Getting data off a dell Inspiron 8200? Hard drive is okay.

Posted on 2005-05-17
Last Modified: 2008-02-07

What method do you recommend for getting data off a laptop (dell Inspiron 8200). For desktops its easy, make the hard drive a slave on another computer and copy the data off.

What do you recommend for a laptop? Additionally, if it cant be done without an authorized laptop service center, how much am I looking at?


Chris B.
Question by:cbarone2004
    LVL 69

    Accepted Solution

    Do it the same way as with a desktop, using an adapter:  $6.99
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment


    You can do this in many ways.

    1.  Remove the hard drive, and connect to a desktop as an additional IDE drive using a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter (about $5).  These are available on E-Bay or at almost any parts place.  They adapt the data and power connectors of a 2.5" IDE drive to standard 3.5" connectors (the signals are already compatible, only the connector is different).  For example:

    2.  Use an external USB to 2.5" IDE adapter, for example:
    [you may need to use this with a 2.5" to 3.5" IDE adapter, which it may come with]

    3.  If the laptop is still functional, you can "share" the laptop drive over a network and copy it's contents to another network drive.

    4.  If the laptop is still functional, you can copy the contents of the drive to optical media (CD-R or DVD-R), either an internal drive if the laptop has one, or an external drive connected by USB or PC Card.

    5.  If the laptop is still functional, you can use a "USB-to-USB" bridge cable to another computer and copy the contents (this is essentially a variation of the network option).
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    There are a number of ways to do this:
    1. Use a CD/DVD Writer to backup your data.  You would need to have an external USB 2.0 drive or buy a drive from Dell.  This is always a good idea anyway as hard drive backups are not all that safe (HD failures).

    2.  Depending on how much data you have, you may want to use a pen drive (thumb drive).  I use mine all the time to share data between two computers or more.

    3.  External hard drives are great for backup and are easy to setup.  Not quite as safe as a CD backup or DVD backup but much easier and faster

    4.  The best option is transfer the data via a network.  Map a drive from your desktop to your laptop and transfer it that way.  To do this can be tricky depending on the OSes you have on each machine.  If you have XP on both machines it should be very simple.  The only thing you need to make sure of here is that your login and password are the same on both (although it can be done without them being the same but it is very easy this way).
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    Assuming the laptop is dead you can make yourself a USB harddrive by getting an enclosure, like one of these
    There are a lot of them available for as little as $13.00 at various sites.

    Expert Comment

    The easiest way I've found to do this if your laptop has a network card and you have somewhere to offline your data to is use a Linux Bootable CD-ROM.

    1. Go to [] and grab Knoppix
    2. Burn it to CD-ROM
    3. Boot from the CD-ROM
    4. Transfer your data (via FTP, SMB for Windows Shares, SFTP, etc) to the backup location

    You can also use this method with an External USB Drive.


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