Not to comment about backup and it never being an update here.
Moving the drives around has almost certainly corrupted them and makes me think item 2 is most likely the way to get files back.
My Sony Vaio laptop running Windows XP Media Center 2005 w/ SP3 crashed following a Windows Update gone bad. After the Windows splash screen, I am left with a black screen with control of the cursor. Booting to all three Safe modes results in the same thing. I need to recover some files from the hard drive and have tried several things to no avail. I have tried booting using Knoppix and Ubuntu, but neither could find the hard drive.
The laptop has dual 100GB SATA HDs (master and slave) to make a combined 200GB. I have removed the hard drives and tried connecting them to my desktop using an external USB dock. The desktop is running Windows Vista Home x64 with SP2.
When I connect the primary/master 100GB HD to the desktop, it is assigned a drive letter, but when I try to open it in My Computer, it tells me that is needs to formatted. Under Disk Management, it shows that the drive is Healthy (Primary partition) with 93.16 GB allocated. However, it shows the file system is RAW. When I connect the slave 100GB HD, its not visible under My Computer, but under Disk Management it shows that there is 93.16 GB unallocated and does not list a file system. Prior to the laptop crashing, I had about 180GB of information stored on the hard drive. Obviously, the file system was NTFS. I really need to recover some files from the hard drive, but I still have no way of accessing the drives.
I don't think this is a hardware problem since I ran the Hitachi Drive Fitness Test and both of the 100GB HDs were recognized and passed without any problems or errors. I welcome any help or suggestions in trying to access the hard drives and recover my data.