General discussion

Hard drive information

I have an old HP Pavillon 7940 and it will not power on. I took the hard drive out to try and pull the information from it. When I connect it to my pc it shows the driver installing but that is it. Does this mean the hard drive is gone as well or am I looking in the wrong place for the information? I really need this information if at all possible. I am using USB to Sata IDE cable to connect.

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Reply to: Hard drive information
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Look in the CNET Storage Forum.

The top post "Lost and Found" notes free data recovery titles that may help.

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Are these the specifications of this old HP Pavillion?

If yes, do not expect your external HDD to have enough power to be run on this 20th century old system. Recommended O.S. for it is the Me('99) one? LOL. Even if you upgrade it's Bios to a 2002 one, it will accept XP upgrade 2002 + SP1 of 2003 and, that's it folks.

My highly recommended advice here is: Go out and buy yourself any cheap low-end PC and, that alone, will make a huge upgrade difference. Do not have to take my word for it. It is a cold hard fact of today(2010) and, probably could come with a limited guarantee onto the new one also.

Happy upgrading! Wink
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Reply to Are these the specifications of this old HP Pavilli

I do not wish to upgrade. I have a brand new pc for myself that is actually up to date for the 20th century. The HP belongs to someone I know and all of his sermons are on there and he asked if there was any way to recover them before trashing it.

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2010 stands for the 10th year into the 21st century.

Anyway, have you looked in all the possible folders where the word processor might have saved his documents of his sermons. Try My Documents in his profile directory. Be patient, he might have stored them in the most unlikely of places. That intensive search is annoying but, mandatory(necessary).

Good Luck!

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Reply to Are these the specifications of this old HP Pavilli

I realize that this system is old and outdated. I did not say I was trying to upgrade this. What I asked was if since I pulled the hard drive OUT and was trying to connect it to my pc which is actually up to date for the twentieth century am I going about it the correct way using these cables. I actually expected more from you cnet than a cocky answer and telling me to go out and buy me a new up to date system. This HD actually belongs to someone in my church who lost his sermons and just wanted to see if there was any possible way to recover them. But I will seek answers elsewhere from now on.

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You reposted before I could reply

to your previous reply. I contains a good advice other than a technical one.

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Could you tell us the brand and model ...

of the hard drive from the laptop? Some (actually most) of the older 2.5 inch drives require more power than a single USB connection provides. For these you can get a special USB cable that has a single connector for the hard drive end and a dual USB connector for the computer end - this provides additional power for the drive. Here is a link to one of the Dual Inputs USB power cables -

An even better option is one of the external power IDE/SATA to USB adapters such as the one at this link -

I don't think LucJPatenaude actually reads all of the post before he replies (thus his suggestion that you look " in all the possible folders where the word processor might have saved his documents of his sermons. Try My Documents in his profile directory." which is something you can't do until you can access the drive. He means well however. Wink

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Reply to Are these the specifications of this old HP Pavilli

Thank you for helping me. I have it plugged in the two cables but when I plug the usb port into mine it shows me that the driver is being downloaded and then nothing. I am not sure how to access his files or if I even can. That is what I need to know. I am not sure how to find his stuff on mine since it is not coming up anywhere.

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Reply to Are these the specifications of this old HP Pavilli

I checked out the site you sent and that is exactly what I am using to hook them up. Also it is an old HP Pavillon 7940. I know it is old and that is why I am not sure this is even possible.

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OK, if it is getting enough power ...

but still not becoming visible to the Operating System it is quite possible that the drive itself is dead (if you are certain that all connections are made properly).

To verify this try the drive on another computer.

If a second computer still doesn't acknowledge the drive you may have to pay the money to some data recovery outfit such as Drive Savers or Ontrack Data Recovery.

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Did you consider Bob's suggestion?

If not, you will pay twice as much for these data recovery services as for buying yourself a much newer machine.

As I can see and judge your situation, that drive's chipset died suddenly and, without any warning. Definitely not a mechanical instability of any kind. The priest waited too long to replace his machine. He will have to redo all of his sermons all over again. Besides, he's got all week until Sunday mass to do so, anyway.

Ed did not even click on my HP link to make his own premeditated non-sense of an analysis of your problem.

Good Luck!

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Why click a link ...

when the original post made it QUITE CLEAR that the drive itself was from the old system and was being connected by USB to a newer system.

Also clearly stated was the fact that the drive was not being able to be read by the newer system (thus your recommendation to look in"all the possible folders where the word processor might have saved his documents of his sermons. Try My Documents in his profile directory." was nonsense as you can't browse what the computer can't "see".

Far from non-sense [sic] my analysis of either inadequate power for an old drive or a drive that had "died" was spot on.

By the way, you should have checked out Ontract Data Recovery as they offer software for self recovery if one wishes to attempt it but ALL the software data recovery solutions REQUIRE that the hard drive be accessible to an Operating System which ain't gonna happen if the drive is dead.

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Why click a link


I have always come to cnet for anything and everything and you are the reason why. I just want to thank you for not talking down to me and for stating what I pretty much suspected but wanted to make sure of. I appreciate you and the time you took very much and will continue to come to cnet for that reason. You are awesome and your superiors should know it. If I based my opinion on the other answer I received I would never come back to cnet or refer my friends to your site. Continue what you are doing and have a great day.

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Hi Theresa ...

Just two points.

1. Edward is a member, just like you. He might have superiors elsewhere, but certainly not in these forums. Did you know that even the moderators are volunteer, so even they don't have CNET or CBS superiors? I'm not saying - of course - that Edward isn't awesome.
2. When you happen to see that person from your church again, spend some time telling him about BACKUP. Maybe even set it up for him. If you need advice for that, please start a new thread. It must be as simple as possible. Ideally, it's a one-click solution from the desktop. Then all he needs is the discipline to do it.


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Excuse me?!

It started with Bob's help and, finished with bob's help.

I only stated the facts of that person's machine and, did not, definitely not, talk you down.

It is my intense experience at upgrading and updating my own machines that brings all this intensive know-how. You should have seen all the enormous headaches I had to upgrade to the very first edition of Vista from Win.XP-SP2. All the way back to Winter/Spring 2006. It was not a pretty sight. I ended up having to install an upgrade assistant from Microsoft itself, in order to locate the problems. One by one. Drivers mainly. Then, flashing a better Bios sometime in late Fall of that same year, fixed the mainboard's incompatibility with the generic matrix of drivers from Vista.

Still, that was not until Spring of 2007 and a way newer version of that O.S. of that year. That I could, finally install it without too many stumbles during Setup. Got the upgrade version of Vista Home Premium Edition in January of 2008, installed SP1 later that year and, SP2 in 2009. By that time I was onto my Fall 2008 purchase of a Dual Core machine that came with the Vista Home Premium Edition Pre-Installed in 32bit mode.

By May of 2009, installed Win.7 Release Candidate. Then, purchased the full version of Win.7 Home Premium Edition by Fall of 2009. Clean Installed the x64 version of it. Been installing x64/x86 newer drivers ever since.

The rest is not quite fully written in the stone of time, yet. It is in regards of the full implementation of the x64 mode of data processing and storage.

Have a nice day filled with no PC problems. Wink

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That's not fully true.

If the drive is that, indeed, software won't help. But it's quite possible that the drive is in such a condition that My Computer and Windows Explorer won't see it (no valid formatted partition) but Disk Management does see it (and reports it as unallocated space or a partition with an unknown filesystem). In that case the usual data recovery tools (as Bob points to below) can do a very fine job.

All those tools (Disk Management and the recovery tools) certainly run under an OS, most components of which don't recognize the disk.


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Thanks for that.

I answer a lot of posts but often omit the direct link to the other Cnet Forums.

The Cnet Storage Forum sticky is a gold mine of free to try before buy data recovery tools.

And why I noted this is that a slightly corrupt hard drive might not show up in Windows Explorer but these tools could get the data back.

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