Restore data after motherboard death

Peter’s motherboard died. How can he retrieve the data on his hard drive?

Peter's motherboard died. How can he retrieve the data on his hard drive?

I'm amazed that in this world of cheap external hard drives and near-universal broadband, people are still not backing up their data. It's real simple, folks: You should never have only one copy of anything.

If you want some advice about getting into the backup habit, see 7 Backup Strategies for Your Data, Multimedia, and System Files.

Be glad it was the motherboard that died and not the hard drive. If that were the case, you'd have to send the drive to a data recovery service that would charge you hundreds or even thousands of dollars to recover your data...if your data was recoverable.

But with a dead motherboard, you got off easy. All you need is an adapter that turns an internal IDE or SATA drive into an external USB drive. The Bytecc USB 2.0 Drive Mate is pretty good.

Remove the drive from the PC, plug it into the Bytecc, plug the Bytecc into a PC's USB port, and you have access to your old hard drive.

Add your comments to this article below. If you have other tech questions, email them to me at answer@pcworld.com, or post them to a community of helpful folks on the PCW Answer Line forum.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags storagedata backuppersonal data

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lincoln Spector

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?