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Hard Drive Enclosure

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5 replies to this topic

#1 lippysyd


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Posted 10 June 2015 - 04:14 PM

Ok, this is probably a really stupid question...


I have an old Windows XP computer with a 500GB HD.  The memory cards are bad so it will no longer boot up.  I've long since replaced this computer, but there are photos and whatnot that I'd like to recover.  A friend suggested removing the HD and putting it in an enclosure.  So if I do that, do I just plug it in to my new Win 8 computer and I'm good to go?  Or will it try to boot up the XP ?  All the Googling I've done on this gives instructions for formatting an old HD first, but I don't want to do that until I have everything I want off of it.


While I'm at it, any suggestions on the enclosure?  There are way too many choices out there.



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#2 JohnC_21


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Posted 10 June 2015 - 05:30 PM

If you put the drive into a USB enclosure simply attach it like a USB flash drive and if the drive is still good you should be able to recover your pictures. Just make sure you get the correct enclosure. Being an old XP it could either have a IDE or SATA connection. You could also use a USB adapter that will work with both IDE or SATA such as this one.


Edit: Do not format the drive. Simple put it in an enclosure or use an adapter. It will not boot to XP.



Edited by JohnC_21, 10 June 2015 - 05:31 PM.

#3 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 05:32 PM

The only stupid question is the one you don't ask !


No, it won't try to boot from XP. I have on occasion disconnected one of my own hard drives and plugged a problem drive directly into my computer and it hasn't booted from the 'guest', but almost all enclosures connect by USB and you can always wait for your computer to boot before you connect the old drive.


The only problem you may have is that the old hard drive probably uses IDE type connectors instead of SATA - make sure you get the correct type of enclosure. If you are not sure what I mean, have a look at this image.-




At the bottom is a 3.5 inch SATA hard drive with the SATA connectors ringed. I couldn't lay my hands on an IDE hard drive without digging all the way through the cupboard under the stairs, but the gray cable on top with the big black plug is an IDE cable with the data plug on the end. If your HD is SATA, you will have no problem. You may have to do some hunting for an IDE enclosure but Amazon UK have at least one -




and you should be able to find one locally.


Chris Cosgrove

#4 mjd420nova


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Posted 10 June 2015 - 09:23 PM

The external method is the way to go.  I've recovered hundreds this way.  The enclosure was $20.00 and a very worthwhile investment with huge payoff potential.  Clients are delighted when those photos and old tax returns are recovered.  Most from old age of the original host but some from fire damage and even water intrusion.  Serious cases might involve removing the platters (in a clean room) and placing  in a workable donor unit.  Many drives may be inaccessible from the usual tools, that's when an advanced version of DOS can come in handy.

#5 Scoop8


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Posted 11 June 2015 - 07:12 AM



Another benefit of Enclosures (or SATA/IDE - USB Adapter Cables) is that you can use them for Cloning PC's that don't have an easily accessable SATA port, or a Laptop without a dual SATA port.


I have a Protronix Enclosure.  I bought the 3.5 SATA version since I'm actually using it as a SATA/USB Adapter without the Enclosure body. 


That allows me to use it as a 3.5 and 2.5 (Laptop size) HDD Adapter for Cloning and Imaging processes.


The blue arrow indicates the SATA HDD connector which accepts 3.5 and 2.5 HDD's.




I like Protronix since they are one of several vendors that include a small screwdriver for assembly.


Here's the complete Enclosure parts:



#6 DataMedic


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Posted 11 June 2015 - 03:15 PM

The memory cards are bad so it will no longer boot up


I assume you're referring to the RAM not the hard drive ???

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