bro'sd computer dead - did not copy hard drive`

  bugatti13 15:21 25 Sep 2006

My brothers' computer has died, (very terminally!!!),he did not get the chance to copy all his important documents etc. I think there's a way to copy the hard drive, is this so?

If he either removes the drive or takes the entire stack to a 'computer doctor' will they be able to download all the info either onto discs or directly onto his new computer's hard drive?

thank you

  Diodorus Siculus 15:48 25 Sep 2006

It depends on the nature of the "death". Can you give more details of what has happened.

click here for one option.

  Stuartli 16:11 25 Sep 2006

He should be able to copy the contents of the drive to a new one in a replacement system - I'm assuming that the HDD is OK and that something else caused the "termination".

  notrom 17:29 26 Sep 2006

I'm the brother grieving over a late, lamented pc. It was/is Windows ME. Am posting on spiffy new machine courtesy of Lidl.

It was a short death that started on Friday, the patient lingering on over to Sunday. It began with an illegal shutdown I had to make. The scandisk that followed when I restarted was extremely slow and never completed. Likewise with an attempted Diskeeper defrag. Initially I was getting a desktop with all the icons but couldn't open any up. During one of many attempts, by now in safemode, to coax the machine into life, I lost all the desktop icons but still had the background photograph. I was also beginning to get an ominous blue screeen warning as follows:

Disk Write Error

Unable to write to disk in drive C. Data or files may be lost.

Press any key to continue.

Needless to say, all pressing any other key produced was the desktop photograph without icons and, usually, another of the blue screen warnings.

Any help or suggestions any of you clever people out there can offer that will enable me to retrieve some vital files (mainly Word or Excel) will leave with a huge debt of gratitude. Am not very technically minded. Thanking you in advance.

  Diodorus Siculus 17:56 26 Sep 2006

First off, stop trying to do anything with the old machine for now.

What is the specification of the new machine? Do you know if you can take out an optical drive and try putting in the old hard drive instead for a short time? It's really not difficult to do but you have to open the new machine and you may want to do that with care.

Another option would be to get an external caddy for the old drive that connects via USB - they cost around £10 or so. If you get one, you can add the new drive to it, plug in and hope that Windows recognizes it.

You don't need to be too "technically minded" :-)

  notrom 18:08 26 Sep 2006

Diodorus Siculus - have stopped trying to do anything with the old pc, my grey cells are working overtime trying to get me head round the new one! Am loath to open new pc up 'cause I find this sort of thing pretty scary; more than my cowardice, there's a seal on the new computer which if broken voids the guarantee. Not sure what an extrenal caddy is but it sounds a better bet. For your reference, £499 in used tenners purchased me the following spec from Lidl - sorry about the German:

Model Targa Ultra AN64II 3700+
Processor/cooler AMD Athlon64™ 3700+ with HyperTransport, 1MB L2 cache, socket 939 , EKL-Super silent-cooler (copper/aluminium-technology)
Software Genuine Windows® XP Media Center Edition*
Microsoft® Works Suite 2006 (OEM)*
Nero 6 OEM Suite*
Cyberlink PowerDirector (OEM)*
eTrust Antivirus (OEM)*
AudioJack 2 (OEM)*
DivX-Codec (OEM)*
Internet telefony-software (OEM)*
Game: Age of Mythology (OEM)*
Motherboard ASUS A8N-E (Targa-Edition)
Memory 1.024 MByte DDR-RAM PC 3200 (DDR 400) Dual Channel (2 x 512 MByte), exp. up to 4 GByte DDR-RAM
Graphics ATI RADEON® X1600 AVIVIO® - Targa-Edition
256 MByte, Direct X9, Double monitoring, PCI express, analog VGA, DVI/-I,
TV-out, YUV component output
TV card Hauppauge digital DVB-T and DVB-S (SAT) and analog TV tuner, incl. radio tuner
Audio Realtek® ALC 850 Audio AC´97 Codec - 7.1 digital sound with analog outputs and
inputs and digital SPDIF-out

Harddisc 300 GByte Seagate® with 7.200 RPM,
8 MB Cache, SATA connection, fluid bearing
Optical drives LG® DVD-ROM 16x DVD, 48x CD-ROM
LG® Multiformat DUAL layer
Write: 16x DVD+R, 16x DVD-R, 6x DVD-RW, 8x DVD+RW, 8x DVD+R Dual
Layer, 4x DVD-R dual layer, 48x CD-R, 32x CD-RW, 5x DVD-RAM
Read: 48x CD-ROM, 16x DVD-ROM, 5x DVD-RAM
Card reader 9 in 1 CardReader geeignet für 15 verschiedene Medientypen incl. Smart Card
und Adapter für xD Picture Card. Liest und schreibt z.B. Daten von CompactFlash®, Sony Memory Stick®, Sony Memory Stick Pro®, SD Card®, Smart Media®, XD Picture Card, IBM®/Hitachi® Microdrive® und Multi-MediaCard (von Digitalkamera, MP3-Player etc.), SmartCard (Mobiltelefon SIM-Karten, Geldkarten, etc.)
Communication/LAN 9-in-1 Kartenlesegerät, Analog-Modem 56K V.90, 10/100/1000 MBit Ethernet, Wireless LAN Stick nach dem Standard
IEEE 802.11g, abwärtskompatibel zum WIFI-Standard, Bluetooth-USB-Stick und
Stereo-Kopfhörer mit Mikrofon
Interfaces frond 9 in 1 Card Reader, 1x Composite In, 1x S-Video In, 1x FireWire IEEE 1394, 2x USB 2.0, 1x Audio In (für Video-Capturing), 1x Line Out, 1x Mic In
Interfaces rear 2x PS/2, 6x USB 2.0, 1.1 compatible, 1x RJ11, 1x RJ45 (Gigabit-LAN), 1x COM Port/serial, 1x LPT Port/parallel, 4x Audio Out (AC'97 8-channel), 1x SPDIF-OUT(RCA), 1x SPDIFOUT (optival), 1x Line In, 1x MIC, 1x VGA, 1x DVI-I, 1x Composite Out, 1x S-Video Out, 1x Component Out (LCD TV/Beamer/HD-Video support), 1x FireWire IEEE 1394, 1x DVB-T & analog TV Antenna, 1x FM Antenna, 1x Sat Antenna
Internal slots 1x PCI-E (16x)/2x PCI-E (1x)/1x PCI-E (4x)/3x PCI, 4x SATA 2x PATA 1x FDD
Free slots: 1x PCI-E (1x); 1x PCI-E (4x); 1x PCI; 3x SATA, 1x PATA and 1x FDD
Keyboard wireless multimedia keyboard
Mouse wireless optical scroll mouse with USB charge cable
Measurements (WxHxD) 180 x 435 x 500 mm
Scope of delivery - Mouse incl. batteries and USB charger cable
- Keyboard incl. batteries
- Receiver with USB cable
- WLAN USB dongle
- Bluetooth USB dongle
- Headset
- Remote control incl. batteries
- SPDIF cable (cinch cable for transfer of digital audio signals)
- PC mains connector cable (power cord)
- Modem cable
- FireWire cable for data transfer, e.g., from digital cameras
- Cinch to jack-type adapter cable (for the connection of analog audio devices with stereo-cinch input)
- Video component adapter, composite adapter
- Scart adapter cable
- Wire antenna
- USB receiver for remote control
- SmartCard adapter
- xD Picture Card adapter
Warranty /Service incl. on site service, hotline

  Diodorus Siculus 18:27 26 Sep 2006

Fair enough; don't open the new one.

Get the caddy - a local Maplins will have one or you can get them on the net, eg: click here

  Diodorus Siculus 18:28 26 Sep 2006

The caddy is a device that will hold the disk from the old machine; it will power it up and you can connect with a USB cable to the new pc. Then it should be seen within "my computer".

  notrom 18:49 26 Sep 2006

Diodorus Siculus - on a scale of 0 - 10, what chance do you think this will work? All sounds incredibly easy, even for a duffer like me, and cheap.

  Diodorus Siculus 20:14 26 Sep 2006

I'd give it 7/8 out of 10 - it all depends on how badly damaged the other disk is. However, it should be possible to find some if not all the data that was on it.

  notrom 20:31 26 Sep 2006

Something I didn't mention - my floppy drive has been knackered for some time. A friend who knows rather more about these things is coming over tomorrow to fit a drive that works in the hope we can start the pc with the floppy startup disk.

If this this doesn't work, I'll try your suggestion - could you elaborate slightly on what it involves, please? Sorry to be such a thicko, but I'd never heard of a caddy as anything other than a receptacle for my Earl Grey tea bags until your suggestion. Thanks, whatever happens, for your help.

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