> Well my WinME box turned up its toes at last. It just stopped working in
> middle of a session, and won't start again.
> Question, I took out the HDD from my defunct box and bought a case, PSU to
> make up an external USB HDD that the man in PC World said should work even
> though the packing says 98,ME,XP. Vista tries to install the drivers, but
> fails. It also failed on my son's XP box. I tried 2 cases, so I'm thinking
> the HDD is nbg although I can hear the motor spinning happily.
You may be right. Although WinMe is shakier than a house of cards in front
of a desk fan, it will usually at least start (most of the way) up. So
hardware failure (in this case, the hard drive) is a possibility, especially
since it won't work on two other computers.
First, take the drive back out of the enclosure it's in. The drive may be
fine and the enclosure bad/poorly designed.
> Can I open up the back and piggyback in the old HDD and transfer my
> files to the new HDD in windows?
Yes, you can. But if you're not sure what you'll be doing, you may wish to
hire or ask for the services of someone more experienced (and that you trust
to do a good job!). If you don't happen to know what you're doing, the data
you want to save could get lost or become damaged. If damage has already
occurred, or the hard drive is bad, then you should definitely find someone
who you trust to work this out.
> How is it done please?
A rough guide would be something like this:
1. Remove old HDD from computer or enclosure.
2. Set the jumpers on the old drive appropriately. Most computers made in
the past few years will have their drives set for "cable select". If your
old and new computers both are set this way, you're much closer to being
3. Look in the "new" computer for a spare 40 pin IDE connector and large
four pin power cable. This is the only place I could see you running into
trouble. Some new systems have nothing but SATA connectors inside. In this
case, you'll have to find a way to use your enclosure or use another
computer with the older ATA/IDE connectors to transfer your data over a
network, CD/DVD. memory "key" or something.
4. If you find one 40-pin connector and four pin power connector (even if
you have to "borrow" it from something like the CD-ROM drive), hook the old
hard disk up. Be sure to position it so that nothing will short out or fall
while things are running.
5. Power on. If you're lucky, the drive will come up and appear after
Windows has started. You can then copy your files.
6. When your files are copied (and everything seems to be working
correctly), shut down the new computer, remove the old drive and put any
cables you might have moved back to their original locations.
As far as drivers go, Windows should pick up on your "new" old hard drive as
soon as you get it started.
Also keep in mind that some systems may try to start your old copy of
Windows from the old hard drive. You don't want this, so if it happens,
power the new computer down and go into system setup to check the startup
Some things may be different depending upon your particular computer and
situation. If something above doesn't seem to go right (or you don't have
something that is mentioned above), then the safest thing to do is stop, put
things back the way they were if you can and find some help!
If your old hard drive has a physical problem (such as difficulty spinning
up, or repeated long clicking sounds while you're working with it), then I'd
highly recommend taking it to someone (or purchasing a copy yourself) who
has the Gibson Research Corporation's SpinRite tool. Sometimes a drive is
too far gone to save, but I have seen SpinRite perform some true miracles
and been really glad that it did! I say this as nothing more than a