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Richard_Lightner

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Using a PC to Access a 2.5" Notebook Hard Drive

My friend's laptop is having power problems and rather than dealing with that issue, we have decided to simply capture some vital files from the notebook hard drive. Of course, I consulted the wealth of information available on the EE knowledge base, but I have encountered a problem.

I extracted the Hitachi 2.5" notebook hard drive. Using a 44-pin to 40-pin hard drive adapter, I was able to install the notebook hard drive into a working PC. The PC had a hard drive on the primary IDE. The secondary IDE was used for a CD-ROM and a CD-burner. To avoid using a slave setting, I just disconnected the CD (the master on the secondary IDE) and attached the notebook hard drive in its place (complete with power).

Upon booting, the BIOS actually recognized the new drive. My problem is that Windows 98 does not recognize the drive, that is, it doesn't assign a drive letter to it or anything. The new drive does appear in the device manager. Why can't I access the drive and grab some files?

P.S. What's with the "put it in the refrigerator" advice?
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stevenlewis

what OS was the laptop? if NT/w2k/xp, then the drive may be formatted ntfs, and 98 can't see ntfs with out third party software
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I just called the laptop owner and she informs me that, yes, the laptop was running XP and certainly NTFS. Nice insight! Now, can I find some free software?
Unbelievable. So I can just create a boot disk and add this readntfs.exe file to it?
Yes, then  you can copy the data off the drive, but note you will not be able to write to the ntfs pdrive, just read and copy from
Outstanding. I'll try it tomorrow and let you know.
"P.S. What's with the "put it in the refrigerator" advice?"

The theory is the drives get a short breath of life by cooling them down enough to allow the mechanical internals to operate before the drive heats up and hopefully grab some data off it.

I have never done it and don't think I would recommend it.  If nothing else worked and you are not going to get it professionally fixed it can't hurt.

Maybe if you put it in with your right hand and take it out with the left then do the hokey pokey and shake it all about ;)
Well, Steven, I used the NTFS Reader as you instructed. I encountered a few crashes along the way, but I was able to recover the critical files. I guess I can't complain about a free utility. Thanks for the help and I will award you the points, but I still have one final conundrum: The Microsoft Money data file that I recovered (and now resides on the Windows 98 machine) can no longer be opened with the known password. The girl is positive that she knows the password, yet it doesn't work. (No, it's not a case-sensitive issue.) We are also positive that the data file is the correct one. They wouldn't store a password elsewhere on the system, would they? That would be an unusual limitation. I know QuickBooks stores the password in the data file, but I'm not familiar with Microsoft Money. If you have no idea, I will post the question separately. Thanks for the help.
Sorry, I don't know from MS Money (never have enough of it to use the program LOL)
Glad you were able to recover the files, now just getting them open with the right apps