Our second Q & A of the week comes from Paul via the reader feedback
page. Remember to try our friendly forums
for help too.
Q: I recently experienced a
hard disk malfunction, making my Windows XP Pro system unbootable. Since I
had been planning to anyhow, I bought a new drive and used my XP CD to reinstall
my system onto the new drive. I want to try to recover my data from the
old drive if possible, as per your hard
drive recovery article
. I seem to
have the space in my system, so what I want to know
is, can I do this? Your article mentioned transferring the failed drive to another system to attempt data recovery, so
I'm assuming there is no problem with putting it into the same system with a new
OS as a secondary drive. How would I go about setting the jumpers,
etc? Is there anything special I need to know?
A: You can certainly install your failed drive as a secondary (slave) drive
to attempt data recovery, and there are not really any special considerations
you need to take into account when you do this (unless you think your old drive
might have failed due to a computer virus, in which case DO NOT put it back into
your system until you have enabled and updated virus protection). It's
just a matter of setting the jumpers correctly as you said, and installing the
drive. To set the jumpers, consult the top of the drive, which should
have a small chart listing the various jumper settings. If you are
attaching the old drive to the same cable as your current one, you'll need
to configure the 'slave' setting.
Once the drive is fully installed, you can attempt to recover data from it at
your leisure. Just make sure you save any recovered files to your new
drive, not the old one.
For more information on hard drive installation, see our guide on the topic