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Retrieving harddrive files from a laptop

By nagle54 ·
I have a Toshiba Laptop and it will not power up any more. I took out the hard drive to retrieve my files (obviously did not back up my files enough). I have read several past discussions on this site referencing a USB hard drive case, however I can not find one. Does one end hook directly into the hard drive and the other into a USB port? Is it then just a matter of coping files over to a new hard drive? What are the file extensions to look for when retrieving MS Outlook addresses and e-mails, etc? Can you recommend a website for this info?

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by wcp In reply to Retrieving harddrive file ...

1. You need an external 2.5? HD enclosure which may run $30-$50. You put your laptop HD inside the enclosure which may be connected to any USB port. Alternatively, you may use a 2.5? HD adaptor which is connected to an IDE cable. This means you connect the laptop HD to a Desktop computer.
2. Typically you just drag and drop files to a new HD. If access is denied, you have to take ownership of the folders. If the Windows is XP Home, you have to boot to Safe mode.
3. The file extension is pst and in the following folder

Documents and Settings\your account\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\Outlook.pst

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by wcp In reply to

If Local Settings is not shown, you have to make it visible.

Open Windows Explorer > Tools > Folder Options > View
Check on Show hidden files and folders and
Uncheck on Hide extensions for known file types

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Retrieving harddrive file ...

Firstly I would recommend the USB Caddy it's much safer. If you fit the 2.5 to 3.5 inch adaptor the wrong way you'll blow the IDE Controlled on that channel. If there is a jumper on the HDD remove it before placing it in the USB Caddy and then run it off another computer that can read the Partition on that drive.

If you need to take ownership of the files the proper directions are here

If you have encrypted the files you'll need to save the encryption Key by following these directions

Whatever media you chose to save your data to remember that it has a limited life so always rewrite the data before this life expires for pictures on CDR or DVDR Kodak recommends 3 to 4 years before you start to get degradation of the pictures while data may not be affected it's best to use this as a rough guide for how long it is safe to hold data on any CD/DVD Media.


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by wescrock In reply to Retrieving harddrive file ...

you will need 2 things. An external enclosure (ATA) and an adapter. the adapter shrinks the ATA connector to a smaller ata one for the laptop HDD... check out

Also, some external enclosures come with the adapter.

you can also just get an external enclosure meant for a laptop HDD.

here is the adapter:

and pretty much any enclosure will work as long as its meant for ATA

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