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Question from Bruce: Rick, I have an old Windows XP computer and there’s data on its hard drive that I need to keep.
Can I turn that old drive into an external hard drive to retrieve the data, or is it more complicated than that?
I was told that the hard drive in that computer is still working but the rest of the machine is toast.
I’m asking because I saw your post explaining how to connect the hard drive from a laptop to another computer via a USB port.
I’m hoping I can do the same thing with this old drive because it has some really important files on it that I really need to retrieve if at all possible.
Rick’s answer: Yes Bruce, as long as the old hard drive is indeed still working you can easily convert it into an external USB hard drive. It isn’t difficult at all.
The great thing about modern versions of Windows is the way you can plug a USB drive into an open port and get right to work without having to configure anything.
You said the drive is in an old XP machine, so I’m guessing that it’s an IDE drive. But even if it happens to be a SATA drive, this inexpensive SATA/IDE to USB adapter will let you plug the drive into your computer’s USB port and retrieve the files you need from the old drive.
Windows should recognize the drive automatically, and you should see it as a new drive in File Explorer.
There are plenty of other such adapters on the market, but the one linked to above has over 2,500 user reviews on Amazon with the vast majority of them ranking the adapter as 5 out of 5 stars.
I hope this helps, Bruce. Please let me know if you need further assistance. Good luck!