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Basic actions a user can take to access inaccessible data. It does not work in all cases!!! One of the basic rules with the appearance of inaccessible data is that we do not recommend to attempt a DIY (do-it-yourself) recovery! The consequences of some incorrect actions can severely complicate further data restoration and even make it impossible. However, in some cases, an advanced user is able to correct the situation without professional help. Our experience lets us conclude that there are minimal chances but they exist. If a hard drive is determined correctly in a BIOS and does not make any suspicious sounds, but Windows or another operating system is unable to load from this hard disk, it is obviously point to attempt connecting the HDD as a slave (secondary drive) to another working computer, where an installed hard drive (master) with the related operating system already exists.
Probably, the computer itself has some difficulty or corrupted files of the operation system (logical file structure is correct and does not have program errors, at least, in important folders) cause of inaccessibility. The necessary data can be simply copied from the failed (slave) hard drive to a working (master) hard drive on other computer. Also, you can try to use data recovery software. After this procedure, the crashed OS can be investigated without worrying about the integrity of important data.
1. Turn off the computer where the failed drive was installed.
2. Remove the failed hard drive.
3. Set the jumpers on a failed drive in a "slave" position. Usually, single drives are set to be used as masters, so if you want to connect a failed hard drive to another computer, it is necessary to set up jumpers correspondingly to "master" and "slave" regimes. The jumpers are located between the power connector and the IDE connector. Each manufacturer has different jumper settings; however, there is often an illustration on the top of the drive telling you how to set the jumpers. Otherwise, there will certainly be instructions in your hard drive's manual (which you can download from the manufacturer's website).
4. Disconnect the power for the working (other) computer.
5. Ground yourself to avoid any kind of static electricity.
6. Remove the computer side cover.
7. Set the ribbon cable connected to the existing hard drive (master).
8. Attach the second hard drive (slave) to the second connector on the cable (colored strip should be closest to the power cable). If the cable does not have a second connector, use a second ribbon cable to attach the second (slave) hard drive to the motherboard (if a second drive port is available).
9. Connect an available power cable to the hard drive (slave).
10. Place the hard drive (slave) into an available drive bay and protect with screws.
11. Double check all connections and make sure the device is set correctly as slave.
12. Replace the computer cover.
When you reboot your machine, the BIOS should automatically detect the installed (slave) hard drive. Then, when your operating system (Windows or other) has loaded, go to My Computer (or similar) and you should see your installed (slave) drive there. The letter assigned to the drive will depend on your computer's configuration.
Remember, that the correct determination of the hard drive in a BIOS is not only the right name of the real model, but right volume of the drive as well!
If one of these conditions is not completed (for example, the volume of the disk is reflected as zero, or the name of model is unknown word), then further user actions in attempt to recover data are useless and can even be risky. The hard drive then has internal problems (electronic, or mechanical nature), and every wrong step can worsen its state.
Remember, that it is your responsibility using this article as an instruction to attempt DIY recovery.
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