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I am trying to get the data off of a windows XP desktop hard drive that the motherboard died on. I have a USB adapter that allows me to plug any IDE or SATA hard drive into in then plug it into my PC and access the drive. It has a separate power connector and in the past has worked great.

With this hard drive, I cannot see it when I look at My computer. When I use disk management I can see the drive, but when I right click on the drive all the options to "assign a drive letter", "convert to dynamic disk", "delete partition" etc, are grayed out.

It is a 75 GB IDE drive that shows as "Active and healthy" in computer management. I really need to get some data off of it so any ideas would be really appreciated. Is there any programs I could get? Any techniques I am not aware of etc?

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Can you add the output of diskpart. list disk, select disk 1 (or whatever number your USB drive is) and list partition? That will tell us if the MBR is being recognised. (assuming MBR since it came from XP and XP only supports MBR). – Hennes Jan 17 '13 at 17:44
Is the drive "marked active" in disk manager? – Dave M Jan 17 '13 at 17:45
Hello, yes its active in disk manager, I can select it is diskpart, as disk one, when i list partion is come back as unknown, going to try a linux CD now , any other ideas? – Mike D. Jan 17 '13 at 18:50

Grab a Linux LiveCD, such as Ubuntu, boot into the LiveCD, mount both the drive you are trying to recover from and the drive you are trying to recover to, and copy/paste your data.

Either Ubuntu version would work (12.10 or 12.04 LTS), but watch which architecture you download. If you have a 64-bit capable processor, either one will work, but if you are limited to a 32-bit processor, you must grab the 32-bit version.

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Please refrain from directly copying answers of yours. Make them unique and applicable to the question at hand. – KronoS Jan 17 '13 at 17:56
Sorry, not sure how to make generic instructions that apply to both situations unique. – Kruug Jan 17 '13 at 18:05
@Krugg just be careful and not do it all the time. In this case it's fine IMO, but again, be careful about doing it in the future. – KronoS Jan 17 '13 at 18:06
Thank you for your advise, I was aware of that option but i was hoping to find some software i could run in a windows environment, I ended up using the linux live CD and I could mount the hard drive and copy the data to my local C drive. Worked great thanks. – Mike D. Jan 21 '13 at 1:38

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