Recovering Files From Laptop - System Reserved


Junior Member
Feb 15, 2014
My laptop recently died on me (I suspect it's the HDD as it suddenly started displaying a no bootable device message when I turn it on). I'm going to send the laptop in to be serviced by my warranty company, but first I want to try to pull all of my files off of the HDD.

I bought a cable to connect my laptop's HDD to my desktop via USB, but it only detects 'system reserved.'

I tried using RecoverMyFiles, but it just stays on the "Scanning for logical drive" window for hours. It doesn't stop responding, though.

I also tried using GetDataBack but that stops responding right away on "scan for drives."

Is it still possible to get my files from this HDD?


Mar 19, 2007
If you can see the system reserved partition, that means BIOS see it. At the very least you have some hosed partitions.

Try this:
Open an elevated command prompt. (run as administrator)
Type diskpart
Type list disk (make note of the disk number your system reserved is on.
Type select disk ? (? being the disk you want to switch to)
Type clean


Elite Member
Sep 1, 2002
I would plug the laptop hard drive directly into a SATA port on the desktop motherboard and see if it does any better.

What brand hard drive is it?


Administrator<br>Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
I would plug the laptop hard drive directly into a SATA port on the desktop motherboard and see if it does any better.
^ This. :thumbsup:

A corrupted hard drive can often be read when connected directly to another machine as a slave. If it's a SATA drive, you may be able to hot plug it into a desktop machine that is already booted up, but this does not always work. If the drive is PATA, or if the desktop does not recognize the drive when hot plugged, try rebooting with the drive connected.

An external SATA or PATA to USB adapter may work, but it's not as likely to succeed because the SATA/PATA to USB conversion would be just one more obstacle to overcome.

If you suspect the problem could have been caused by malware, before you connect the laptop drive, be VERY sure the desktop AV and anti-malware protection is up to date and the drive is backed up, and, if possible, run deep AV and anti-spyware scans on the laptop drive before attempting to access any files on it.

P.S. You just got the full, hands on lesson about why you should always back up your system.

Good luck. :)
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