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Hard drive in enclosure looks empty. How do I see the files?

By jenandlaw ·
My sister's hard drive went bad... real bad. The computer wouldn't boot, not even in safe mode. On the advice of the computer guy at work, I bought her a new hard drive and installed it and reloaded windows and all her programs, and purchased a hard drive enclosure for the old drive. Everything went well, the computer is up and running fine, but of course the documents are still on the old drive.... very important documents to her.

When I plug in the hard drive enclosure, the computer recognizes drive F: and H:, and it displays the file folder skeleton, but there are no documents in there. It is a 40 GB hard drive, and drive F: says it's 9.9 GB and drive H: says it's 0 GB.

I've googled it all day and read that this is actually good news, in that it means the data is still there, I just can't get to it. I read that one of the issues could be that I must "take ownership" of the files since they are set to be read by the old computer and I don't have security access to them. I tried to find out how to do this in Vista, but the article on Microsoft's website was too technical for me to understand what the hee-haw it was saying.

I am not beyond using data recovery software or a service, and I purchased a copy of Norton Ghost (although it remains unopened "just in case"), but I've read enough to learn that trying a bunch of stuff could just screw up the drive more, so I'm looking for some expertise customized for this situation.

When responding, please note that I'm a novice, but I follow directions VERY well as long as they're not too full of lingo.

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Went Mac a few years back

by Tig2 In reply to Hard drive in enclosure l ...

But wonder if you could do the recovery on an XP box.

You threw out a ton of good information in a great question. Let me have a look at the online doco to do this and see if I can't distill the directions into something that can actually be followed. And hopefully HAL will wander by as he knows this stuff offhand.

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Well for starters at the very least you have the drive

by OH Smeg In reply to Hard drive in enclosure l ...

In the enclosure correctly and it appears to be working. And assuming that your sister was using Vista Previously the Drive should be readable under Vista. Though it may not be readable if she was originally using XP.

I would start off by using a Live Linux to look at the contents of this drive I recommend Knoppix but really any will do. You can see the more common ones that are available here

http://www.livecdlist.com/

These run off the Optical Disc in the Optical Drive Knoppix is a CD so you boot off the CD and run all the Software off that CD without doing any damage to the Fitted HDD/s in the computer.

Just create a temp Data Folder on the Drive with the working version of Vista and then copy the Data from the nonfunctional Drive to that Temp Folder. That is probably the easiest way to proceed here without the Windows Security getting in the road.

Post back if you need any more help

Col

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