Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: How do I get files out of hard drive if computer will not boot...

19 Mar 2012   #1

Windows 7 Pro 32
How do I get files out of hard drive if computer will not boot...

I decided to built a new custom made computer and would like to know if I can just attached the old sata hard drive to the new motherboard?

I read that I have to have the same motherboard for the hard drive to work or else it will reformat the hard drive, is this true?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Mar 2012   #2

Main - Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit; 2nd - Windows Server 2008 R2

If you build a new computer and use a new hard drive, set it up as usual - but without the old hard drive with your data being installed. Once it's up and running, shut it down, attach the old hard drive, then copy your data over.

If you build the new computer and do not get a new hard drive, I would let it boot and detect all the new hardware. 95% of the time this will work and your data will be right where you left it. (The other 5% of the time leaves you in trouble.) I would recommend that you back the data up and do a clean install afterwards.

For future reference, either of these scenarios involve some risk. You are taking the chance that the sole location of your data will survive a major change in the system. Do yourself a favor and put a good backup plan in place so you never have all your eggs in one basket again. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Mar 2012   #3

Windows 7 home premium 32 bit

Another idea, but you have to have dual optical drives, net work drives or USB or other external drive.
Download a linux distro (I usually use Ubuntu). Run it live, that off the install disc. Open whatever 'windows explorer' program comes with the Linux flavour - nautilus come with Ubuntu. Navigate to the directories you want to rescue. Copy to the drive I suggested above. Now you have a back up and an easy way to move some or all back to your new computer. There is no more risk to this than moving files from one drive to another. That way you still have the option of connecting the drive directly if that didn't work...which has some risks (as it sounds like you aren't doing this permanently).
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 How do I get files out of hard drive if computer will not boot...

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Using old hard drive for backing up files to a new computer
I have a question about backing up my files on a HDD and then attaching it to a new computer without having to delete backed up files. Would this work ? Reason I ask this is because, I'm upgrading to a new pc. I'm keeping RAM, all the hard drives (2 TB and 1 TB HDD. 1 TB HDD is for backing up...
Backup and Restore
Computer not booting up (both hard drive and boot CD)
Long time no post (which seems to be a good thing since my computer wasn't acting up till now). I cannot seem to troubleshoot my Windows 7 installation. I'm using Win 7 Pro 64bit that was, to my knowledge, completely up to date until it started acting up 3-4 days ago. I remember my computer...
General Discussion
Moving outlook files from external hard drive to computer
My old computer crashed. I was running Windows Vista and my new computer is running Windows 7. I put my old hard drive in an external case. How do I transfer my email and Outlook files to the new computer? I am having trouble even identifying where the files are on the external drive. I'm not...
Browsers & Mail
Boot install files from hard drive
Pretty sure this crops up a lot but I couldn't find any answers on google, and this seems a very useful place. I wish to have a method to install windows 7 (Or any OS for that matter) from a hard drive that contains just the installation files. I am aware of creating system images, ghosting and...
Installation & Setup
Transfer files and setting from old hard drive to new computer
Had a HP running Vista Home Premium. System board croaked and owner elected to buy a new HP with Win 7 Home Premium. I figured it would be a piece of cake to mount the old HD via a USB connection and run Windows 7 Easy Transfer to migrate things from there to the new computer. Bzzzzzz ... wrong...
Installation & Setup

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:18.
Twitter Facebook Google+