What are best practices for salvaging f#&@'d data
Something happened to my personal build that really took me by surprise a few weeks ago. My Corsair modular PSU went bad (rattling fan), so I replaced it with a EVGA modular PSU. Little did I know that the SATA cable between the two manufacturers looks physically identical, but actually has a crossed wire differentiating the two. I made the mistake of not disconnecting my SDD and two HDDs from the pre-existing Corsair cable and simply plugged it into the EVGA PSU.
Turn computer on.
HDDs were completely fried. I sent the PCBs into a company that did a "mod chip" switch on one, which allowed me to revive the first HDD. The other HDD will require me to send in the hard drive itself, not just the PCB. The SSD is fine.
Here's my issue: Ever since this happened, things have been slow and sluggish on my computer (e.g., general mouse movements, opening windows and programs, etc.) and my computer often just shuts down on its own and crashes. I read online that my mistake wouldn't have damaged the SSD, so I assumed I may have damaged the mobo. I got a new mobo right when I got the PCB back for the first HDD (where I kept all my essential programs and desktop), and, with the partial new build, everything seemed snappy again. But, now, after a couple days, things are beginning to slow once again (mouse lagging, programs slow to load, freezing, etc.). I had other weird mobo-centric issues, and when I called the manufacturer (Asus), they suspected something was wrong with the board and asked me to RMA.
In the meantime, I want to get new hard drives -- who knows, maybe they were damaged beyond just the PCB?
Question: With respect to the HDD, what is the best practice for transferring all of my programs, program files, photos/videos, and documents from the old drive (which is possibly damaged) to a brand new drive? Do I just drag and drop the files? Do I use drive duplicating software? Should I be checked for corruption? Defrag?
With respect to the SSD (where the OS and a handful of programs are kept), similarly, what's the best practice for transferring data to a new SSD?
Read responses in forums.anandtech.com