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I have a laptop that won't boot. It appears to be a power problem ... laptop auto-turns-off within about 10 seconds of pressing the power button (with power buttons lighted temporarily and no display with or without external monitor). I've followed the dell troubleshooting guide which suggested reseating the memory modules and the hard drives, but that didn't help.

Before trying to have the laptop serviced, I wanted to get some data off off the hard drive. I bought a thermaltake blacX enclosure, intending to use this to both use to retrieve the drive data with, and then later use as external storage.

Following the instructions (insert cables, insert drive power on) goes fine, and Windows 7 on another laptop installs the device driver software. However, no drive letter shows up in 'Computer'.

Under Computer->manage->storage I see the drive is there, and there's an option to "initialize" the drive. The Windows "initialize" dialog gives me the option to pick between "MBR" and "GPT" partitioning, which sounds like a good way to destroy the data on the drive.

I'm thinking that I've purchased the wrong device for the job (or that my old drive is damaged). The old drive to recover info from is a Western Digital 500G/7200rpm SATA drive if that is relavent. Both the original laptop and the one I'm using for recovery are running Windows 7.

Does anybody have experience with using a blacX enclosure to recover data off an already formatted drive?

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Did you set a HDD access or NBIOS password on the old Dell laptop? If you did then you probab ly encryted the drive. (Dell can reset that but they make sure you are who you say first) – Hennes Jun 10 '12 at 17:16
Hmm, yes, rules for remote access for work require a hard drive password. If I can't boot I probably can't reset that password (boot doesn't get far enough that I'm even prompted for the hd password). – Peeter Joot Jun 10 '12 at 17:26
if this is a work laptop do they automatically backup things to file share? if not you should set that up when you are running again to prevent future occurance – Jim Ford Mar 25 '13 at 7:51

Hennes's answer-in-comment, that this is due to the harddrive password that I had set on the drive, is also consistent with the following:

I tried something similar, putting my harddrive in my daughter's (also dell) inspiron, but found that the inspiron appears to have a different password protection scheme -- Dell confirmed this, saying the password protection mechanism is not just model number dependent but motherboard specific.

I'm having my motherboard replaced and it appears that I'll have to wait until then to be able to access my data, despite having purchased an external reader.

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