SATA Drive- Need to get the data but the original box is toast

By Tig2 ·
So my brother in law calls and tells me that his box started smoking so he turned it off. Good plan. He also started pulling connections to the MOBO from the CD/R and HDD. The big black hole in the MOBO told him he wasn't going to lose much with this move.

When I looked at the box, I could see that his power supply had fried and killed the MOBO too. Everything else looked pretty un-damaged.

So here is the problem. We THINK that the original SATA drive didn't get hit. We tried putting it into a known good system to retrieve the data (grrr- how many times to I have to tell them- MAKE BACKUPS!!!!!)but no good on that front. There is no way on the (new)good system to run a SATA slave- or at least, none that I could see. The new sys could see it, it couldn't boot from it.

My best shot to retrieving the data would be to run the old SATA as a slave to the new SATA and throw the data to a thumb drive or CD.

I have found cables on the i-net that will run a SATA from USB. That is $25 I don't want to spend until I hear some feedback. Has anyone used this kind of cable? Does it work???

How do I solve this??? Incidentally, I did try to boot the dead sys. Even with a new PS, it remained dead. Might have been that black hole on the MOBO...

If you need original sys specs,
Pentiun 4 HT 2.8 Ghz
1 MB L2 cache
PC-3200(400 Mhz)Mem Speed
DDR - SDRAM- 512 origina, upgraded to 1G
160 GB HDD
SATA - 150 Drive controller

XP Home Edition- Updates turned on- Purchased 2 years, 3 months ago.

HP desktop system.

If additional information is needed, just ask. My goal is to get the information off the original drive. If that is not do-able, my next goal is to destroy the old drive as it contains personal NPI that I want to insure is safe.

Thanks so much for your help!

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All Answers

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Some questions, comments, options

by TechExec2 In reply to SATA Drive- Need to get t ...

"We tried putting it into a known good system to retrieve the data...but no good on that front."

Was it installed as a second drive? What did the known good system do? Did Windows see it? What did Disk Administrator show? Is the existing boot drive in the known good system PATA or SATA?


All SATA drives are "primary" (no slaves). So, if the new system has an available SATA connector, you can just connect the old drive up as a second SATA drive and boot (from the existing drive in the new system).

If the new system doesn't have an available SATA connector, you could add an SATA PCI controller card to add one (1). If the drive really is OK, it could then be retained as a second drive for data (and backups).

Going with an external USB enclosure is also an option (2). This would enable the old drive to be connected via USB, or via an SATA external drive cable (if the system has an SATA external drive port already, or if you add one).


(1) SATA PCI Controller

(2) SATA external drive enclosure

edit: PATA instead of PIDE

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Hey TE2

by Tig2 In reply to Some questions, comments, ...

We could not install the drive as a secondary. The new system did not have a way to make it a secondary and I think I missed something there- I could have used the P9 and reset the BIOS... I may be an idiot or just too tired.

I'm so dense! The original HDD was only SATA. The new HDD could also run from the P9 or P10 connector. Never occurred to me before this minute to have slung the known good HDD on the P9 and surfed (hopefully) to the info I was trying to get to. A minor BIOS change and I could have had it!


OK. I am through being TO'd with myself. If putting the main HDD as the bootable device on P9 (d@mn- is it P9 or 10???) doesn't work.. any more ideas???

I can be such a seagull brain!

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Hey Tigger...

by TechExec2 In reply to Hey TE2

If I understand you correctly, the "known good system" (KGS) currently can boot to Windows XP from an existing SATA drive. So, all you need to do is add the SATA drive from the burned up system to the KGS and connect it to another SATA connector on the motherboard (and the SATA power connector). There are no jumpers that must be changed on the SATA drive. You should not have to change anything in the BIOS. Just power the system up and allow it to boot. I would expect Windows XP to see the additional SATA drive and be able to mount it automatically.

The only thing you'll need to deal with is having the KGS take ownership of the files on the additional SATA volume if it was/is formatted as NTFS. Then, you'll be able to access the files.

I'm not sure what you mean by the P9 or P10 connector. Is this how the SATA connectors are labeled on that particular motherboard?

The same process should work in your brother-in-law's replacement PC. And, if the old HDD is still operating, he can use it to backup his files.

If you have any other questions, just post back.

P.S. I'm posting this using Firefox 2. The spoolchecker is so cool!!! It catches and underlines spelling errors in red just like MS Word! We don't need not stinking spoolchecker on TR now!

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You get another duckie

by Tig2 In reply to Hey Tigger...

For not calling me the idiot I am!!!

Just talked to the brother in law. He will feel free to call me an idiot for the next ten years!

P9/P10 are old HDD controllers.

Just started with FF2 also. Think it will be great- except that I spell like a Brit.

Can't anything be easy???

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It's still early yet...

by TechExec2 In reply to You get another duckie

It's still early yet. I want you to be happy. If you really want me to call you an idiot.... :^0

Nope. This is just something new for you. You do NOT get The Link for that.

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Tigger: FF2 dictionary for the U.K.

by TechExec2 In reply to You get another duckie

If you add the FF2 dictionary for the U.K. English (and remove the U.S. one), it will like your Brit spellings.


Firefox 2 Dictionaries

P.S. There are thirty (30) dictionaries! FF2 talking to IE7: So...How do you like me now?



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Installed it, love it

by Tig2 In reply to Tigger: FF2 dictionary fo ...

I always use British speel cluckers as I don't write in American. A gift from my grandmother.

Installed the British dictionary and it works GREAT!!!

Think I may have located a mem leak in FF2 though. I want to try to reproduce it. When it went TU, I just shut everything down. Should have stayed with it but needed to go clean a .45. Hunting season.

Otherwise, I like the new incarnation. Have had no difficulties but don't think I like "Cool Iris" as much as I thought I would. I want my cats back though! My "Cats" skin doesn't work with the new version.

Oh wait... I'm over it.

Incidentally- we got all the information off of the old drive and are now considering a hard case for it. And back-ups are no longer discretionary!

Have you tried Puppy from the ROM drive??? LOVE IT!

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Good news

by TechExec2 In reply to Installed it, love it

That is good news, Tigger! I really like FF2 also. Can you believe all of the hot threads about FF2 and IE7? Lots of passion.

There is nothing like a close call to get discipline about doing backups.

I haven't tried Puppy Linux yet. I've been using Fedora. I am playing with some other distributions though just to see what the others have to offer (Suse and Ubuntu).

Have a nice weekend!

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SATA DRIVE External Case

by Sue T In reply to SATA Drive- Need to get t ...

I have an external case that handles both IDE and SATA drives and connects to a computer using either USB or Firewire. It works great and I paid less then $30 for it.
I like this because it does both IDE and SATA.

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Shop around

by Ed Woychowsky In reply to SATA DRIVE External Case

I did a quick search, these cases are $21 and up. Also, if it works it might provide your brother in law with one less excuse about backing up.

By the way, your brother in law sounds like my father in law, any chance we're related? ;=)

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