Need help with data transfer

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by cmartin, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. cmartin

    cmartin New Member

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    My wife's laptop broke. Sony Vaio running windows Vista. I took out the hard drives. (It has 2 of them) I plugged my SATA/IDE to USB adapter to one of the drives and I got a message saying I must format the drive before I can use it.im running a toshiba laptop with windows 7 64 bit. I plug it into the other drive and windows7 does not recognize the drive. I tried the trick of going to computer-mange- and tried changing the drive letter but still no luck. There are files on the Hard drives that we would like to save. Any ideas?
     
  2. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
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    Hi

    I had to do the same thing recently when my PC was hit by lightning.
    Fortunately when I pluged the drives into my wife's laptop using a universal USB converter, it could read them both.

    I'm reaching here, I don't know why it wouldn't be able to read the drives, or ask you to reformat it.

    Do you know what the formating of the drive is, i.e. NTFS, or FAT32, pretty sure that NTFS can read FAT32 I'm not sure about the other way around.

    Do you have access to another computer that you could try plugging it into to see if you get the same result, maybe an older 32 bit one running Vista.

    Another Idea, would be to create a Ubuntu Bootable DVD and boot your Windows 7 computer to it, see if Linux will see the drive.
    Ubuntu is pretty good at reading anything that you plug into it.

    http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop

    Use the 32 bit version.

    You will need ImgBurn to make the bootable disk from the ISO file.

    http://www.imgburn.com/?act=download

    Hopefully someone else will post with some better ideas.

    Mike
     
  3. cmartin

    cmartin New Member

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  4. cmartin

    cmartin New Member

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    Tried Ubuntu live cd. It still will not recognize the hard drives. I go to computer-manage in windows 7 & the disk management lists the drives but it says it is unallocated. I'm not sure what to do here. I don't want to risk messing up the hard drive. Any soulutions on what to do here or how to get Ubuntu to recognize them?
     
  5. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Did your wife's computer break so badly you cannot reinstall Vista on a new drive? Any chance the computer broke because of a hard drive problem?

    Certain types of adapters may have problems with drives. But even if it is capable of reading the drive, are you waiting until after you boot before plugging in the adapter? Mike's idea of another computer where you have an open port to plug the drive in could work.
     
  6. cmartin

    cmartin New Member

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    It was the screen that broke. She bought an iPad to do her work on. All she wants is the data from her laptop transferred to mine. I'm running windows 7 home 64 bit. And using a sata/IDE to USB 2.0 adapter. I tried Ubuntu live cd with no luck. It still doesn't recognize the drives. Only thing I know to try would be the ultimate boot cd for windows 7 and see if that works.
     
  7. cmartin

    cmartin New Member

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    Forgot to mention her laptop is a Sony vaio running windows vista home
     
  8. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Tried an external monitor for the laptop? You could get the data that way, assuming you could set it up for the external monitor port to be active.

    If nothing else, leave the drive connected to your system. Especially if it is an NTFS partition, your system might work on it during slow periods. I once had a USB flash drive that gave the "needs to be reformatted" message that eventually worked after some time.
     
  9. cmartin

    cmartin New Member

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    I would try the monitor but this particular laptop doesn't have any ports for an external monitor
     
  10. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    I don't suppose you had the Remote Desktop connection option turned on for the laptop? If you did, you might be able to accessed it from another computer.
     
  11. cmartin

    cmartin New Member

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    I'm not sure if she had the Remote Desktop turned on when she was using her laptop or not. And I'm not sure if mine is on or not . My laptop reads all my other laptop drives just fine. It must be something to do with her running vista on her laptop.
     
  12. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
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  13. cmartin

    cmartin New Member

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    I didn't s
    I didn't see an hdmi port on it but I will double check. Another thing is I don't know her password to her laptop. She recently changed it A few days before it broke. She wrote it down so she could remember it but now she can't find the paper. So if It has an hdmi port and I get it on the tv, could I still run Ubuntu live cd and use the data recovery program to get some of our deleted files back? Maybe recover them to a 4gb flash drive?
     
  14. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
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    bassfisher6522 likes this.
  15. cmartin

    cmartin New Member

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    Her laptop doesn't have an HDMI port. Hers is a Sony vaio model # PCG-8111L. It has 4 USB ports, memory stick/card port, audio port, and an optical out port.
     
  16. cmartin

    cmartin New Member

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    Maybe trying to connect the drives to mine with the sata to USB connector and using ultimate boot cd for windows?
     
  17. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
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    Hi

    It's worth a try, I think it runs a form of Linux too.

    I didn't have any luck trying to find specs for a Sony vaio model # PCG-8111L.
    But it must be pretty old, every Sony Vaio that I found had a video out port of one kind or another.

    I'd still try another computer and see if you get the same results.

    The older the computer the better, maybe you can avoid whatever incompatibility is stopping it from accessing the drives.

    Mike
     
  18. cmartin

    cmartin New Member

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    The
    problem I am having now is the hard drives are not spinning. I hope they are not dead .
     
  19. BIGBEARJEDI

    BIGBEARJEDI Honorable Member
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    Wow! Interesting thread here. You mention your Vaio has 2 hard drives inside; I've never seen that one before. But, to your problem at hand.

    First I could use some more information. What brands and models are your 2 hard drives?

    Next, there are 2 versions of Vista Home; Vista Home Basic and Vista Home Premium. Which one do you have? This is a follow-up to Saltgrass's suggestion of using Remote Desktop to access your hard drive(s). Actually, neither of these will work, as the Remote Desktop option will only work with Vista Professional, Ultimate, or Business versions. Good idea nonetheless.

    Do you have another laptop drive available to you to use for testing the laptop that you know for sure works? If you have one to test from a friend or local computer geek that would tell you a great deal. If your laptop BIOS sees the test hard drive *and you only need it go be 60GB or larger for Vista* and you can reinstall Vista from your original or created Factory Restore Discs your Motherboard and RAM are good, so the laptop is essentially functioning; and your 2 hard drives have failed and need to be replaced and Data Recovery techniques need to be applied. Pictures of your model I found on ebay showed an HDMI video out port as Mike suggested, but it's obvious you have some sort of a sub-model variation that doesn't have it.

    If however, your test drive is either not seen by the Vaio BIOS or will not install Vista from your Recovery Discs, then the Motherboard and or RAM is hosed. Did your wife recently drop the laptop or spill Pepsi on it (a la the movie "China Syndrom")??
    If this is the case, it could be part of the reason that BOTH hard drives failed at the same time. At this point, I would suspect physical damage to the laptop. And your hard drives are generally not going to be recoverable by you using ANY software tools, Linux or otherwise. :scratch:

    Mike's idea of testing them out with a SATA/IDE usb drive caddy on an older XP machine, a desktop would be preferable is a great idea and one I use often. That takes the version of Windows you are using to test off the table.

    If neither of those hard drives work in Mike's test scenario they are most likely gone and my comment above about professional data recovery still applies. :cry_smile:

    I have worked for 3 hard drive manufacturing companies over the years, and I know a thing or two about data recovery. If the drives are getting good power (you should test the DC power with a Multimeter on the power source to make sure), and the drives aren't spinning; you are pretty much out of luck with what you can do. They need to be sent out to a professional drive recovery service where they can actual disassemble the drives in a clean-room and do forensic data recovery. There are only 2 companies in the U.S. that do this reliably and I have used both with great success. If you reach this point, and you have to send them out they are:

    #1) Geek Squad (Best Buy) located in Memphis, TN
    #2) OnTrack located in Minneapolis, MN

    Both these companies charge from $250-$20,000 and up depending on how close to 100% of your wife's data you need to get back, and how soon you need it done.

    At this point, you'll need to have a serious sit-down conversation with your wife and ascertain the value of the data on those 2 hard drives. If it's pictures, and music, are those replaceable? And at what cost? Certainly, if they are family heirloom photos which no longer exist and were scanned into the computer--those are generally priceless. Also, if you had Tax information from programs like TurboTax or Quicken--vital; and which programs are on which 2 drives? Did you use the 2nd hard drive for storing all the data like Pictures, Music, Tax Folders; or was it spread over both drives? If that's the case or you just don't know or she doesn't know, you'll have to double that cost estimate I provided above since you'll need to perform data recovery now on 2 drives.

    Hope this doesn't shock you too much, but I do this all the time and that's an honest picture of what's involved. Many people can replace or piece that vital information back or just can't afford the cost; but that's a decision only you can make. :zoned:

    I'm guessing you didn't have external data backups either, right? Or backup on the Internet Cloud?

    Get back to us with your information and we can guide you further.

    Best of luck.

    BIGBEARJEDI
     
    Pauli likes this.
  20. Pauli

    Pauli Extraordinary Member
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    It's not really probable that two disks fail to function at the same time, unless there's happened a true hazard. It would indicate a power issue of some kind, or a motherboard failure. Or a cable failure.

    I must agree with that.
     

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