How to get data from old drive to new?

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This is a two part question.  About a week ago I was trying to upgrade the
RAM in my old eMachines.  It wouldn't recognize it when I used the open
slot, so I tried replacing the original RAM with the new, this time the
power went dead.  When I turn on the computer the CD drives power up, but
the fan and the power supply do nothing.  I tried putting the original RAM
back in but I still get nothing.  So my first question is did I ruin the
motherboard or did I just mess it up in some way that can be fixed?  (I'm
100% sure I didn't bump into the cables)

I just assumed the motherboard was toast and the computer was old and tired
anyway so I just got a new one.  Assuming there's no way to bring back the
old computer I'm going to have to get the data off the old hard drive.  I
don't want to mess around with my brand new system, so I figured the best
way would be through a USB enclosure or a USB/IDE converter cable.  Is
there anything I should know before I attempt this?  My main fear is the
operating system on the old disk, I don't want it messing around with the
new system or forcing me to reformat the drive before I can get the data
off it?  Any suggestions?  My old OS was XP my new one is Media Center

Re: How to get data from old drive to new?

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Using the external USB drive is very straight forward, windows will not care
if it has got an operating system on it. It will not recognise it as such.

The PC this is being written on has SCSI, SATA, IDE and USB drives
connected. The SATA drive and SCSI drives have operating systems on them but
this makes no difference to the way that windows "sees" the disk. Just
another storage disk as far as it is concerned.


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