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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Lost access to 4 months' photos
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09/08/2020 08:48:44 PM · #1
It's been two months since I bought my laptop computer, but I've still mainly been using my aging desktop because of the larger screen. It was sluggish a lot of the time, freezing every now and then, but for the most part it was doing what I asked of it. Then a few days ago it couldn't find space on its small SSD to do the latest Windows updates. For a couple of days I searched for a solution without success.

Yesterday it restarted once while I was away from my desk but worked okay after that. Then this morning when I switched on it kept starting up, then shutting down and restarting without ever getting going. I can't even switch it off unless I unplug it.

At this stage I'm not too concerned about the computer itself as I knew I'd eventually have to replace or revamp it, but I'm rather worried about all the files (especially the photos) on my hard drives. My backup (external) hard drive has been full for months and I never got round to ordering a new one - six months locked up at home didn't help my motivation!

Yesterday was the first time I left home since March but I don't feel ready to go into a physical shop yet, so it may be a while before I can find out if all my lockdown photos still exist. It's going to be a stressful wait.

For now I need to get Photoshop onto the laptop so that I can edit the photos I've still got and hopefully some more interesting new ones now that I'm not confined to shooting my garden.

Edit: typo.

Message edited by author 2020-09-08 20:53:19.
09/08/2020 09:16:03 PM · #2
what laptop it is? did you try taking out the HDD into external drive and tried to mount on another laptop? if so then see if you can get the iamges as long as the boot sector is not gone, you might be able to recover the images.
09/08/2020 10:13:46 PM · #3
It's not a laptop that failed, it's my old desktop computer. It has a small SSD (I think 125gb) and 2 ordinary hard drives. Unfortunately I don't have the tech skills to try to fix it myself.
09/08/2020 10:32:07 PM · #4
As long as the hard drives themselves haven't crashed you should be OK eventually -- you may have to remove those drives from the old desktop and either install them in a new one, or into external cases you can plug into a laptop.
09/09/2020 03:50:09 AM · #5
A good solution is to get yourself a Hard Drive Docking Station which plugs into the USB port of your laptop and you can then access the hard drives you had in your desktop. You should be easily able to open the desktop PC and remove these - normally the case of a desktop PC just has a screw and then the side slides off. You then just unplug the data and power cables from the hard drives and remove any screws. You then just pop the hard drives into the docking station like a bit of toast in a toaster.

Note you should be able to plug your desktop monitor into your laptop if you want the bigger screen - you may need to pick up a cheap cable to allow you to do this.

So I am pretty confident you have not lost your photos and you will be able to retrieve them.

09/09/2020 07:09:45 AM · #6
Originally posted by P-A-U-L:

A good solution is to get yourself a Hard Drive Docking Station which plugs into the USB port of your laptop and you can then access the hard drives you had in your desktop. You should be easily able to open the desktop PC and remove these - normally the case of a desktop PC just has a screw and then the side slides off. You then just unplug the data and power cables from the hard drives and remove any screws. You then just pop the hard drives into the docking station like a bit of toast in a toaster.

Note you should be able to plug your desktop monitor into your laptop if you want the bigger screen - you may need to pick up a cheap cable to allow you to do this.

So I am pretty confident you have not lost your photos and you will be able to retrieve them.


Thanks. That's really encouraging.

I'm really nervous about trying to do it myself, but with Covid figures in South Africa going down rapidly, I'm hopeful that I'll be able to take my computer into a shop soon. If not, I'll do a bit of research online and see if I can do it myself.

I thought there was a good chance that I'd be able to plug my monitor into the laptop. I just need to work out which cable I have to order.
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