How To Access Files On Old Hard Drive Windows 10?

Our old hard drives usually carry data, which we have stored away for a long time for later use.
  • You can always crack open a PC, and then mount that hard disk inside to retrieve data, but to be honest, that sounds a lot of work.
There are many other solutions that users can try out nowadays.

External Dock

You can easily find an external dock or adapter so that you can connect your hard drive with it. If you want the old hard drive to become a permanent external drive, then look for a full enclosure. Mounting the hard drive in the full enclosure would make it easier for you to connect the external hard drive, in whatever way you want to. A drive enclosure is cheap, and you can find it in any PC shop.

However, you should know that mounting a hard drive in a PC, or a closure takes the same amount of time. If you want to easily connect the hard drive, then a dock or an adapter takes less time. However, the dock is expensive, but you can actually connect it with a PC, and leave it there. This way, whenever you want to access your old hard drive, you can do so without any hassle.

The main problem that users are most likely to face in this situation is that a dock might not support IDE and SATA connections. If you do find one, then you’re in luck, as it will make things easier for you.

In case you don’t need the old drive frequently, then you can just buy an adapter. Adapters are available at affordable prices, and they have good functionality as well.

Read more: How to Clone a Larger HDD to a smaller SSD?

Accessing Data

When you power the hard disk using a dock or adapter, then it starts to spin up. As it is connected to the PC, you will be able to see it in Windows, as a removable disk. The best part about connecting the old hard drive with a system like this is that you don’t need any third-party software or drivers.

You will be able to see multiple folders in the explorer windows, and one by one, you can explore these folders and data. However, one of the things that most users face is that their screen shows an error of ‘You don’t currently have permission to access this folder’.

Don’t panic, because this message means that the old hard drive was permitted by a previous operating system. You can still click on continue, and Windows will permit the account that you have signed up with.

While assigning these permissions may take some time, it will happen. The duration of permission depends on the size of the folder, but the user doesn’t have to repeat this step whenever they access the folder.

If you are not able to read the hard drive by applying the above method, then there could be three reasons for this:

  • The hard drive is old, and you are not able to set the jumpers, as they should be set
  • This one and the operating system of the current PC, are not compatible
  • The hard drive is damaged, and it is not possible to read data from it
If a hard drive is damaged, because it wasn’t kept properly or stored in a good place, then regardless of the method that you use, you won’t be able to retrieve data. This is why users need to keep their old hard drives in a good place. Whenever they want to store more data or retrieve data from the hard disk, they would be able to do so without fail.