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Thread: Another Dead Computer.....

  1. #1
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    Another Dead Computer.....

    Well, the Windows 2K computer at the house has bit the dust Seems to be a drive failure, I can't complain, we got this computer about 5+ years ago, and while it is NOT anything to write home about, it has served well as an at home computer, for the basics. It is a Pentium 4 CPU 1.60GhHz. I went to buy a new drive for it, as well as a new graphics card, while I was at it I bought a new DVD-R internal drive, and a PCI USB card for it, giving me 5 more USB ports (Only had 2 stock). I got some deals and I had a lot of "points" on my membership card, so for all of that stuff, I paid about $30, well worth it for resurrecting this at home computer. One funny thing, this computer had a 40GB drive which was FULL when it failed, I went to buy a new drive, I'd like to put something larger in, but we checked the mother board, and it can only handle a 120Gb drive, unless I upgraded the BIOS, but then it was not a sure thing that a larger than 120Gb drive would work, they said it "should" work I ended up just buying an 80Gb drive, and it was more expensive than the 500Gb external USB drive I bought as well Supply and demand I guess, not much call for them small 80Gb drives anymore

    All we really do with it right now is surf the net, e-mail and a little picture editing, nothing high power at all.

    We would have loved to buy another Mac, but right now, just before Christmas, we decided to just fix this one up

    I do have a full Win XP Pro SP2 legal disk, so I installed that, and I hope the XP runs better on this machine. Oh well, there went another morning of work

    I've yet to get everything installed, all the mail and such.

    One very bright spot is I bought this cable adapter thing, it hooks up to the busted HDD with an AC adapter, and a cable that goes onto the IDE connection and then into the computer with a USB cable, it comes with some Data Recovery software, and right now, it looks like I can get most, if not all of the data from the busted drive.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is the unit I bought, it is really slick.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    For the 3.5" regular desktop computer drives, you need the cable and the AC adapter.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    For the 2.5" drives, like from a notebook or laptop computer, you don't need the AC adapter, just the cable.

    I was also able to copy all the data from the laptop in the shop that died, which was replaced by the MacMini.

    The cable cost all of $15, not bad indeed.

    I'm sure this kind of cable is common or popular in the US as well, but I'd not seen or heard of one before.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  2. #2
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    Those little IDE-USB adaptors are VERY usefull if you are workign on PCs a lot.

    Haul the old hard disk out of a dead laptop or a machine with broken windows and you can often get the users files off then test the drive. If the drive is physically healthy, format it, reload windows and put the users files back.

    Use mine all the time

    Ian

  3. #3
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    Honolulu, Hawaii
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    Another Dead Computer.....

    Thanks Stu for that info. I could use one of those too. Maybe I'll look at ordering one from somewhere. I've got 2 drives I'd like to get the data off of.

    Aloha, Tony

    Ian, is there anything I should be aware of in trying one of those? I'm really not all that computer savy but I do some work on mine at times. Thanks.
    "You got to learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make them all yourself". (Author unknown)

    "Time flies like..... an arrow,,,Fruit flies like..... a banana." Groucho Marx

    Ah,,,to live in Paradise!

    Registered voting member

    Fighting for all I am worth, and praying every day.

  4. #4
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    Tony, there are two kinds of Hard Disk Drives (HDD) out there:

    IDE or Parallel ATA (older, now on the way out)
    Serial ATA (SATA)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here is a comparison of the two cables, the larger one is the IDE cable, that most of us are very familiar with.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is the back of an IDE drive, without the cables installed.

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    This is the back of the SATA drive, with cables installed

    For the SATA drives, there is only one kind of connection, for both laptop and desktop drives, but for the IDE drives, there are two connectors, one for the 3.5" desktop drive size and one for the 2.5" laptop sized drives.

    For a few dollars more, you can get a cable adapter that will do all three kinds.

    >> Here << is a review of one such set up, should be all you need to know about this stuff.

    The 40Gb HDD from the just dead laptop is fine, so I'm able to use it to transfer large file from one computer to another, that are not on a network.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
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    Anyone interested in one of these gadgets that Stu has mentioned you can get one here for approx $20.

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...29300&csid=_21

    I have tried one of these and they work but only if the drive you are connecting to is still alive and well.
    cheers

  6. #6
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    Very true Rob, but the one I got, has a "Data Recovery" piece of software as well, at first, the drive was not readable, but after running the software recovery tool, I was able to get the data back, no problem.
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
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    New Springfield OH
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    I'd like to put something larger in, but we checked the mother board, and it can only handle a 120Gb drive,
    I remember my first large drive, it came with software that made the drive usable even though the mother board didn't support large drives.
    Throw Apples out the Windows, but make sure not to hit the Penguin.

    If the world should blow itself up, the last audible voice would be that of an expert saying it can’t be done.

  8. #8
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    Seem to have a lot of problems with computers Stu. Have you tried using a power conditioner? Nothing is harder on electronics than dirty power. Even a basic UPS can help with this.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Wright View Post
    Seem to have a lot of problems with computers Stu. Have you tried using a power conditioner? Nothing is harder on electronics than dirty power. Even a basic UPS can help with this.
    Yep, I have good quality units on all of my computers.

    The problems are not really a surprise, like I said, the computer at the house, that just had a problem is at least 5 years old, it may be older than that

    The laptop that died and got replaced by the MacMini was bought used, as a stop gap, when another old computer went poof. That laptop we had for 3 or 4 years, and we only paid about $500 for it, so it was also of good value. We really have tried to stretch the computer budget, and most of our computers were all long in the tooth. I do effective back ups, and the cheap large USB external HDD have made that even easier.

    Now that I have XP Pro at home, I'm going to buy Carbonite to back it up online, and I'm also going to get that for Mac when it comes out next year. Next up I'm going to upgrade the main computer in the L shop to XP, it is still on Win 2K (I know, I know) but I have a XP Pro upgrade disk I'll use for that, then I'll put that one on Carbonite as well. It also has a large external HDD and a raid array, but it houses the vast majority of our files, pics etc, so I want to be extra careful with that one.

    About 8 years ago, no, maybe 10 years ago, I lost a HDD with everything on it, data recovery did not save even 1%, I was gutted. Since then I've tried to mitigate such possible losses the best I can (anyone want an old tape back up drive?).

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  10. #10
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    I stick with Win2K on my older Pentium laptops (512MB maximum). XP just ground them into the dirt, the poor little fellas; CPU at close to 100% all the time, memory paging to disk like crazy, that sort of thing. I just mention this in case you have similar problems.

    I do run XP Pro on my more capable machines (2GB) and prefer it but Win2K is more than adequate for the Pentium machines and actually runs better if you keep the bells-n-whistles to a minimum. YMMV.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

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