Transfering files from a dead computer to XP computer

Posted on 2004-09-23
Last Modified: 2010-04-10
Our old P2 300Mhz system has died after many problems during the past weeks, the system is unrecoverable.
We have now purchased a P4 540 as replacement.
The old computer is unbootable, the system does not startup any more (Windows 2000).
We are able to see all the files on the disk when using a bootable floppy disk.

What can we do to transfer all of our files to the new computer? I remember in the old days there was a program to transfer files via Nullmodem serial cable, called net link I think, wich came with MS-DOS.
Anyway, we have a LAN, but we can't recognize the other computer on the LAN, as the system does not boot up.

I don't know if we can put the old harddisk into the new computer, Is this a solution? They are IDE Harddrives, Ultra DMA, I think it is Ultra ATA 33?

Thanks a lot!

Question by:BabyJoe666
  • 2
LVL 67

Accepted Solution

sirbounty earned 500 total points
ID: 12133028
YES!  Put the old drive into the new computer.  You will need to set it as slave (jumpers on the back of the drive).
Just because the OS won't boot, doesn't mean you can't load the files from the drive.
If you had NTFS file system on the old drive, you may need to take ownership of those files before you can grab them.

To take ownership of a folder:
   Right-click the folder you want to take ownership of, and then click Properties.
   Click the Security tab, and then click OK on the Security message (if one appears).
   Click Advanced, and then click the Owner tab.
   In the Name list, click your user name, Administrator if you are logged in as Administrator, or click the
   Administrators group. If you want to take ownership of the contents of that folder, click to select the Replace
   owner on subcontainers and objects check box.
   Click OK. The following message appears, where folder name is the name of the folder that you want to take ownership of:
   You do not have permission to read the contents of directory folder name. Do you want to replace the directory permissions
   with permissions granting you Full Control?

   All permissions will be replaced if you press Yes.

   Click Yes.
   Click OK, and then reapply the permissions and security settings that you want for the folder and its contents.
How to Take Ownership of a File
  NOTE: You must be logged on to the computer using an account that has administrative privileges.

  To take ownership of a file, follow these steps:
  Right-click the file you want to take ownership of, and then click Properties.
  Click the Security tab, and then click OK on the Security message (if one appears).
  Click Advanced, and then click the Owner tab.
  In the Name list click Administrator, or click the Administrators group, and then click OK.

  The Administrator or Administrators group now owns the file. To change the permissions on the files and folders under
  this folder, continue to step 5.
  Click Add.
  In the Enter the object names to select (examples) list, type the user or group account to which you want to give access
  to the file. For example, Administrator.
  Click OK.
  In the Group or user names list, click the account that you want (for example, Administrator), and then click to select
  the check boxes of the permissions that you want to assign that user. For example, Full Control [Allow]. When you are
  finished assigning permissions, click OK.


Author Comment

ID: 12133067
OK, I will try this. But are you sure that the old IDE HD's can be used with the new systems? The new computer does not have any RAID or SCSI HD's, so what are the odds??

I found out that the old DOS program was called INTERLNK, but it can't be used as all of our partitions are indeed NTFS.
LVL 67

Expert Comment

ID: 12133392
DOS Interlink and LapLink were two of the popular ones back in the day.
We use a tool called Remote Recover now for NTFS.  It's from Sysinternals.
In a network, this is certainly another option for you (
You basically boot up 'the dead machine' with a RmtRcvr diskette that starts a networking host session on that system.  Then, using the Remote Recovery program, access the system that is being broadcast, mount that system as a local drive mapping and copy the files over as if both drives were local.  It's really a great tool for this purpose.

But, as for the previous recommendation, yes, it should also work.  Your concern is probably with the differing IDE cable (80-wire instead of 40).  It will still read the old drive over this cable.  You should have no problems doing so.

Are you comfortable installing the old drive or would you like some online guides?  It's fairly simple...

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