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Getting My Files Off A Crapped Laptop! Help!

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#1 Odin Computer

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 10:49 PM

Here's the situation...

Some months ago my HP Laptop got some kind of virus/spyware thing that eventually degenerated Windows ability to function. Now, you can turn the computer on, it will boot up, you can put in your Windows password, the desktop background will come up, but nothing else... and it just stays that way. You cannot use Windows at all.

I have since purchased a new Dell Desktop, but I have files on that laptop that date back 6 years and 2 computers. While I've given up hope on the computer itself, I want those files!

Considering myself clever, I thought that I could remove the hard drive of the laptop (which I did) and use an external hard drive enclosure with a USB connection to pull the files off. Of course, I've twice ordered the wrong HD enclosure (wrong connection type, wrong size) and am starting to wonder if it would even work anyways. Not to mention the laptop's HD is mounted on some metal casing which seems impossible to remove and thus makes it impossible to fit into a HD enclosure regardless....

I took it to some tech helpers and they're only suggestion was to wipe the hard drive and start over. Fine, but I want the files first! So they couldn't help me obviously.

What can I do??? I really want those files! All I need is to pull them off and I don't care if the laptop explodes as a consequence. Any help would be really appreciated! I've been trying to figure this out since July!

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#2 Enthusiast


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Posted 06 December 2005 - 11:03 PM

You should have used boot disks to get the old laptop going again before you dismantled it.

I am not really familiar with laptop hardware, but can you install the hard drive in a working pc as a slave?

#3 Odin Computer

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 11:18 PM

The laptop isn't totally dismantled... I mean it's not in mint condition... I had to like bash in some outer plastic to get the HD out... but you can put the HD back in and still works (except that Windows doesn't work) in fact I keep HD in it's original place when I'm not trying to stick into the wrong enclosure.

Making the Laptop HD a PC slave was another option I considered, but I don' t know how to do that.

#4 Lazarus Long

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 12:47 AM

having built laptops in an OEM, there is no built-in cabling or jack to 'slave' a secondary drive; then connector for each drive is hardwired onto the motherboard. You would have to rig one; a standard IDE cable would probably work if you could find the correct pinouts for the connector on the drive... good luck trying that.

I would try to network or peer-to-peer both of the laptops together, and see if you could "hack" into the failing drive. Since it would boot before, then the disks will spin. I would boot both systems and if you can see the failed system from the working one, you should be able to access the drive and pull your files out.

Good luck


#5 ing3


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Posted 07 December 2005 - 02:51 AM

maybe what you need is a adapter for laptop hard drive to work on desktop, adaper cost about $5.00 up , the only place im sure they have it is at compusa they hav a lot of cool modding gear for pc..

#6 Andrew


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Posted 08 December 2005 - 07:50 PM

Have you tried booting from the Windows installation disk/system restore disk?

A while ago I had a similar problem. What I did was upgrade the Windows Version I had by means of a borrowed CD, save the files I needed, and then reformat and reinstall Windows.

Could something like this work?

#7 usasma


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Posted 08 December 2005 - 09:09 PM

I took it to some tech helpers and they're only suggestion was to wipe the hard drive and start over. Fine, but I want the files first! So they couldn't help me obviously.

I hate this!!!! It's a poor excuse for tech support that's way, way overused when it's not even needed.

Your system booted - it got to the Desktop (albeit not all the way). First thing is to see if you can bring up Task Manager (Ctrl-Alt-Del) and see if you can run SFC.EXE /SCANNOW (by selecting New Task in the lower right corner of Task Manager).

If that didn't work, a repair install could probably fix it, and even if it doesn't fix it all the way - it should fix it well enough to get the files off of it. Here's a link to the instructions for a repair install: http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm

If that didn't work you could boot with a DOS disk and use a copy of an NTFS reader to get your files - or you could boot with one of the many "Live" Linux distros to recover your files.

Let us know how these steps work and we can move onto the more complicated recovery techniques if necessary
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