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How to connect an internal hard drive from a laptop to another computer?

Posted on 2014-02-16
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Hello Experts,

My Dell Inspiron 1525 laptop will not boot.  System recovery does not show any operating system and I can't load the drivers for my hard drive.  Don't know if this is a hardware or software problem.  Laptop was running Windows 7 Home.

I was thinking about taking out the internal hard drive, samsung sata 160GB, out of the laptop and connecting it to another computer to see if I can get my personal files.

How can I connect the internal hard drive to another computer and get my files?

Forwiw
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Question by:forwiw2day
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Conner Turner earned 500 total points
ID: 39863298
Hello,

To do this there are two ways this can be accomplished;

1, To attach this device to a Spare SATA plug on your mother board, depending on your Motherboard you will have to open up your current computer and locate these, or buy a PCI expansion which can save you time or attach the HDD if your computer does not have any spare SATA plugs.

2, You can buy an external HDD mount, usually these are cheap, ($10-$30) (£7-£23) or more expensive for a top-of-the range system.

You can find these on Amazon, one like this will be a nice one for your project:
Amazon Link (1)

The enclosure is not necessary, a simple SATA to USB cable will to the trick !, just plug and play with the device on your PC
Amazon Link (2)

Also Can you access the BIOS on this laptop ? if so you can change the boot order and the HDD order so it boots primarily form the dead HDD so you can see if it is not working or wether or not its the computer itself.

HTH,
Conner
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Expert Comment

by:cheers4beers
ID: 39863306
Being that it's a SATA drive, you should just be able to hook it up to your motherboard and have it detected as an additional drive in Windows.
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by:Darr247
ID: 39863321
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Author Comment

by:forwiw2day
ID: 39863364
Conner - I did change the boot order in the bios to dvd first (was hdd first).  Laptop will read the dvd, but won't load the operating system.  Sata to usb cable, is that all I need?  On the other computer do I need to load any drivers?  Once I have the cable attached to the other computer, IF the hard drive is not damaged, what should I expect to see?

FYI:

I did run a pre boot system assessment and it failed with error code 0141, msg: hard drive - no drive detected.  I don't know if the hard drive has failed, or if the mother board is bad, or something else?

Starting the laptop in safe mode doesn't work either, it will quickly blue screen, then shut off.
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Author Comment

by:forwiw2day
ID: 39863373
Experts,

I'm going to buy the sata to usb cable tomorrow.  I'll try it and post back tomorrow with the results.

Thanks SO Much!
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39864146
i suggest NOT to use a sata to usb cable, or enclosure.
it only adds a hardware and software layer that is not needed, and disables error handling.
leave the drive connected to the sata cable for troubleshooting!

steps to follow :
1- on boot -  verify if the drive is seen properly in the bios ; if not, test on another motherboard or PC, or with onther cables, or sata connectors - to be sure
if it is not identified properly - the drive is bad, and no software can help
if you need the data, you need to use a recovery service

2-if it is seen, run a manufacturer diag on it - NOT chkdsk
if this terminates ok (quick test), you can run the long test, to verify the surface

3-if errors are met during long test, you can try to repair them with HDDRegenerator :
http://www.dposoft.net/hdd.html
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Expert Comment

by:Surrano
ID: 39864181
Before you dismantle your notebook (unless it's already late ;) )

Have you tried booting some OS (e.g. live linux) from a dvd and see whether it recognises the disk, its partitions and the filesystems therein?
http://www.knoppix.org/

You may also try using Clonezilla to save as much as possible, by enabling "rescue" flag in expert mode:
http://clonezilla.org/
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Author Comment

by:forwiw2day
ID: 39867339
Conner,

I did purchase the Sata/USB cable you suggested and it worked!!!  Thank you!!!  I can see all my data.  I'm in the process of saving it to a flash drive.  

I've also ordered another 2.5 samsung hard drive.  When I get this, I'll see if I can get it working???

Memory tested ok.

Thank you again!
Forwiw
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Author Closing Comment

by:forwiw2day
ID: 39867341
It worked!
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Expert Comment

by:Conner Turner
ID: 39867391
Yay, glad you got this working!
And good luck in getting g that other drive worming, remember if you need any help or advice just ask!

Thanks,
Conner
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