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Data stuck on broken laptop, what to do?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
i have friends who got their data stuck on broken laptops.

if they were to take out the harddrive (considering the posibility that the harddrives are ok), and put it into external enclosure, would they be able to recover the data from it by hooking it up through USB to a working computer?

in other words, will the computer recognize a harddrive from another computer with the OS on it, and still be able to access it just like a data drive? or will they have to go into the bios and set up the bios to boot from the external?
post #2 of 17
yes you get a adapter to plug it into
post #3 of 17
Yes.

Only if the boot drive is set to boot from USB on the PC being used will you run into problems.

You should be fine just throwing it into an enclosure though.
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post #4 of 17
You should be able to plug in as an external, I did it a a few years ago on XP and it didnt want to let me in the users folders, might be ok on vista/7 may just need to enter user pass.
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post #5 of 17
It definitely will be your best option. I purchased a external HDD dock just for this purpose. For some reason, all my friends and coworkers think just because I like computers that I can fix them no matter what they've done.

I've had a few where the OS was trashed and the easiest thing to do was pull the data off the drive and re-install the OS.

Once you put it into the dock and plug it in (I would recommend USB3 or eSATA connection if you have a lot of stuff on the drive), you should be able to see it in "My Computer" just like a flash drive or regular external HDD. Then you can just click/drag or copy/paste your data.

Hope this helps,

Rich
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post #6 of 17
If its an old laptop with a PATA HDD you may need an adapter like this

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post #7 of 17
i just stick it in a working desktop... disregarding the external encloser alltogether
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post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
they live far away, and they dont have desktops to plug the harddrives in.

what is that PATA thing? is that different from IDE?
post #9 of 17
pata is ide...
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post #10 of 17
yeah it would recognize it fine, as long as windows doesn't try and boot to it
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