Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Recover data from bad laptop

  1. #1

    Posts : 2
    Windows XP

    Recover data from bad laptop

    I have a laptop that was damaged badly. I need to get the pictures and documents off of the hard drive, the hard drive it's self seems fine. I took teh HDD out and used a SATA to USB converter to hook it up to my windows XP machine. When i hook it up, nothing appears in my computer. Looking at device manager, i can see the drive. Looking in disk management, i can also see the drive, but it wont let me mount it or anything.

    IS there some way that i need to mount a windows 8 HDD. I also have a second windows 8 laptop that i hooked it up to. The same thing happened. I can see it in device manager, and in disk manager, it looks like one drive.

    please help

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  2. #2

    Posts : 1,950
    windows 8.1 Update 1 Pro 64bit

    In Device Manager you may try to change the drive letter and make sure it is active. Worth a shot.
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  3. #3

    Hafnarfjörđur IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10

    Hi there
    Can you show us the screen shot in
    Control Panel==>Administrative tools===>Computer management==>Disk management -- screen shot enc.

    Against the HDD you'll probably see no letter assigned -- so Right mouse click on that disk and then change drive letter and path letter via a drop down. The disk should then mount and data will be available with File / Windows explorer

    (In my screen shots I have multiple disks assigned to the same letters (D and F) -- that's only because I'm using Spanned Volumes -- just in case anybody is confused by my screenshots.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails disks.png   disks1.png  
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  4. #4

    Orbiting the Moon
    Posts : 2,975
    Windows 10 x64


    Add a drive letter for the drive if there is none, in Disk Manager. It will show up in "My Computer" then.
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  5. #5

    Posts : 2
    Windows XP

    It seems I am unable to assign a drive letter. I am starting to think even thou the drive looks fine, it was damaged when the laptop fell.

    Click image for larger version

    Click image for larger version
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  6. #6

    I think the problem is that you are trying to have 2 active primary drives which windows won't allow. download a free partition manager and boot it instead of windows, then making sure of the usb drive change it to a logical drive and set some letter other than C: for its name. restart machine in windows and you should have access to your files.
    Hope this helps.
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  7. #7

    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64

    Is your Windows XP a desktop ? if so, open the case and connect directly to the MB Sata port, sometimes it works better without using SATA to USB converter.

    If still does not work then download Recuva - Undelete, Unerase, File and Disk Recovery - Free Download and try to recover your files.

    Good luck !!!
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  8. #8

    Posts : 94
    Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit

    Use a live distro like ubuntu or parted magic to retrieve the files.
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  9. #9

    Orbiting the Moon
    Posts : 2,975
    Windows 10 x64

    That's right. I go with the last two posters. It looks like the disk is unallocated that's why you cannot assign anything.

    You need to recover the files if re-inserting the disk in another USB port gives the same result or if you don't see anything in a live linux cd as well.
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  10. #10

    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit

    When a drive shows up as "unallocated", that means that windows has determined that the drive is un partitioned. You can't assign a drive letter to an un partitioned drive. If you partition it in windows now you will loose any data on the drive. That drive may be GPT partitioned which may explain why XP doesn't see it. You may have to plug that drive into a Windows 7 or 8 PC to see it properly and get access to the file system.
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