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Old 02-16-2009, 09:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Broken laptop - recover harddrive data

Hi,

I recently broke my laptop and as it was fairly old decided to upgrade instead of trying to fix it, however I want to get the data from my old laptop to upload onot my new one.

I have a external enclosure for a laptop harddrive that I can slave off but my issue is that the drive from my old laptop is partitioned (C:\ & D:\). My new laptop's system drive is C:\ so when I plug in the harddrive it detects but does not come up as a drive. I've tried to change the drive letter of the C:\ drive but as it's the system drive it won't let me, anyone know what I can do?

Any suggestions would be most welcome, I have 3 years worth of emails on my old harddrive which I really don't want to lose.

Thanks,

Dillonmr
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Old 02-16-2009, 10:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Broken laptop - recover harddrive data

Not sure why the partitions aren't showing up, but I can tell you there is absolutely no point in changing the drive letter as it wouldn't help you access the external drive and could really screw up your current system. What operating sytem were you running on the old drive? If the partitions are formatted as NTFS, they could be refusing to mount due to an "unclean shutdown".
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Old 02-16-2009, 11:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Old system was Windows XP, New is Vista Business.

How should the drive come up on my new laptop after being plugged in ising the USB? Should it come up as the two partitioned drives or just one collective drive?
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Broken laptop - recover harddrive data

Each partition should show up in "My Computer" as a drive.
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Broken laptop - recover harddrive data

When in doubt, try a linux livecd...

Ubuntu now writes to ntfs, so it should beable to copy/paste the stuff.
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Old 02-17-2009, 01:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Broken laptop - recover harddrive data

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Originally Posted by kahlil88 View Post
Not sure why the partitions aren't showing up, but I can tell you there is absolutely no point in changing the drive letter as it wouldn't help you access the external drive and could really screw up your current system. What operating sytem were you running on the old drive? If the partitions are formatted as NTFS, they could be refusing to mount due to an "unclean shutdown".
You can change the drive letter and it shouldn't screw anything up since your changing it on your external HDD. All you have to do is plug it in and then click start right click computer and hit manage. A window should pop up and on the left your gonna want to click disk management then find your external drive that has 2 partitions and right click the partition that has C: set as the letter and hit change drive letter and paths. then click change and choose a new letter from the drop down menu (make sure its not in use) and hit ok. the partition should have that new drive letter assigned to it
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Old 02-18-2009, 03:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Broken laptop - recover harddrive data

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Originally Posted by Ab0mbs View Post
You can change the drive letter and it shouldn't screw anything up since your changing it on your external HDD.
The external hard drive can't be C: because it would already be assigned to the system drive. Opening up the disk manager would be a good idea though, to see if the computer is at least finding the external hard drive.
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Old 02-18-2009, 02:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Broken laptop - recover harddrive data

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Originally Posted by kahlil88 View Post
The external hard drive can't be C: because it would already be assigned to the system drive. Opening up the disk manager would be a good idea though, to see if the computer is at least finding the external hard drive.
The external drive probably has its letter set as C: but the system drive is suppressing that and it doesn't show up at all. Ive see this happen at school with our flash drives. they try to show up as F: but they wont show up in my computer due to the fact that we have a network drive with F: assigned. all we have to do is change the drive letter once and that solved the issue. I hope it fixes your problem too.
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Old 02-19-2009, 05:15 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Broken laptop - recover harddrive data

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Originally Posted by Ab0mbs View Post
The external drive probably has its letter set as C: but the system drive is suppressing that and it doesn't show up at all. Ive see this happen at school with our flash drives. they try to show up as F: but they wont show up in my computer due to the fact that we have a network drive with F: assigned. all we have to do is change the drive letter once and that solved the issue. I hope it fixes your problem too.
Very strange...I've never come across this problem. Then again, I don't use Windows very much anymore. I would definitely suggest that the OP tries booting from a GNU/Linux live CD and plugging in the external drive.
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