Windows XP home edition


I have an older PC running win xp home. The hard drive is an old IDE type and I know it's going to die. I did a repair install of XP and I can get to the desktop but there are no icons, just the background picture.

Is there a way to take off any documents on the hard drive? There are 2 specific folders on the desktop I would like to retrieve.

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Just attach the disk to another PC as a 2nd disk (most of today's PC's still have IDE controllers along with the SATA ones), then boot to the OS of that PC and copy your data from the old disk to it.

Or connect the two PC's via lan and then just copy the files from the old PC to the new one.

Or boot the old PC with the PartedMagic LiveCD, attach another HD, USB Stick, or connect with a network share, and then copy the files from the old disk to wherever you want to save them:
Frederic SuneCEO, IT in MIND inc.Commented:
Yes, you can put your hard drive in an external case like a USB one, and them, you can browse your files and copy whatever you need to copy/move/delete.
Unplug the hard drive an plug it on a pc up and running windows (7, vista, xp…). Use a USB to IDE Adapter Kit to plug the old hard drive, and if the hard drive is not damaged you can copy everything you need.
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You could take out the hard drive and connect it to another working pc, and that way take a backup of the wanted documents.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I would suggest connecting the drive to another machine via USB or internally as others have also suggested, BUT THEN, use DISK2VHD (free utility from Microsoft) to copy the entire disk to a VHD (Virtual Hard Drive).  Then you can easily mount the VHD in Windows 7 or 8 and you'll have EVERYTHING.  If the drive fails, you need not worry if you missed something.
I assume you don't have other h/w to connect on & as you can see desktop, try following steps,

ctr-alt-del > task manager > File > Run > explorer.exe

it should load the icons, unless its corupted or something.

if icons are not loaded then in RUN you can give command to open drive or atlest command.exe to open.

update your status if above helps or not..
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