i am having some major computer issues and I am hoping I can get some assistance. Beware I am not a whiz, but can get around a computer pretty good, so be easy if I am not making an sense or trying to do the unthinkable. I have an older sony vaio desktop with XP that I upgraded almost every componet (RAM, drives, cards, etc) over the years. Recently while trying to get an older hard to work, I unplugged the good working hard drive. When I plugged it back in, I was getting the boot error insert disk message. After fumbling around in BIOS for a while I could not get the working hard to be detected either manually or auto. I inserted the 1st disk of my recovery disks, but only went that far because I do not want to lose the data on the hard drive. I hooked it back up and messed around a little more and now I get the no OS message. My first question is did I lose the data on the hard drive? Or ca I eventually pull it off? I did not do a full recovery, and Is there any way to re-install the OS without losing the data on the hard drive? Second Part: well in my quick thinkin mood I decided to buy another new hard drive, install the OS on it, then hook up the old drive as a secondary slave and pull the data off it that way. Sounded brilliant. I stupidily, bought a serial ATA hard drive and I can't hook it up to my motherboard. Although I have only done minimal research on the topic so far, it appears I can get a card that will allow me to run that type of hard drive. so my next question is, Can I get that card, install it, connect the new hard drive to the serial ATA, install the Operating system on the new hard drive and then run the older hard drive off the original IDE connection? Can I use both types of connections. Advantages/disadvantage. What should or can I do to make this all work out. Right now I am left with a computer that doesnt work and a wife that is angry LOL Any insight is greatly apprieciated

Good day greg848,

My first thought was that a USB to SATA adapter (like for external storage) would be a solution, but it depends upon whether your system could boot from a hard drive connected via USB.

My second thought was using Knoppix as the boot method, then recovering that way... However if the system does not see the hard drive, I don't know that Knoppix would be any help at all.

Windows permissions can present troubles when trying to pull data from one hard drive to another, even with 'same' user names, passwords, and OS keys. I know that if you could slave that HDD into a Windows server, the permissions are easily worked around; however I do not understand how unplugging your hard drive made it invisible to the mobo.

Could you have inadvertently disconnected the IDE cable at the motherboard? I do not mean to be insulting, but playing inside a HP Pavilion, I did that once, it was a very compact case.

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