I would have just used the IDE/SATA cables that you get in a repair kit. I would purchase an entire enclosure just to take files off a drive you aren't going to use (save you some money next time
That is my point though, this is a hard drive someone took off a computer that was or did fail. So who's to say that it wasn't the hard drive that failed? Which would explain why hooking it up to a new computer (either through external enclosure, installing it internally, or connecting the IDE/SATA cable to it) didn't work.