The laptop will be damaged.Whether we like it or not, laptops typically have a lifespan of three to five years, while desktop computers have a lifespan of five to eight years.And, there are many reasons why a laptop can fail: from a broken hinge to a broken keyboard, from a broken battery to a complete motherboard failure.
When it does happen, whether it's fixable or not, you need to be prepared and know how to get your stuff back from it.While this can be a daunting process, it can actually be easy.Here are some easy ways to retrieve data from a broken laptop.
What will you need?
You need to gather some tools.However, many laptop makers do it differently.So, as a rule of thumb, it's a good idea to check the Internet for guides, whether written or video, so that you can take apart your laptop with relative ease.Also, you can get familiar with the tools you need.In general, though, a screwdriver kit should work well enough.
You'll also need an adapter to connect the old storage drive to another computer.Again, it will depend on what your old laptop has, whether it has a solid state drive (SSD) or a hard disk drive (HDD), and, if the former, what kind of solid state drive it is.
The hard drive is connected using a SATA interface, so if that's the case, you'll need a SATA-to-USB case or adapter.They come in all shapes and forms - simple and inexpensive cables, housings and docking stations.When choosing a device, look for devices with good reviews on Amazon.Also, some solid state drives use this interface, so the same adapter will work.
However, some laptops, especially thin and light ones, have an m.2 SSD instead.These things are much smaller and you'll need to buy another adapter.
Step 1: Assess the damage
Before getting your hands on your laptop, you should assess how damaged it is before prying it open.Depending on its circumstances, it might be a better idea to try other, less complicated ways to retrieve your data.
If your laptop only has a broken hinge, display, or keyboard, and it's too expensive to repair, you don't need to fully open it.If it only has a broken screen, you can use an external monitor to access it.If the built-in keyboard has stopped working, you can use a USB keyboard instead.
If you have any means of interacting with your laptop, even if it might be uncomfortable, it might be worth pursuing those avenues first.Just put the data you want to transfer on an external hard drive and move it to the new computer.
However, if you can't do that, read on.
Step 2: Disassemble Your Laptop
Now is the time to do the dirty work, so be mentally prepared.We can't give you step-by-step instructions here - as mentioned above, all PC manufacturers work differently, and some laptops can be more complicated to disassemble than others.
Therefore, you need to rely on instructional videos or guides online, or rely on your own intuition.For the most part, though, when you take the back off, the difficulty comes head on.
From there, remove the drive.In some computers, you might not even need to remove the entire back to gain access to the drives.However, you must remove the battery before attempting to remove any electrical components.
Whether it's SATA or m.2, the hard drive itself is probably held in by an additional mounting mechanism, or at least screws.Unscrew it and take it out very carefully.Hard drives can be easily damaged if not handled properly, and you really don't want to lose your stuff, so be extra careful.
Step 3: Connect it to the new computer
After all this is done, you can now proceed to connect to your drive to access your files.Put the hard drive in the case/adapter you bought (if it's a hard drive, remember to be very careful) and connect it to your computer.
If you've done everything right, the hard drive should boot up smoothly and show up as a USB drive in your computer's Devices and Drives list.It should show up in the same folder and in the same order on your old laptop.If you put your files in the same drive as the old computer's operating system, you'll find a lot of system files and folders.
However, most personal files will be found in your user folder.Navigate to the "Users" folder and click on the folder with your username.You'll find folders for Desktop, Downloads, Documents, Pictures and more.Copy these to a new drive.
What if my hard drive is damaged?
Storage drives can also fail, especially if they are spinning hard drives.And unfortunately, that could soon be bad news for your personal files.If when you connect the drive, it tells you that it needs to be formatted before use, you can tell if your drive is damaged.
However, that doesn't mean everything is lost.Your computer can see the drive and can see that it has files, but cannot read them due to physical damage.Don't format it, even if that's what your Windows installation suggests you do.
In this case, you will need to use a data recovery tool.Disk Drillis a pretty good tool.Install the program on your computer and let it read the drive thoroughly.It will then allow you to export all recoverable files to a new drive.Don't expect to get everything back -- you'll likely get several corrupted files.But if you can get back some important files, it will be worth it.
Recover your files easily
A surefire way to keep your files safe is to back them up to the cloud.This way, in the event of any unfortunate event, you can download them again.However, if the worst does happen, you now have the knowledge to recover your precious files.
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