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Photo and File Recovery on a Laptop

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Ms. Millar has had many books published online and in print. She learned how to bind her own books to save money on publishing costs.

How to Retrieve Data From an Old, Dead Laptop

How to Retrieve Data From an Old, Dead Laptop

Photos and Documents Can Be Retrieved

Has your laptop taken a turn for the worse and taken your photos and documents with it?

My old laptop is pictured above. I kept it working for as long as I could. When the keys popped off, I figured, who needs them? The charging plug came out and a wire broke—no problem, I hardwired it. It was stepped on, breaking the screen. I thought, "Isn't that what remote screen is for?" But one day, it wouldn't boot up.

I know, I know, why didn't I back up my files long ago? When the keys started popping off it would have been a good idea. When the charging plug broke, it would have been a great idea. When the screen cracked, it would have been a stupendous idea. But I didn't.

How to Retrieve Data Using a SATA/IDE Hard Drive Attachment

But there is a happy ending to this story! All of the photos and documents can be retrieved! I used a SATA/IDE hard drive attachment. Here are the steps I took to remove my hard drive and get the files off of it.

1. Remove the Hard Drive

You can pull your documents and photo's right off of the hard drive! There is an attachment wire that is needed to read the hard drive, and it isn't very expensive at all.

With the attachment wire, you can also use the hard drive as an extra, external, hard drive to store your documents and photos.

Here's what you do (you can follow along with the photo's below):

  1. Flip the laptop over and remove the battery. The .gif below is a general configuration of a laptop battery. There are usually two, maybe one, slide that when pressed in the correct direction, the battery will be released.
  2. Locate the cover panel for the hard drive. It may have an impression of stacked CDs on it. Using a screwdriver unscrew the retaining screws and remove the panel You will see the hard drive under the panel (.gif below).
  3. Manufacturers have different methods of securing the hard drive in your laptop. Even the various models can have a different configuration. Take a good look at yours and determine if it is screwed in, pressed in, or in a sleeve or frame of some sort. Sometimes a frame will be screwed or pressed in. To remove the hard drive, you have to remove the frame first, with the hard drive inside of it.
  4. Detach the plug connecting the laptop to the hard drive.

Great!! You have the hard drive out! You're half-way there.

2. Remove the Battery

Remove the battery.

Remove the battery.

3. Remove the Hard Drive Cover


4. Set Up the SATA

If you look at the wire set on the side of the hard drive, you will notice either a set up of pins or a flat bar with several connectors. Depending on your type of laptop use the appropriate connection.

Now attach the set up to a working laptop or computer using the USB attachment.

There may be a power switch on your cord to power on the hard drive once connected. Make sure the green light is illuminated. It won't work unless the hard drive has power.

New Drive In Your Folders

New Drive In Your Folders

5. Attach the SATA Device

When you're all set:

  1. Turn your working computer on.
  2. Go to your files folder or computer folder.
  3. There will be another drive now. It may be named F:/ or G:/ or whatever according to what your computer already has.
  4. Click on the folder and all of your documents, photo's and various folders will be presented just like it was on the computer that broke!

You can copy them to another drive or keep them right where they are at and use the hard drive as an external folder for saving your things to. It's safe, has a large storage capacity and convenient if something happens to your current computer you have it backed up!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2018 Joanna