Transfering Files From Dead Computer To New Computer

by on July 28, 2008

Q: How do I transfer files from my old computer to my new one when my old one can’t turn on anymore?

A: You have two choices when it comes to transferring your files from a computer that does not work to your new computer.

The cheapest solution is to take the hard drive out of your old computer and put it in your new computer. This usually requires knowing a little bit about computers and possibly about jumpers on your hard drive.

If you do not mind spending the money and doing it yourself is not something you want to deal with or do not think you can then you can always bring the two computers to your local computer shop and for a nominal fee they should be more than happy to move the drive from the dead computer to the new computer.

The other solution is to buy a USB hard drive enclosure that you would install your old hard drive into. So you would take your drive out of the old computer and put it in the USB hard drive enclosure. The process is pretty simple and this solution would actually be more cost effective than bringing both computers to a computer shop. Also, once you are done, you have an external USB hard drive that you can use for backups (once, of course, you get all the data off the drive that you need).

9 Responses to “Transfering Files From Dead Computer To New Computer”

    I got an enclosure and did what you said. My question is, how can I open files that were password protected on the old harddrive? I’m trying to open documents and settings for all of the various family members that were on the crashed system, and they all have their own password. When i try to open them it says “access denied”. Can I start up the operating system from the old drive safely?


    Are the files themselves password protected or do you mean you cannot access the folders because you are getting permission denied?


    Permission denied.


    “Error Copying File or Folder”
    cannot create or replace My Documents : access denied
    make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not currently in use


    Document & Settings\USERNAME\My Documents
    is not accessible
    access denied


    I’m trying to copy the “My Documents” file or the “Documents & Settings” file from the old drive


    You might need to try to take ownership by following the instructions on this page


    I’m using xp, and that looks to be way beyond my abilities. Thank you very much for taking the time.


    Don’t give up yet. If you are logged in as an administrator on your system you should be able to right click on the folder and go to properties and then you should be able to change the who owns the folder and all sub folders.