Accessing an problematic external drive


Mar 5, 2009

I have an external hard drive that used to be the old HD of my computer years ago. Recently I have been unable to access it because when I turn it on, Windows 7 says "Installing Driver" and then says "Successfully installed Intitio Default Controller" which I have read is some sort of error for external drives that makes them inaccessible. I have tried several fixes found on the internet and none have worked. I recently got a new computer with a brand new copy of Windows 7 and I still get the same error. I'm pretty sure it's the enclosure and not the drive.

So I have a two part question. First, can I fix this error? How can I get Windows 7 to read the drive correctly?

Secondly, if that does not work, does anyone know how I could access the drive without needing Windows? The reason I ask is because the drive is IDE and my new computer's motherboard only has SATA connections. I still have the old tower with the old motherboard which does have an IDE connection, but there is no HD attached to it and therefore no Windows. I could attach my current HD to it but I am nervous to do that because I don't think the motherboard is stable in the old PC. Ideally if Windows was still installed I would go into Safe Mode and quickly grab the files. Not thrilled with the idea of plugging in a new Solid State drive that could potentially get damaged.

I'm sure most of you will say "buy a new enclosure" but even though I could get one for $20 it's not my intention to keep these files on the drive, I want them off and then I'll toss the drive. So I'm just trying to find out if there is a way for me to get the files off without having to spend any more money.



Aug 12, 2012
My recommendation:

1) Download Kubuntu (or Knoppix or any linux)
2) Download Linux Live USB Creator (Lili)
3) Use Lili to create a bootable Kubuntu Live USB disk with persistent mode (in case you need to install anything)
4) Plug the old drive into the old computer and boot from the linux live key. (If it wont boot from USB, you can use Lili to burn a bootable CD)
5) Either burn the files to disk or transfer the files over the network and your done.

Similar threads