Thursday, August 22, 2013

How to Rescue Your Files When Windows Will Not Boot and holds your Precious files for Ransom.

It starts like this and nothing will work to get you back into windows.
If you have been repairing computers as long as I have been then a familiar story is that at one time or another windows is going to crash and refuse to boot back up again. This will also persist no matter how many repairs, system restores or other tricks you use, It will just fail and you are caught say:" I wish I could just get my files off that drive and reformat windows!!". Well you are in luck my friend as we have the solution for you here today. Learn how to rescue your files from a crashed Operating System that refusing to boot-up, this fix will work on any windows version past or present. It will allow you to recover your files and then you may be able to Re-install windows and replace them again on your computer once it is up and running again. So don't necessarily listen to the technicians that tell you your files will be lost as windows will not boot to back them up so they will be deleted, simply follow my steps to rescue those precious files.

For this Mission you will Need the Following Tools

USB to SATA/IDE Connector.

1. USB to SATA/IDE connector cable tool.
2. A working Computer or Laptop
3. Storage medium or space to place backed up files.
3. PC Toolkit or Screwdriver.

Step 1
To demonstrate this procedure I will be using a laptop, however this will work just fine on a desktop PC.

1.Once you are satisfied that windows recovery, safe mode or system repair or restore cannot help in returning windows to normal then its time to rescue your files.

2. Power off the system and get out your toolkit or your handy screwdriver from its hiding place. After properly grounding yourself with your Anti-static wrist band or discharging static electricity from your body, proceed to locate the Hard Disc Drive (HDD) cover at the back of the PC:

Remove the Hard Disc Drive (HDD) Cover

3.Remove the back cover and unhook the Hard Disc Drive(HDD) carefully. For most modern laptops the Hard Drive will be easily accessed and involves a single or a few screws being removed for other the hard drive to be removed (Others are deep within the chassis of the laptop and will involve you pulling it apart).

Internal Hard Disc Drive (HDD)
 4. Once you have removed the back cover you should see the HDD, if its screwed in place you will have to remove it by first unscrewing it and then disconnecting it from the motherboard of the laptop.
Remove The HDD from its cradle

This is the laptops SATA -HDD
5. Once its removed make sure to handle the drive with care so as not to drop it or expose it to shock. Step one of three is now complete.

Retrieving Your Files From The Hard Drive

Step 2
1. Now that you have retrieved the Hard Drive (HDD) from the PC its time to hook it up using the USB to SATA/IDE connector from earlier. 

2. Using the power adapter brick and the SATA power molex converter if necessary, connect the HDD to the power brick:

Power brick with SATA Power Molex converter and HDD

The SATA Power Molex Converter

Connect the SATA Power to the HDD
 3. Once everything is connected as the above pics it will be time for you connect the USB to SATA data cable:
USB Data cable for the USB to  SATA connector.

Step 2

 Select the end on the connector that matches your drive type. In most new laptops this will be a SATA connection but in older drives they use IDE connector that is both present on the SATA to USB connector cable.
This end will work on older IDE Drives

This end will Work for My SATA Drive.
 Connect the SATA Data cable to the SATA end of the USB connector and connect it to the drive.
Sata Data Cable in Red

Connect the SATA Data Cable.

Connect everything to the drive.

Now the power and Data cables are all hooked up.

 Once both the SATA power and data cables are hooked up everything should be ready to be connected to the PC.
Connect the setup to your computer by placing the USB into the USB hub of your PC.

When everything is connected satisfactorily go ahead and connect the USB to the PC, be sure to check your wiring to ensure everything is snug and well connected. Make sure the drive is on a flat surface and has access to cool air. Double check the data cable to see that its connected right. If everything is good,plug the power brick into a electrical outlet.
The drive should hum and come to life. A windows will then pop up on your windows PC and it should open, if not go to My computer to see the drive.Congrats you are almost complete.

Removing your files From the Non-booting Drive
Step 3

Now that the drive is up on the spear computer follow the steps below to successfully navigate to your files:

1. Open the new drive, mines labelled: K yours will most likely be different
New Drive that poped up after connecting the HDD to the PC

2. Go to Users on the drive.
3. Look for a folder with the name of your old PC User account name.
My user folder is the one that's highlighted.
4. Windows will prompt you: You don't currently have permission to aces this folder, click on continue.

5. You should now be faced with your old destinations that you once stored your files this includes: Desktop, downloads, my documents and more, simply browse to the area and copy your files and move them to a new storage drive or current PC you are on for backup.

All your Usual Storage area that contain your files.
 That's it you should be finished, you can go ahead and re-install windows after the backup and restore your files after.

Important Notes

If for some strange reason your drive is empty or was erased you can attempt to recover the deleted files using this guide we created here. Also this USB to SATA IDE connector can double as a means of connecting drives externally so you can keep it and have extra drives around that you can use for storage.

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  1. I use Windows vista dual boot with Ubuntu 12.04
    If my windows have problem like this, i will must follow your step to solve.

    You're cool and very good job Ricky, thanks for share a good content..:)

    1. Thank you this method as allowed me to save many of my clients data that is stuck on windows so many times its hard to count.

  2. My personal favorite, boot to an Ubuntu Live CD, and you should be able to read the data on the hard drive and then copy it to an external drive. Did this just last week for a friend whose laptop died on him. I have also used this at work to look for data on hard drives that have otherwise been compromised by malware.

    1. Great tip David, good to know. I have also found that connecting the problem drive in another computer as a secondary drive also works. The cable set used here is just convenient.


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