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   ► KBComputer TechHardware   Print This     
 
Tech Hardware:
How to Copy Files and Folders from a Crashed Hard Disk That Will Not Start Windows
 
Posted 9 months ago on 2/12/2018
Take Away:

This article describes how a USB data transfer cable with 3 different sockets can be used to recover data from a software crash on a hard drive.

KB102841



As someone who works in the computer repair business, I have seen many PCs that will not start due to a crash. I am referring to a “logical crash" versus a “physical one", where there are damaged areas on the hard disk. With logical crashes, the hard drive can be reinvigorated with a fresh installation of Windows. Before the operating system is restored, the user data must be backed up for future restoration. So how do you go about doing this if the Windows operating system can’t start the computer?

The solution is to use data transfer cables. These are inexpensive cables that connect an internal hard drive to a computer’s USB port. They have different types of connectors: 2.5” IDE for older laptop disks, 3.5” IDE for older desktop hard drives and SATA for newer laptop and desktop hard disks. These cables come with an AC adapter cord that plugs into any wall outlet. I have a combination connector with all 3 types of sockets. I can tell you with absolute certainty it is worth every single penny I paid. They have helped me complete more troubleshooting jobs than I can ever hope to remember. I recently found one on http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812232002 that looks like a real beauty of a deal. If I were looking for a data transfer cable today, I would pounce on this one. It is called “Vantec 2.5"/3.5"/5.25" SATA/IDE to USB 2.0 Adapter - Model CB-ISATAU2”. It has a 2.5” IDE socket on one edge and a 3.5”/5.25” IDE connector on the other. There is also a SATA connector on the flat side in this one unit. It doesn’t have any mechanical moving parts that can easily wear out and it should last for years as long as you don’t yank or twist the cable.

These cables are very simple to use. After you connect the internal hard drive you want to recover data from, just wait for the Windows plug and play feature to detect it and assign it a drive letter. Then just use the copy and paste commands (CONTROL-C and CONTROL-V, respectively) to copy the files and folders you want to your PC.


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