|Mr. Fixit's PC Upgrade and Repair
|Transfer Files from
an old HDD
When your PC crashes with all of your important files on the HDD. What can you do? As long as the Hard Drive is still intact and
functioning, you can still access those files. "But, it seems hopeless or it's too complicated to transfer the files from a dead PC. It costs a
lot to have the files transferred....". There is good news. It isn't as difficult as you may think. I will show you 2 ways you can still access
the HDD and spend less money than you would going to the repair shop. These methods will work as long as there is no mechanical or
physical failure in the drive.
From this point forward, remain grounded at all times. Do not wear clothes that will build static. A static discharge is hazardous to the PC.
Do NOT touch anything other than instructed.
|Use an IDE/SATA USB Adapter
The first method to access the HDD can be done using an 'IDE/SATA to USB Adapter'. These adapters are handy to have around the
house because they are 'Plug & Play' and come with everything you need to connect an IDE or a SATA drive to the computer via the
USB. They're perfect if you are not keeping the drive.
Most of these adapters cost between $10 to $30. This adapter was purchased online for $16. It came with
a power supply for the HDD, a 4-pin Molex (IDE) to SATA power adapter, a SATA data cable, the
IDE/SATA USB adapter and a CD with drivers for older Operating Systems and Data Backup software. Not
all adapters have Backup Software included. The adapters also have an indicator light for the HDD activity.
Using the adapter is simple.....
The adapter has 3 data connections for both IDE and SATA drives. It
has a 44-pin IDE for the 2.5 inch drives (Laptops), a 40-pin IDE for
the 3.5 inch drives (Desktops), and a SATA port for both 2.5 inch and
3.5 inch drives.
44-pin IDE 40-pin IDE SATA port
For 2.5 inch IDE drives, simply plug in the adapter using the 44-pin connector. Do not connect the
separate 4-pin plug on the drive. These drives are powered by the USB. The connector is polarized,
meaning it will only connect by lining up the slot on the connector to the one on the drive. Once the HDD
is connected, plug the USB into an available port. The USB loads the drivers to access the device. You
may hear the drive spin-up and click a few times. The indicator will flash on the adapter as the drive is
accessed. The drive should now show as a removable drive on the Computer. The HDD will function as
a normal External HDD.
For the 3.5 inch IDE drives, plug the 40-pin connector to the HDD. Then plug in the power cord that
came with the adapter. Use caution that the plugs are inserted correctly by checking the indentation
alignments are correct. Plug the power supply into a power outlet. You may hear the drive spin-up and
click. The USB will load the drivers. The indicator on the adapter flash as the drive is accessed. The
drive will now show on the Computer as a removable drive. The HDD will function as a normal External
For both 2.5 inch and 3.5 inch SATA drives, use the 4-pin Molex to SATA
power adapter that came with the USB adapter for the power supply (left
pic). Then plug adapter into the drive. Next, use the SATA data cable to
connect the drive to the USB adapter (right pic). Use caution the plugs are
inserted correctly by checking that the indentation alignments are correct.
Plug USB into an available port. The computer will load the drivers and
access the drive. The indicator on the adapter will flash as the drive is
accessed. The drive will show on the Computer as a removable drive. The
HDD will function as a normal External HDD.
|Use an External USB HDD Enclosure kit
Another method you can use is an External HDD Enclosure kit that will convert any HDD into an external drive using either a USB,
FireWire, or an eSATA connection. The kits cost between $15 to $40. They are perfect if you plan to keep the drive. After all, why
throw a good working drive away? Converting the HDD with these kits is cheaper than buying a manufactured USB drive. You have
a hard drive. All you need is an enclosure....
Kits are available for both 2.5 inch and 3.5 inch drives for IDE or SATA connections. Some kits
are universal, meaning the can connect either a SATA or an IDE HDD. Be sure to get the proper
kit for your HDD. They come with a Power Supply, Data connector (USB, FireWire, or eSATA), 4
mounting screws for the HDD, a screw driver, Driver/Software CD, and the Enclosure case.
faceplate using the supplied screw 1.
Remove the 2 screws on the driver.
2. Remove the faceplate and tray from
the case. Do not touch the Printed
3. Using caution not to touch the HDD
PCB or the kit's PCB, connect the HDD
to the connections.
4. Slide and Align the metal support rails
to the HDD side mounting holes.
5. Using the screw driver, insert each
screw (4) into the holes and hand
6. Line up the slots and insert the unit
into the case. Careful not to pinch any
7. Insert the Faceplate's screws (2) and
hand tighten them with the screw driver.
Plug in the power and the USB cable.
You now have a Portable USB Hard
8. Your External HDD is now ready..
Once you have the assembly complete, you can plug the HDD into a PC. Before opening any files on the drive run a full virus scan on
the drive to ensure there are no viruses. Be Advised the data on the drive may be corrupted if the drive came from a crashed PC. You
may require data recovery software that is available in my online store.
If you are transferring data between a Mac and a Windows PC, you will need special software to access the data on the drive. Macs
and Windows file systems are not compatible. Macs can read NTFS (Windows) formatted drives but they cannot write to them.
Windows cannot read or write to HFS (Mac) formatted drives. If you need to bridge the gap between Windows and OSX, you can find
the software for both operating systems here.