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Dead Computer // Hard Drive transfer

17231 Views 13 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  linderman
Hi all, my first post. My computer died last night and I am guessing it is the m/board.. nothing works at all and I cannot afford to have no computer for more than a day or so.

I have 2 hard drives, 1 being master with various data on (namely invoices at my tax return needs to be in end of Jan (UK) ) and I have a slave drive with all my work on.

I am taking a computer from work which is spare and capable, now... can I simply take the hard drives out of that machine and replace with my master and slave, boot up to the BIOS and make sure the hard drives are detected and working? and then boot to windows and get the data off asap... and hopefully use the machine providing everything is working.

Or should I run the previous master as a slave and my 1st slave drive from original comp as a 2nd slave on the new comp, my only issue is would I still be able to get to all my data swopping the primary from old comp to a slave?

Your advice much appreciated and speed is of the essence here...

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As long as windows is present on the drive it will have no problem swapping the drives around. But make sure that the drives are compatible with the other motherboard if there IDE or SATA. When connected ensure that the master is the first one on the IDE cable and the jumpers are set correctly.

Running the previous master as a slave will probably be easier, just move the jumper across.

You can transfer that drive with some alterations. Take a read of this and if you have questions, post back:
Hi thanks for the tips, it seems that these point more so to changing the motherboard. Basically the motherboard in my old computer is dead dead dead, I have the 2 hard drives from my old comp (IDE) going into a new donor computer (IDE).

Is it that simple changing the jumpers from my old primary to a slave and my old slave to a slave / 2ndary slave and running the BIOS when booting up with the new machine?

Confirmation on this much appreciated... (stressing out now)


Changing jumpers is a piece of cake and should take you less than two minutes. Holler when you need help.
Tumbleweed is right on in regards to the jumper settings. Hopefully the file systems will let you transfer your data. Are you sure its the motherboard and not the power supply?
What would be the definative way of seeing its power supply or motherboard then?
when you turn on your ssytem is there any activity whatsoever LED on the motherboard lit ???? any drives or fan noises?

all you have to do IMHO is remove the cable going from the cd-rom drives in the host computer (the one you are going to borrow) then connect old drives from the troubled system to a cable with the drives jumpers "untouched" from the other machine

you should already have your boot drive jumpered to Master and your slave jumpered to slave (unless the jumpers on both drives are CS = cable select)

in that aspect; thats no sweat either just another reply is all

the process you are about to begin has several options and possibilites

please remove the drives from your dead computer/ make sure you are able to distinguish which one is the boot drive and which one is the slave drive. The booting drive should be on the very end of the cable (guaranteed; even if the jumpers are CS the boot drive is at the end of the cable)

now; report back which jumpoer settings are active on these drives ????

what is your goal, do you want to temporary connect them to the host computer and copy over all your data you need to retrieve or would you like to use the host set up with your drives for an undetermined amount of time.

You can not just boot into the OS from the old computer while the drives are in the new computer without doing a Win XP repair install (what you are doing is very similar to motherboard swap)

if your answer is extended; then I suggest you get a PCI slot IDE controller card to insert and run your drives as slaves for an extended period of time, this will allow you full use of them without having to alter the drivers in the old computers operating system. By operating the drives with a controller card (about $35.00) you can use them in addition to the drives that will be existing in the host computer.

read thru all this info & replies above pick a method which "clicks" for you and we can advise how to proceed

its important to give us the info on your current drives jumper settings so we can answer with only the pertinent info, rather than adding un-needed possibilities that will only confuse you

in actuality this is an easy task, once all info and desires have been addressed
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With regards to fan noises, LEDs.... there is no activity at all when I switch the on button, no LEDS displayed at , no fan movement... I think the best idea for the moment is for me to get an IDE controller card as suggested and install that and my other 2 drives so i can access the data... my immediate need though is to try and access both drives tonight to at least get some data that i need urgently

You might want to hold the phone on this one. If there is nothing, nada, zip, when you turn it on, an IDE card will be a waste of money until something is pinned down on the problem. Sounds to me like your power supply most likely tanked. Tell us about the brand name, age, watts, and amps per rail (listed on side of supply) on the your power supply. That might be gone instead of your board.
Tumble: he is going to install his drives into a "borrowed" computer

to get immediate relief and access your data

I would set the jumper on your old drives to slave then add them to the same cable as the cd-rom drive is using on the borrowed drive. The secondary IDE controller will see your drives but wont try to boot from them as they will be on the secondary ide controller. They may not be as fast as normal because they will be on a 40 wire IDE cable instead of an 80wire and they will drop down in speed to that of the cd-rom interface

if you want the full potential; take your hard drive cable out of the other machine with your two drives, then remove the cd-rom cable from the host machine, then plug the hard drive cable from the dead machine into the secondary IDE channel. (dont change the jumpers on the drives if you do this)

you dont even have to mount them if you dont want to!

you can lay both drives on a magazine outside the case, connect some power plugs to them and way they will go.

you must make any connecting with the computer off & powered down (of course)
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Thanks linderman. Boy, I missed that one by a mile.:4-dontkno
Well, got home last night. Took out my slave drive from the old comp and booted up and can get to my work which was good. I am going to try with my old master drive set up as a slave now to see if i can access my important invoices etc... this evening, more to follow :)
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