I'm not technical at all, but I'm attempting to recover my own files from my hard-drive before reinstalling all operating systems on my laptop. I have slaved my SATA hard-drive to a working computer, and the computer seems to recognize the device, but how do I access my files? I'm mainly just trying to save photos. Is there a way for me to access them without setting up partitions? From what I am reading, it sounds like doing that will cause me to loose all of my files?
If you connect your hard drive to another PC and use the drive as a secondary drive, that means the computer will boot the OS from its primary drive. Your drive should appear in Disk Management and in My Computer as it is, without any need to make changes. If the drive is not listed in My Computer, search for it in Disk Management. You may need to assign it a letter. You can do it, right clicking the drive. This should not affect your data. Do no try to initialize, partition or format the drive.