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I was happily browsing the world wide web like I normally do.  I got a java update pop-up on my laptop screen. I clicked OK and my system rebooted without a warning BUT Windows never loaded back and all I saw was a black screen.

I didn’t panic. My laptop is crazy like that. I decided to turn it off, and then turn it on and press F8 at the Windows logo to get into the recovery options. My computer’s system would be restored to a point before the java update. It would be all right.

I was wrong. I turned my computer on and again, all I got was a black screen. I never got the Windows logo. This didn’t happen once nor twice. I started to freak out and pressed F8 like there’s no tomorrow until my computer beeped loudly like begging me to stop pressing the F8 key. My computer was in pain. I was in pain. Tragedy.

television animated GIF

I freak out. My computer doesn’t boot. All my life is stored in there. My e-books, photos, my blog files, life documents, etc. And no, I hadn’t backed anything up elsewhere.

I’m broke and like I said before I don’t want to pay the ridiculous expensive fees the computer repair shops charge for things us users can DYI (no offense computer repair guys).  Another thing is, in this modern day and age, you can’t fully trust your information and files to strangers. I know people should have work ethics but you never know if your pics are used to make fake online profiles or who knows what people with bad intentions can do with your files. What am I going to do?

embarrassed animated GIF

Does any of this sound familiar to you? If not, good for you. But let me tell you my friends, we are not exempt from these technological failures. At some point in life you’ll be exposed to the fact that you might lose your valuable data stored in an apparently damaged hard drive. Hard drives get corrupted. It happens.

That’s why I’m here to share with you how I survived this technological tragedy. I want to share what worked for me. Who knows, maybe in the future it might help you.

After my major freak out, a little whining on twitter and a lot of breathing in and breathing out in pure wax on-wax off Miyagi style, I searched for help on my phone. There are many informative and useful sites regarding this topic. I found the following videos in which the use of a USB IDE/SATA Adapter to recover and transfer your files is explained. Check them out:

The USB to IDE / SATA Adapters are not expensive. Prices range from $7 to $20, it all depends if you want generic or “famous” brands. They are easily available online or on any computer shop. Make sure the one you buy comes with all the cables. I leave you links to some online options on Amazon for you to consider 😉 :

click to buy from amazon US

click to buy on Amazon UK

I usually get all my stuff online but I didn’t want to wait too much, so I got mine on a local computer shop. The one I got is the IMEXX USB 2.0 IDE / SATA ADAPTER, it was the only one left at the store and luckily it worked like a charm.I took my hard drive out of my laptop. I followed the instructions on the videos and managed to transfer ALL the files from my unbootable hard drive to an external USB Hard Disk on an old laptop. Happy, happy, joy, joy. 🙂

excited animated GIF BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!!!

After recovering my files, I had to format my old hard drive to get it back to an “as good as new” condition. I then started the process of transferring my files from the external usb hard drive back to my newly formatted laptop. Guess what happened?

A lot of the files on the external usb hard drive couldn’t be opened. I could see they were stored on the drive, but got an error message every time I tried to open them.

the oc animated GIF
(btw I miss The O.C)

Once again I turned to YouTube and found a helpful video with clear instructions that saved my life and helped me recover most of my almost lost files. I still lost some files (2%), but I can live with that. Yes, I can.

So there you have it friends. I’m a happy camper. My computer is now working fine. I have my precious files back. I now have a nifty new gadget, the USB to SATA / IDE adapter, which I’m planning to use to recover files from really old hard drives that I have in storage. 🙂

Everything has a solution. Don’t be afraid to poke your computers. Some things are so simple to do and there’s a lot of how to information online. Hope you don’t suffer like I did and not that I wish this happens to you but just in case, I hope this post helps you.

p.s. I’m Back 😉


All Gifs from giphy.com
DISCLAIMER: I’m not a computer technician. The information I share here is meant as a guidance not a rule of thumb. I will not be held responsible for loss or damage to equipment. The reader assumes responsibility of all risks and/or damages arising from the use or misuse of the information shared here. The reader understands to be responsible for any loss of data that may occur. This post contains Affiliate Links as stated in my Disclosure policy.
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