I have a 6+ yr old HP Pavilion that has been giving me problems off & on for a year or so. The latest problem was with the power supply and that finally died last night. Unfortunately, I have not copied the My Documents folder to CD in the last month. I have some Word, Excel, and photos on the hard drive that I would like to retrieve before scrapping the breast for good. I’m buying a brand new system and would like to be able to have these files/documents from my old system.

What is easiest, cheapest, fastest, etc. way to get this data retrieve from my hard drive and copied to a CD so I can load the data on my new system?



Pavilions come in laptop and desktop setups. Which kind is your's?

In either case, the fastest and easiest solution is to remove the harddrive and put it in an external harddrive enclosure that you can hook up to another machine's USB or Firewire port. The cheapest solution (free?) would be to add the drive to another machine and copying the files directly from drive to drive.

Sorry....it's a desktop!


Unfortunately, I do not have another system available. I'm thinking about getting a laptop as my next system.

Is an external harddrive enclosure just what it sounds like...a "case" that I would use to house the hard drive? Do these external enclosures have connection that hook up to my hard drive and then I'd use a USB cable to connect the enclosure to my new machine? I've never used one of those so that's why the "lame" questions. Thanks!

Yes. These enclosures have the same interface cables (40 pin data and 4 pin power) as a regular hard drive. The other end is typically USB or Firewire. They also have a jack to connect an AC Adaptor(USB can only supply 5V DC while the hard disk needs 12V DC in addition to the 5V DC).

I was doing some surfing on Newegg.com and found some there. They don't look too expensive or too hard to use. I think it will be a lot cheaper if I buy one of these instead of taking somewhere and have them retrieve the data. I received one quote for $35 per hour...2-3 hours to retrieve the data.


Don't use data retrieval services. That's definately too expensive and quite unneccessary considering that the drive works.

I've purchased two different enclosures off of NewEgg and have been very pleased with both of them. My recommendation would be to get an aluminum enclosure. The drive will get hot, so the metal will help disperse the heat.

That's a great idea (going with metal). I think I'll order a unit from Newegg, I have great results doing business with them in the past. Thanks for your help!

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