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How to Get Data off Hard Drive and Onto Storage Device

by comp2cnet / November 28, 2012 6:24 AM PST

I have (had) a Dell Optiplex GX270 (80 GB hard drive)which ceased to function. I took it opened it and the capacitors on the motherboard were bulging and had crud on them. Another motherboard is en-route, but I was was told that when replacing the motherboard I really need to reinstall all the programs, which can wipe out all the data on the hard drive. And dummy that I am, I never backed up.

So what is the best, economical and easiest to use way for this unsophisticate to get all the data from the hard drive on to some type of storage device? And how would I do it, with detailed instructions, please? I would then transfer the data to the repaired computer, or if I can't fix it, transfer the data to a new one.

Thank you!

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All Answers

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I've yet to find detailed steps.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 28, 2012 6:27 AM PST

Guides maybe. But since we can use cables like this (link -> ) that allow us to connect to almost any drive even leaving it inside a desktop, then copying files from that to another drive, I can't guess what steps are needed.

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Re: get data off hrd drive
by Kees_B Forum moderator / November 28, 2012 6:31 AM PST

The three common options are:
1. mount it as internal hard disk in another PC
2. put in an external enclosure (connects via USB)
3. connect it via a USB to SATA/IDE converter cable as an external disk

Assuming it's a 3.5" ATA drive, #1 is easy, but you have to open the case and there might be master/slave settings to handle.
For #2 and #3": such a disk needs external power (and is ATA), not all enclosures and converter cables you'll find will be suitable, but a good computer shop will be able to sell you what you need.


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What mtrbd.?
by Willy / November 28, 2012 8:20 AM PST

What mtrbd. is being used to replace the old one. I ask that because if you're getting another GX270 mtrbd. then you don't need anything special other than swap them out. If this is entirely a different brand of mtrbd. then what has already been posted will do. Do please provide the details of what you plan to do or getting.

tada -----Willy Happy

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Motherboard type
by comp2cnet / November 28, 2012 4:50 PM PST
In reply to: What mtrbd.?

I ordered a refurbished Dell GX270 motherboard from eBay, I called the shop, they asked for the first set of numbers on a tag on the motherboard and they sent one that matched. I haven't
received it yet due to the Thanksgiving delay in UPS service. It should arrive Thurs or Fri.

Are you confident that this motherboard will make things work without deleting anything on the HDD?

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Re: motherboard
by Kees_B Forum moderator / November 28, 2012 4:57 PM PST
In reply to: Motherboard type

Motherboards don't delete anything on the hard drive.
And it if it's the right type of motherboard, and it's not defective, and you install it correctly, it should work.


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by comp2cnet / November 29, 2012 3:33 AM PST
In reply to: Re: motherboard


I guess I wasn't speaking specifically due to my lack of knowledge.

I meant if the motherboard din't work straight out on installation, and I had to re-install the programs, then I was concerned that then I might lose the data on my HDD.

That is why I wanted to back up the HDD first before trying to install the new motherboard.

Are you saying that with the first set of numbers on a Dell Optiplex GX 270 motherboard, that is the correct motherboard and it should work, given correct installation?

When I receive the replacement motherboard, I'll post a new thread about how to install it and is it the right one, compared to the old one, and maybe you all can help me out?


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Re: motherboard
by Kees_B Forum moderator / November 29, 2012 4:47 AM PST
In reply to: Motherboard

With an incompatible motherboard, you'll have to reinstall the OS from a OEM or retail Windows install disk. Usually that can be done without formatting, but to play it safe, having a backup is a good idea (it's ALWAYS a good idea!).

But I'd install that mobo first and see what happens. It won't harm your data even if Windows decided to not run.


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Good to go
by Willy / November 30, 2012 1:10 PM PST
In reply to: Motherboard type

A Dell GX270 for another GX270 of same model# will do fine provided there isn't any other problem. What i do is re-install from the old mtbd. taking the cpu., etc. and properly remount it on the replacement mtrbd.. Once all the connections and everything correctly remounted, connected or hook-up, etc. and rechecked before powering-ON usually all that needs to be done. Don't rush or disregard anything, be sure it's all as it should be, then power-ON. Use common sense and reset the bios values if need be. I hope you're aware of all these steps in order to finish the fix. It may display some error more than once until you reset the bios, etc., again you should know what is expected. As for any HD issue, it supposed that the HD has no real fault, it was all mtrbd. related. It should then act as if nothing has been done, provided you did a proper replacement. Yeah, i do this often.

tada -----Willy Happy

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