This evening my wife's desktop made a funny noise (per her) and crashed. I think something went wrong with her HDD. She said she was on the internet and some website had something pop-up that asked her to click somewhere and when she tried to close the window with the X in the upper right the screen completely froze. I do not know what the website was or what the popup said. I have tried several cycles of rebooting and the PC crashes shortly after Windows loads. When I boot it Safe Mode the boot process hangs when it gets to ClassPnP.sys. After a while it seemed to get past this roadblock but still crashed after Windws loads.
Her PC is an Acer Aspire X3950 running W7 Pro. Almost a year ago I bought her a new PC with W10 Pro, but for a variety of reasons she never made the transition. I partially set up the new PC, but very much need to get some info/files off of her old sick one. Some of the files I need include her Firefox Profile that has all of her Bookmarks and Passwords, her Outlook PST (although I may have recreated it), and some personal files. I have a few ideas how to proceed, but if the HDD is really about to fail I want advice on the best way to proceed as I do not want to try trial and error.
In no particular order, my ideas include:
1. Get into BIOS and try changing SATA mode settings from IDE Engine to AHCI or visa versa
2. Figure out how to run chkdsk on the boot drive
3. Pull the boot drive out of the case and using a HDD dock try to connect it to my working W10 PC and see if I can get the needed files from it (as if it was an external HDD). Not sure how this would work since I would not be logged in as my wife and may not have permission to access to the folders where the files are stored.
4. Boot her sick PC into Linux and see if I can find and copy needed files to external flash drives
5. Using a SATA drive dock that supports to drives, mirror her drive contents to a blank HDD that I could either attempt to read or install in her case and try to boot.
Any suggestions on best course of action?