Nicholas Skinner

Freelance website and web application developer

Quick Tip: Try using a Mac to recover files from an otherwise inaccessible drive

IDE to USB adapter plugged into MacBook ProJust had a Windows XP PC that is a few years old fail to boot up reporting a corrupt hal.dll file. I followed the instructions on About.com for restoring the hal.dll file from the Windows XP CD however got a permissions error.

Suspecting that there was something more wrong than just a corrupt file I took out the hard drive and plugged it into another Windows XP based system via a USB to IDE adapter in an attempt to copy off the data. The hard drive came up however attempting to open it locked up Windows Explorer. I therefore tried plugging the USB to IDE adapter into a MacBook Pro and after spending some time thinking about it the drive came up, and I was able to copy off all but one file from the “My Documents” folder (accessing this one particular file or other specific system files caused finder to momentarily lock up and the drive to make some odd noises).

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