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Windows 7: Accessing file on Old Hard Drive

12 Apr 2011   #1

Windows7 Home Pemium 64 bit
 
 
Accessing file on Old Hard Drive

My old computer was put to rest with a big power surge last week. I had to buy a new computer and now I would like to access my old files. I have taken the hard drive out of my old PC. My new PC of course has windows 7. I am not a computer expert but I am not a novice either. The old hard drive has the sata connection and I have a sata cable, but have never used one previously. I connected the cable to the old hard drive and then plugged in the power cord to the wall outlet. I then I connected the USB cable from the sata cable connected to my old drive to my new PCs USB port. I haven't been able to access the files on the old drive but I know my new pc has recognized the hardware. After I connected the USB cable to my new pc under Devices I can see a hardware named USB to ATA/ATAPI Bridge. Not sure what that means. There is No drive listed for it though when I open Windows Explorer. I can only see the (OS) C drive and the HP Recovery D drive. Any help on how to access my old files would be greatly appreciated.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Apr 2011   #2

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by eddie57 View Post
The old hard drive has the sata connection and I have a sata cable, but have never used one previously. I connected the cable to the old hard drive and then plugged in the power cord to the wall outlet. I then I connected the USB cable from the sata cable connected to my old drive to my new PC’s USB port.
That last sentence seems incomplete.

"I then connected the USB cable from the SATA cable connected to my old drive to my new PC's USB port."

Do you mean that your old drive had BOTH a SATA connector as well as a USB connector? This was an internal drive in your old machine before it died?

Do you mean you used some kind of SATA-to-USB adapter cable, going from SATA connector on the drive to USB and then into a USB socket on the new PC?

Are you planning on adding this drive from the old machine as a second internal hard drive on the new machine? You can certainly do that very easily (it just needs a power cable connection and a data cable connection, and an available slot in your internal hard drive cage).

If this was a SATA drive and was in your old machine as a SATA drive then it had a SATA cable and a SATA power connector cable. You should use a SATA cable and connect it to an available SATA connector on the new machine's motherboard.

I still don't understand how USB enters the story. Please clarify. If it was a USB drive on the old machine, it can certainly be a USB drive on the new machine... but these are generally external drives, not internal drives.

As I said above, installing the drive as a second internal SATA drive on your new machine is simple, assuming you have an available SATA connector on the motherboard, a SATA data cable, a SATA power connector, and a free slot in the drive cage.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2011   #3

Windows7 Home Pemium 64 bit
 
 

The USB connection runs from the Sata cable that is connected to the "old hard drive. I have the powersupply that is connected to the old drive as well. Under disk management i can see the old drive and named it the J drive. i can now see it in Windows Explorer but no files are available. They are there because under Disk management is says the drive is 100GB with 70GB's available. All i want to do is get some important files as soon as possible. Any help is appreciated.

You asked: "Do you mean you used some kind of SATA-to-USB adapter cable, going from SATA connector on the drive to USB and then into a USB socket on the new PC?"

YES
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Apr 2011   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by eddie57 View Post
The USB connection runs from the Sata cable that is connected to the "old hard drive. I have the powersupply that is connected to the old drive as well. Under disk management i can see the old drive and named it the J drive. i can now see it in Windows Explorer but no files are available. They are there because under Disk management is says the drive is 100GB with 70GB's available
Well, if you click on the drive on the left side of the Windows Explorer presentation you mean you see no folders or files on the right side?

Do you get any kind of "access denied" message, or nothing? Just no files showing?

Could this be a "permissions" issue? Were you the same user id on the old machine? I wonder if you can "take ownership" of the drive and reclaim the file system by that action?

How about this for an idea... use Partition Wizard to "explore partition" just to see if you can get to the drive's contents, on a purely physical level.

I'd suggest you download and install Paritition Wizard (free) Home Edition v5.2 along with its standalone boot CD which you can burn by downloading this ISO file. The program itself runs under Windows 7, so you can see drive letters. The standalone boot CD is for emergencies, disaster/recovery, and for partition-related operations that cannot be performed while the Windows 7 operating system is active but must be run while standalone booted.

Anyway, if you run the program while booted to Windows 7, and select that second drive's partition letter (J, you called it) then on the left side of the PW interface there is a major category called "Operations", and in that group is a function named "Explore Partition". If you select it, you will get a popup window showing you the contents of that partition. It will show "used" and "free" as well.

Partition Wizard does not use the Windows Explorer API to present its partition contents. It's physically reading the drive by itself. We'd like to confirm that you really can get to it eventually, if we can first figure out why the drive is somehow being blocked from Windows Explorer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2011   #5

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by eddie57 View Post
You asked: "Do you mean you used some kind of SATA-to-USB adapter cable, going from SATA connector on the drive to USB and then into a USB socket on the new PC?"
Do you have any thoughts about my other suggestion, that you actually install that old drive as a second internal SATA drive on your new machine... using a genuine SATA cable to a free SATA connector on the motherboard? You already have all of those parts, so all you need is a SATA power connector for the drive from the power supply in the new machine, and a spare slot in the drive cage.

There's nothing at all to "fear" about a SATA cable. These are just like the old IDE cables, but smaller. They connect from the drive to the motherboard, just like the old IDE cables used to do. The BIOS in the machine will recognize it right away, and Windows 7 will recognize it right away and assign a new drive letter.

Why not just use it (even if only temporarily) as a second internal SATA drive on the new machine, using its power supply?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Accessing file on Old Hard Drive




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