Any hard drive from a computer (even a laptop) can be easily transferred into a USB Drive Enclosure like the one shown below:-
This one is for a desktop hard drive (3.5″) – whether an older IDE one or a newer SATA. It can be bought from any Maplin (or PC World) for about £30-40. Those for a laptop hard drive (2.5″) are usually cheaper and have the advantage of not (usually) requiring a power socket connection.
After connecting the power and drive connectors, you simply pllug in the power and a USB cable, simply plug it into any PC. Within a few minutes, it will show up in Windows as a new drive – just like a USB memory stick – with a drive letter like E, allowing you to access the files.
As it’s come from a Windows PC, you’ll need to look for your Windows profile – which will usually be under the “Users” directory. Then look for the directories which contain your files such as Documents, Music or Pictures.
The hard drive inside your computer, which you may know as “the C drive” stores your Windows setup, all your programs and (usually) all your files. This is what it looks like:-
So if it starts to become faulty, your computer will become very sluggish – but at this point your data is generally still safe.
So I recommend you take a few minutes to download and install Acronis Drive Monitor, a FREE utility which will assess the health of your hard drive – and alert you as and when it starts to develop any problems. Download your copy here
This early warning should prevent your drive becoming seriously faulty – at that point your data is at risk – and you may have needed to consider using a specialist to recover the files.
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