Data Recovery from crashed computer

First-I'm over my head here, so explain like I'm a 3 year old
Next-I have made a real effort to research this on my own (here and other places) and I'm still over my head, so here's the story:
my old laptop quit suddenly and the hard drive made lots of nasty clicking noises; the laptop will power up but does not see the IDE.  Message "Operating System not Found"   the recovery disks do not help anything.

now I have a shiny new HP Vista laptop.

as best I can discover thru research, the only way I MAY be able to recover files is to ghost or image the old hard drive. i've downloaded Runtime's DriveImage software.

So I have hooked up the old IDE (hard drive) to my new computer with an IDE to USB cable.

now i'm lost...  new laptop does not see the drive and I don't know how to "slave" it

that's my sad story...be gentle with me.
barblydellAsked:
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chaferConnect With a Mentor Commented:
First off, a desktop IDE connector is not compatible with a laptop drive.  The interfaces are different sizes.  As to restoring anything, it is possible, but highly unlikely with what you described.  I really sounds like physical damage.

Since you said the data is not critical, I'd start over and forget the other methods.  Sorry it's so grim, but at least it's not critical data.
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chaferCommented:
Especially considering the "noise" that occurred when your drive crashed, it's very likely that you suffered physical damage to the disk - broken disk head, wobbling spindle, etc..  If this is the case, you are out of luck.  Ghost and other programs work only with physically working drives.  Since you heard the noises at the same time that it stopped seeing the operating system files, it appears to be a dead drive.

If it is really critical data, some of the data can often be recovered by a professional data recovery company, but you are talking thousands of dollars and if the platter is damaged, it may be beyond their abilities.  In most cases, it's just not worth the expense.

Do you have any backups?  If yes, then just load the data and start over.  If not, you still probably need to start over.
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PUNKYCommented:
Do you have desktop? If so, you can hook up the drive there thru IDE connection see if it can recognize the drive and have chance to copy your data off that drive.
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barblydellAuthor Commented:
chafer - lucky me, the data I lost is not critical.  Just photos and a few docs I hate to lose.

punky - why do I need a desktop?  Don't have access to one, but if I did, do I need some kind of cable to connect or does the desktop have a direct port or what?
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PUNKYCommented:
If you dont have desktop, then you might try knoppix: http://www.knoppix.org/ . And then try access the drive again.

Download and make a bootable CD, insert it in system, hook up old drive in system again, and restart. You will now using knoppix to access the drive, and if it sees the drive, and able read to data, you have chance to copy your data off.

Worse case, you might need getdataback from: http://www.runtime.org/gdb.htm
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PUNKYCommented:
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nobusCommented:
if the data is not required, just buy another disk, and install your XP on it.
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barblydellAuthor Commented:
Everyone:  How do I get my NEW laptop to "see" the OLD laptop's hard drive?    the old hard drive is attached to the new laptop by a USB 2.0 to IDE Adaptor cable right now.
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nobusCommented:
that is why you need a desktop, so you can hook the drive without an additional usb interface to the mobo connector.
and if the disk is bad, the new one will never see the old one (nor will the desktop)
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