How do I recover my data after my motherboard failed?

by on May 26, 2011

Q: Want to recover data after a motherboard failed on a Vista PC to a new windows 7 machine. Prior to the Vista machine failure, the Vista-included-auto-backup had written on schedule to a separate internal SATA hard drive, (exclusively used for the Vista backup), that stored the data as a series of zipped files. What steps would I follow to retrieve the backup data from that internal drive from the dead Vista PC onto a new PC running 7. Also any way I can recover desktop files and folders from the healthy C drive in the old Vista machine? Thank you wise ones!!

4 Responses to “How do I recover my data after my motherboard failed?”

    Your best option is to remove both hard drives from this computer and plug them in as secondary harddrives on another working computer. You can then access all the files on these drives (though you won’t be able to boot to the old Windows Install) and can copy them to the new computer as needed.


    Thank you for responding Mark! I really appreciate your help in this really tough time for me. I have 2 specific questions. After I transfer the 2 hard drives from the failed Vista machine to become secondary drives on the new computer running windows seven: (1.) When I explore the secondary drive that used to be the C:\ or boot drive on the failed Vista macine, will I be able to find the files readily and just drag and drop them onto the new primary drive of my new windows 7 C:\ drive? Also: (2.) How will I extract the windows Vista backup previously done over the years to the other secondary drive in my new Windows 7 environment (since the backup that Vista did was to a nested set of zipped files that look like they need to be reconstituted by some program; will that program to restore the Vista backup be present in Windows 7?

    Picked as best answer

    I would forget about the Vista Backup Zip files and just get the data files you need from your old primary drive. There isn’t going to be anything in those zip files that you don’t have on your main drive.

    You’re going to need to reinstall software programs. Very few programs will work correctly by dragging over their install folders from Program Files so don’t do that at all.

    The stuff you’ll want to grab from the old C Drive will be all your data files. Videos, documents, spreadsheets, photos etc. All your stuff should be under X:\Users where X is whatever drive letter Windows 7 decides to assign your old main harddrive.

    Once you get everything setup, make sure to get yourself setup with a nice backup plan for easy access to your important files. You might like ‘s free software for doing data backups.


    Wonderful answer. makes complete sense. Thank you Mark!