How to Get Pictures Off an Old Hard Drive?
Summary: With time, your old hard drive becomes prone to virus intrusion and other issues making it difficult for your PC to access them. If it accessible, transfer your photos to another drive. However, if it not accessible, try the methods shared below to recover them or simply use photo recovery software.
I found an old hard drive in my father’s attic. I remembered how we used it to store so many of our childhood photos. I excitedly connected the drive to my computer to relieve all those memories again, but it showed the error ‘drive not recognized.’ Can someone help me how to get pictures off an old hard drive?
An old hard drive serves as a repository of your cherished memories and also as a vault safeguarding your confidential data. But hard drives do become obsolete with time. Abrupt power outages, improper shutdown, malware intrusion, bad sectors, etc. also deplete the life of an old hard drive making it inaccessible in many cases.
So, how do you perform old hard drive recovery? Read this blog for a detailed guide to learn how to get pictures off an old hard drive.
How to Get Photos from Old Hard Drive?
For retrieving data from an old hard drive, you need to check whether your computer recognizes the drive. For this, connect your old hard drive to your system using a USB cable and see if it is accessible or inaccessible.
Scenario 1: Old Hard Drive is Accessible
If your old hard drive is accessible and working, getting your photos back is easy. You can connect the old hard drive to your computer using a USB cable and copy-paste or transfer your photos and other data to another storage media.
Scenario 2: Old Hard Drive is Inaccessible
If your old hard drive is not showing up in the File Explorer, you need to check if it is visible in Disk Management. If your hard drive is visible and is in a RAW and unallocated state, you may not be able to access it.
You may receive error messages like ‘Device is not recognized’ or ‘Hard drive is not accessible.’ Such errors mean your access to the hard drive is denied, and you cannot perform any read, write, or edit operation.
There could be many reasons why your old hard drive becomes inaccessible. These include:
- As your hard drives age, they become prone to mechanical issues, leading to inaccessibility.
- Unassigned drive letters of old hard drives cannot be recognized by your computer.
- Abrupt power outages or improper shutdown may corrupt the file system of the old hard drive, making it unreadable by the computer.
- Virus and malware intrusion infecting your old hard drive.
- Problem with the boot sector and partition table.
What to do when your old hard drive is inaccessible in Windows?
If your old hard drive is not accessible in Windows, format it to make it accessible. Formatting will define your old hard drive’s file system and assign it a drive letter. Apparently, formatting will make your drive accessible, but the photos and other media files stored in the drive will be permanently lost.
Related Reads: How to format a hard drive?
You can use professional photo recovery software like Stellar Photo Recovery to recover lost photos in such scenarios. Be it a formatted old drive or a case of accidental deletion, this software can help you quickly retrieve deleted or lost photos in just a few clicks.
How to Get Pictures Off an Old Hard Drive?
Stellar Photo Recovery is a robust tool for retrieving lost or deleted photos, audio, and video files from formatted hard drives, SD cards, or other storage media. It restores photos lost due to accidental deletion, corruption, virus attack, human error, etc.
This old hard drive recovery tool retrieves photos lost from all types of storage media, including SD cards, HDDs, memory sticks, digital cameras, drone cameras, etc. It supports recovery of popular photo formats, including JPEG/JPG, PNG, PSD, HEIC, etc. retaining their original timestamp and quality.
You also get to see a full-screen preview of the recovered photos before saving them.
To see how the software works, download the free version from here.
Steps: How to get photos off an old computer hard drive using Stellar Photo Recovery?
- Download, install, and launch the Stellar Photo Recovery software.
- Choose your old formatted hard drive from which you need to retrieve the photos and click Scan.
- The software will start scanning the drive, and show you the scan progress on the next screen.
- Once the scan is completed, you can view the list of recoverable files. You can preview the found files, select which photos you want to restore, and click Recover.
- Then, Browse to choose a desired location to store the recovered image files. Click Start Saving.
Scenario 3: Old Hard Drive is Severely Corrupted
If your hard drive is not displayed in Disk Management, it indicates that it is physically damaged. Over time, your old hard drive may develop physical damage, like a malfunctioning motor or damaged platter, which prevents the drive from spinning and reading the data.
Additionally, your old hard drives may have a bad sector or are severely corrupt, which can result in the inaccessibility of the drive. In such a scenario, seek the help of a professional data recovery service provider to retrieve photos from severely corrupted old hard drives.
If your old hard drive is accessible, you can connect it with a USB cable to retrieve photos. However, dealing with an inaccessible hard drive is a hassle as you need to first format your drive, which results in data loss. Use a professional photo recovery tool to retrieve photos and other media files from formatted hard drives.
However, if your old drive is severely corrupted, avail professional data recovery services to recover data from it. Unfortunately, there’s no guaranteed way to prevent your old drive from becoming inaccessible or corrupt, but still, you can avoid unintentional data loss.
Regularly backing up your data is a good habit you can practice at work or home. You can back up your photo on an external hard drive or cloud to prevent any data loss scenario.
1. How to get pictures off an old computer hard drive?
To retrieve pictures from an old computer hard drive, use professional old hard drive recovery tool like Stellar Photo recovery. This tool can easily recover lost or deleted photos from old hard drive, SD card, memory card, and other storage media.
2. How to get photos from a damaged old hard drive?
If your old hard drive is damaged, you need to avail professional data recovery services to retrieve photos from it.
3. Why is my hard drive not being detected by Stellar Photo Recovery software?
Stellar Photo Recovery will detect your hard drive only if it is listed in Disk Management. If Disk Management doesn’t show the hard drive, it means your drive is physically damaged. You can get help from professional data recovery experts to recover data from an inaccessible or damaged old hard drive.