Trying to recover files from laptop drive. Unrecognized in USB enclosure.
Posted on 2006-07-14
I'm having problems getting a desktop computer to recognize a failing 2.5" laptop drive in a 2.5" MadDog USB-2.0 enclosure.
Details (long ... sorry)
A friend has an 18 month old HP Pavilion zv5000 laptop (off warranty). The 80gb Fujitsu 2.5" drive has developed problems, and the laptop won't boot ... almost but not quite.
It gets to the point of showing a screen-saver and icons on the left side, then briefly shows the BSOD (blue screen of death) and then attempts to reboot .... over and over.
The laptop has many .jpg pictures from the friend's Iraq tour-of-duty with great sentimental value. I am trying to recover these pictures, with no success so far.
With the drive installed in the laptop, I've tried the recovery console, safe mode, Last-good-boot, VGA mode, etc. with no success.
I tried doing a "non destructive" reinstall of WinXp-Sp2 (without format) to be able to get to the files, but the CD/DVD appears to also have problems ... getting many error messages about files that can't be copied from CD to drive (from 2 different XP install CD's, so the problem is probably the CD reader or the disk). Iraq is hard on laptops, apparently.
Using the recovery console during a re-installation attempt, I was able to see part of the file system (C:\Windows) but I was asked for an administrative password to see all files. Using just a blank Enter didn't work ... I get "Access Denied" when trying to look at any other subdirectories. I checked with HP tech support, and the default is a blank password, so that should have worked. The idea was to perhaps copy files to a USB device, but I was unable to access the .jpg files.
I removed the drive and took it to a local "DataDoctor" franchise, but the device wasn't visible to their equipment (odd since it almost boots and the recovery console can CD to C:\Windows).
My "best shot" was to put the laptop in a 2.5" MadDog USB-2.0 enclosure and plug it into the Desktop computer. There are two USB cables .... data and power. When the primary USB cable is plugged in, the Desktop recognizes that a Fujitsu drive has been plugged in, and indicates success. However, there is no drive letter assigned, and I can't "get at" the device to copy files. When I unplug the cable, I can hear the drive "spin down" and a LED goes out, so that indicates to me that the device is at least partly alive.
Any suggestions greatly appreciated to get files off the laptop onto the desktop.
Some other approach?
(It doesn't appear that the HP has the ability to boot from USB ... it does have an option to boot from network, but I don't know what that involves.)
How to get a drive letter assigned to the USB enclosure when it is plugged into the Desktop????