Retrieving data from a dead computer.

After years of faithful service, my computer decided to go kaput and completely ignore my request to wake up at the press of the power button. So it was time to replace it with a new machine more willing to comply with my demands to wake up and be ready to serve my needs whenever I so desire.

I do have an external hard drive I use to back up my data, but when I transferred this data to my new computer, I realized something was missing. No wonder, I never backed up my vast music library, which to me is the most important thing of all. All 110 gigabytes of music were still on the old hard drive, but would I be able to recover it?

I thought perhaps if I connected the old hard drive as a secondary drive on my new computer, I might be able to see and possibly recover my old data, but I didn’t have much luck with it. The cables available were too short and didn’t appear to have the capability of supporting a second drive along the same cable. I was running out of options fast.

As a last resort, I went to Amazon to look for a way to connect my old hard drive through a USB connection, and after a few minutes of browsing and pondering, decided to order a SATA/IDE to USB 2.0 adapter. But would it work as advertised? I awaited its delivery so I could find out. Then it arrived.


The adapter includes connections for both the newer SATA and older IDE hard drive models. One cable connects the adapter to a USB port while the other plugs in your power outlet. Here’s the setup with my old hard drive. Not the prettiest setup, but at least things began to look up.


After switching on the power to the adapter, there was a short delay as the old hard drive spun back to life before appearing in Windows Explorer. Sure enough, all my data was still there, including the music library I was afraid I’d lost. I don’t think there was ever a problem with the old hard drive in the first place. I was able to easily copy my music files over to the new computer, and yes, back them up to my external hard drive this time around.

It turns out this adapter was exactly what I was looking for and it worked wonders for me. I highly recommend it.

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