windows xp lost files 7 years work on them

  Linda Weir 00:10 26 Jul 2012

we lost some files for windows xp. my pc man says he can copy my old hard drive onto a new pc. i have to buy a pc from him (£100 dearer than online) plus set up and copy charges. he says if he rebuilds windows xp i will lose the files. so i can get my old pc rebuilt after the hard drive has been copied in total.

my question is , is this sort of service available now and is it reliable. i'd like to have options other than my usual man because , he is working full time and has lost his car.. i am without a pc and i need my files for my work. I have done rough bits of back up, but could never really do a full back up. i'd like to have a choice of where i can get this done and choose my own pc from whatever is available rather than being stuck to what he offers. linda

  robin_x 00:23 26 Jul 2012

So are you saying the PC has died but the hard drive is OK? Or is it just not booting/working?

If you do need a new PC, you can buy any and install the old drive as a 2nd drive in it. You will be able to see all your files in new locations such as F: or G: or whatever (new PC would probably be using C:, D:, E:)

Or if you buy a laptop, you put the old drive in an external USB caddy and can see it there.

  mole1944 06:09 26 Jul 2012

Go get your self a click drive for future use,now you know the impotance of doing a plug into the usb port and dependant on the amount your about to save takes minutes,although the initial backup might take a little longer.It never ceases to amaze me how people don't back up important data,when it's gone it's gone.

  sharpamat 08:22 26 Jul 2012

My Advice is similar as already posted. Installing your own drive as a second drive on a new PC will depend on the connections. However an external caddy will allow the contents to be seen.

I do agree that this does highlight the need for regular backups but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Most new PCs come with Windows 7 changing from XP I never found hard and the only comprise I found was using windows live to replace outlook. As with any new PC the first thing I do is to create the recovery discs which are then stored safely. Then I remove all the unwanted C* Run update install my chosen protection and live then create a disc image ( I have never had any problems doing this using the inbuilt win 7 one). I also weekly save my files and settings both of which I save to an external 2gb drive.

If your old PC is still running ( otherwise the caddy ) its easy to transfer your files and settings either to the same external, or using a transfer cable. Just remember you cannot transfer your programs that will require re installing them

  Jollyjohn 13:51 26 Jul 2012

There are several options available, similar to the advice already posted.

I would boot from a Linux Live CD and copy the entire contents of your existing HDD to an External HDD / USB stick depending on amount of data to be copied.

You could then plug the External HDD into another PC and see if the files you want are present and useable. (If they are not then you need to look at data recovery specialists and in the mean time do NOTHING to the drive to maintain the best chance of recovery. About £300 depending on the amount of data to recover but most offer a free diagnosis service.)

If the files are present, as I suspect they will be, your options include buying a new PC. I would hesitate to open the case on a new PC as it may invalidate your warranty, use a USB caddy / adapter to plug in the existing HDD.

With the HDD copied to the External HDD you could rebuild Windows XP and then move the neccesary files back.

What part of the country are you in?

  Linda Weir 15:24 26 Jul 2012

ROBIN o floxley , thanks i never knew a usb caddy existed. how do you take a hard drive out? sounds likemajor surgery. thanks s much.

Mole 1944. love the revelation of click drive. i used to be happy with my maxtor one clicks, but they don't seem to make click drives anymore i havebought many backup drives but its too hard to more so much stuff. i forget what i've save and what not. i have nt got a organising brain. but i do try. a click drive would be wonderful where can i get one.thanks so much

Sharpamat: A wonderful revelation a usb caddy . where do i get one. never seenor heard of such a thing. I knew i had to back up but the task was so huge, i couldn't do it. i needed automatic backup. thanks so much for an exhaustive set of advice,much appreciated. linda

JOLLY JOHN, WHERE COULD I GET a linux Live cd, would it work on my sleeping pc. it sounds simple. A Usb Caddy seems indispensible. why have i never heard of such a thing. i have been trying to back up, but since my maxtor one touch 4 are no longer available i cannot find a one click back up. I am in St.Ives cornwall. thank so much for the advice, i am so moved at your generousity and the other pc boffins. a million thanks i have my art work recoded on my hard drive so really need to get it copied.


  tullie 15:49 26 Jul 2012

Amazon have a few.

  Jollyjohn 16:23 26 Jul 2012

A linux live cd is created by downloading an .iso file and burning it to a cd. I recomend Puppy Linux - it looks a bit basic but is easy to use. The various drives are shown along the bottom of the screen and you can easily drag and drop to copy the files.

Your XP PC needs to be set to boot from cd and it will take a little while to boot, accept the defaults as it boots.

USB caddies / adapters are available from Maplin or try

I am in Perth, so a bit too far away to offer to pop round and assist. Am away to work now, will check back in the morning to see if you need more help.

  Diemmess 17:07 26 Jul 2012

Could you please say in ordinary terms what you think has happened to the PC? Any lights or strange noises? Is anything at all showing on the screen You might just be able to resurrect your system and the world would seem to be a nice place after all!

Is it a PC or a laptop? Is it a proprietary name brand, if so what make/model is it? Finally, which version of Windows are you using?

If everyone agrees it is dead, the HD may still be OK, but these extra details will aid all those hoping to help without going up the wrong alley.

  Linda Weir 20:23 28 Jul 2012


hi what happened was , my son came backfrom uni and offered to 'sort out ' my files.he left it running ,maybe in the middle of some process. and at midnight, i switched off, without my glasses, i just pushed ok button. next day no boot, missing files. had my pc mender over, he tried to reboot off lots of discs he had but dnothing worked.

he was going to sell me a pc and then copy my hard drive on it, thenput it back in my old pc , which i have insurance for ( I don't think they can ever get your info off adequately)it really is invaluable stuff . i'm an artist dozens of thoushands photos, links , notes and info. all my docs, records addresses. i had bought a go flex one click but could nt' figure out how to work although i've got some back up, i can't really access most of it, espcially as my other pc is windows 7. aparently the operating system is missing essential files. if we reboot, i could lose all my stuff.

unfortunately my pc man is working full time now and has had a car crash so is thin on the ground.

i can't do stuff myself, I was the one who failed to back up adequately and caused one way or another the crash. i also should have bought a back up pc. i need a reliable shop, who can copy my hard drive completely or put the hard drive in a new pc. but if it is windows xp it will have conflicts. old pc is packard bell, 7 years old. i have mastercare insurance on it, but need to find a way to save my contents.

thanks very very much for your reply i realy appreciate the boffins help. linda

  lotvic 20:59 28 Jul 2012

If you already have a 2nd pc "my other pc is windows 7" there is no need to be buying a 3rd one.

In your situation I would simply put the XP harddrive in a usb caddy and plug it into the W7 pc and then explore the contents and copy all your files, photos ect to the W7 harddrive. Hopefully you have not corrupted them by switching off XP when you interrupted whatever the XP was doing.

I am very surprised your 'pc repairman' did not do this for you. It would seem he is more intent on selling you another pc.

The simplest way to backup your personal data is to just copy the files you have made. Copy them to an external Harddrive. Not mysterious at all.

There is also the matter of what you actually have (if anything) on your go flex one click. It's contents ought to be able to be looked at in your W7 pc.

Diemmess and others will no doubt be back to comment and have further advice so wait till then before doing anything.

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