10 years ago. I tend to use my more recently purchased laptop or my brand new office computer to do most of my computer work, but there are still a ton of files on that old computer that have not been backed up elsewhere. My geriatric Dell Dimension just 'crashed' recently; when I push the 'on' button, instead of a green light, I get a flashing yellow light; I can hear a slight electronic beep/whine, and I feel like the drive is not able to start spinning. The cpu fan also does not turn on.
I don't care about saving this computer, but I would like to establish access to hard drive for long enough to back stuff up. I am thinking this might be a power supply problem...but in truth I really have no idea. But what I am wondering is this: Can I take the hard drive out of this computer and attach it to one of my other computers (I have another one of similar vintage) and see if it will show up on that computer as an accessible drive (assuming the drive itself is not dead)? And if something like that would work, I would love to be be the recipient of specific step-by-step instructions.
As long as the other computer has the correct connector (judging by the age of the Dimension, likely a 40-pin IDE), you can plug the Dimension's hard drive in. You won't be able to boot off it, and won't be able to run any programs on it, but it will allow you to pull off any files you need.
Just plug it in with the computer off, and when you start the computer back up, it should show up in Explorer.
But now I am thinking of removing the hard drive from my Dell Dimension 8200 and putting it in a 3.5in external drive enclosure, using that to both transfer files to a healthy computer, and to retain use of the old hard drive as a backup. Any reason to think that wouldn't work?
Since I have never crashed a computer in the 30 years I have used them, I have surprisingly little knowledge about how to manage internal hardware components. I sort of leaped to the conclusion that I have a power supply problem (the power light flashes amber, and the diagnosis lights on the back of the tower don't light up at all). So I see my options as (1) transfer files to other computer's hard drive as I originally suggested; (2) replace power supply unit in my Dell Dimension; or (3) convert my hard drive to an external drive via an enclosure.
And if I try option 3, I would be purchasing an enclosure like this:
Connectland USB 2.0 External Enclosure for 3.5-Inch SATA/IDE Hard Drive CL-ENC35008