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Access data on old external HD

The C:/ Drive in my old XP desktop crashed.  

The secondary D:\ drive should is fine.  So the first thing I thought to do was to access the data on that drive; which I guess is a "slave drive".
I thought it would be a no brainer but that turns out not to be the case.

This is what I tried doing:

I got one of those boxes, installed the drive in it, powered it up and plugged it into the USB port of my XP laptop.  Nothing happened.  The drive wasn't recognized.

I gave up after trying everything that was suggested in a question I posted here.

Almost a year has passed and I now have a Vista machine and want to try again; I just don't understand why I can't "see" this drive when I plug it in.

I'd take it somewhere and have it done but I have passwords, etc on it and don't dare to leave it with strangers.

What are my options; short of turning the drive over to strangers?
Storage Hardware

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8/22/2022 - Mon