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Find the Simplest Way to Get Data off an Old Hard Drive Here

How to get data off an old hard drive? How to recover data from old hard drive without putting it in a PC? This post covers a complete guide to help you get files off an old hard drive with ease. You can use EaseUS data recovery software to get files off an old hard drive with a bootable USB even the hard disk can't boot.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.4
 

Table of Contents

Q: Cannot access and get files off an old hard drive on Windows 7

"I've had a laptop for probably a little over 10 years, self-contained Eee PC that ran Windows XP. The laptop will no longer boot up. How can I get data off an old hard drive on the laptop?"

You might have found an old hard drive from an antiquated laptop or PC and want to recover data from the old hard drive like the user mentioned in the above scenario. It can be challenging and meaningful to get files off an old hard drive to find the record of the past time.

In this tutorial, we will focus on how to get data off an old hard drive or external hard drive with full guides. Let's start now.

How to Get Data Off an Old Hard Drive Without Removing It from Computer via a Bootable USB

When you want to recover files from an old hard drive that can't boot or the computer with an old hard drive is dead, most users will choose to remove the old hard disk and connect it to another normal computer for data recovery. But it's very complicated. And you're likely to have problems opening the drive or files because of driver inconsistency and access permission.

Instead of taking such a complex approach, here's a pretty simple way to retrieve data from the hard drive by using data recovery software in the WinPE environment. Free download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard with Bootable Media on a healthy computer, then create a bootable USB and use it to get data off an old hard drive although the old laptop or PC won't turn on.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

  • Get pictures off an old hard drive, as well as videos, documents, emails, etc.
  • Repair corrupted photos during data recovery on the hard drive
  • Recover data from inaccessible, formatted, or corrupted hard drive
  • Repair corrupted Excel, Word, MP4, MOV, GIF, and PDF files
 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.4

Now, download EaseUS file recovery software to retrieve data from an old hard drive. In this way, you don't need to take out the old hard drive and run into disk access or detection problems.

Step 1. Create a bootable disk

Prepare an empty USB. If you have important data on it, copy the data to another device. When you create a bootable disk, the data on the USB will be erased. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard WinPE Edition will help you create a bootable disk.

Connect the USB drive to PC, launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard WinPE Edition. Select the USB drive and click "Create" to create a bootable disk.

create a bootable disk with easeus

Step 2. Boot from the bootable USB

Connect the bootable disk to PC that won't boot and change your computer boot sequence in BIOS. For most users, it works well when they restart their computer and press F2 at the same time to enter BIOS.

Set to boot the PC from "Removable Devices" (bootable USB disk) or "CD-ROM Drive" (bootable CD/DVD) beyond Hard Drive. Press "F10" to save and exit.

Step 3. Recover data from a hard drive that won't boot

When you boot from the USB, you can run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard from the WinPE bootable disk. Select the drive you want to scan to find all your lost files. 

selet the drive

Click "Scan" to start the scanning process.

let the software scan the drive

Recover data from the computer or laptop. After the scan completed, you can preview all recoverable files, select the targeted files, and click the "Recover" button to restore your files. You'd better save all of the recovered data to another place to avoid data overwriting.

recover data from the computer 

How to Recover Data from Old Hard Drive Without Putting It to PC    

If you don't want to use a third-party tool to get data off an old hard drive, you still can make it manually. So, how to access and get files off the old hard drive by yourself? You can do it by removing the old hard disk and connecting it to your computer as an external hard drive.

Tools you need:

  • A screwer to remove the hard drive  
  • An external adapter to connect the old hard drive to the computer

Step 1. Take out the old hard drive. 

Step 2. Connect the hard disk to your computer with an external adapter.  

Step 3. Access the old hard drive to get files.  

The old hard disk connected to your computer should be detected and recognized in Windows Explorer. And then, you can view all the files and folders and get data off an old hard drive by a simple copy-and-paste.  

Note that, when you try to access and recover data from an old hard drive, you may encounter the following issues:

1. Hard drive not showing up or detected in Windows

There are many possible reasons for the old hard drive not working on your computer, such as driver issue, hard drive damage, drive letter conflict, and more.

To solve these problems, you should take the following effective measures:

  • Uninstall and re-install hard disk driver
  • Repair corrupted hard drive
  • Change the drive letter
  • Format the old hard drive
  • More effective methods...

Read the full guide about the hard drive not showing up or detected in Windows.

2. Hard drive is inaccessible, access is denied

hard drive is inaccessible

Another high frequently appeared problem is that when you open the old hard drive on your Windows PC, you get an error message saying that "Location is not available. F:\ (my external hard drive) is not accessible. Access is denied." 

Take some quick fixes to solve this error:

  • Run Error Checking tool
  • Gain permission to access the hard drive
  • Repair bad sectors
  • Change drive letter and format the hard disk

Read the full guide about the hard drive is inaccessible, access is denied.

3. You don't currently have permission to access this folder

do not have permission to access this folder

Happen to meet "You don't currently have permission to access this folder" issue when you are opening a folder on the old hard drive? Don't fret. Here are the ways to work out.

Read the full guide about you don't currently have permission to access this folder issue. 

Select an Easy and Quick Way to Get Data Off an Old Hard Drive

After reading this article, we believe that you've learned how to get data off an old hard drive in effective ways. We offer you two different ways to recover data from an old hard drive.

First, you can use EaseUS data recovery software to get files off an old hard drive without removing and connecting. Directly recover all the files and folders from the old hard drive in the WinPE environment even the computer can't start up. 

Both computer pros and beginners can take this way for file recovery. What's more, if you encounter any problems during the process, you can get help from us in time via email: [email protected].

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.4

The second way is to manually take out the hard disk and connect it to your computer to get data off. This solution is very complicated and very likely to fail for a variety of causes. This method is not suitable for computer novices. 

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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is one of the senior editors of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. He mainly writes articles about data recovery tutorials on PC and Mac and how-to tips for partition management. He always keeps an eye on new releases and likes various electronic products.

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Product Reviews

TrustScore 4.7 | 323 reviews
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