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  1. Member
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    Dec 2004
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    Atlanta, GA
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    I have a dead laptop (no power at all, no way to get it powered up) and need to recover the data from the hard drive. Is there an easy way to connect the HDD from the laptop to my desktop? I know that I will need an adapter, but are there any other things to watch out for? I could always buy an enclosure, but I'm trying to do this with as little payout as possible.
    Another option that I have, is to drop it in another laptop. But, it is running XP. Will putting the drive in another machine and booting it set off the activation alarms? (I only need one successful boot. I can get everything off in an hour.)
    And, no, the laptop isn't mine. I have backups of my data, I'm just trying to help someone.

    Matt
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  2. Member hech54's Avatar
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    You'll need to power the hard drive as well. Most kits come with a power
    adapter/supply.
    You can find them on Ebay for about $20

    ***My picture is gone?***


    Nope...it's back...
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  3. Member
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    IMO your best option is to pickup an inexpensive 2.5" external enclosure. I purchased one from CompUSA for $19 (gets it power from the USB connection) and it has turned out to be quite useful and I was able to recover all the data from a dead laptop drive.

    Do you have any idea as to why the laptop is dead? Can you get it to power up if you remove the battery? Could the battery be dead and the charging unit defective?
    bits
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  4. Member classfour's Avatar
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    hech54 has the answer.

    I've bought these at newegg, geeks.com, buy.com

    be certain to locate the one with the 2.5 in connector.
    ;/ l ,[____], Its a Jeep thing,
    l---L---o||||||o- you wouldn't understand.
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  5. Member
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    Thanks, I'll check those out. I'll also look at our local MicroCenter, they may have something like that, so I can get this done this week. (My nephew's I-tunes are on here. I'd forgotten how impatient 14 year olds can be.)
    Bits, what happens is, if you plug the cable in, the lights flicker for a second then stop. Once or twice, the power stayed on long enough to get into the boot for about 4 seconds before dying. It is not the cable. I used a different cable and had the same problem. (I actually have a similar machine which uses the same power supply. Too bad neither has a working battery.) I've tried this with the battery in place and with the battery removed. Just curious, why would this make a difference?

    Matt
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  6. it doesn't
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  7. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    I wouldn't try powering it up anymore in the laptop. Doing partial boots or having it shut down during a boot or while it's loading the OS can mess up the hard drive fairly quickly. I had a similar problem with a laptop I was working on. The power connector was loose due to the use of the wrong external power supply plug. The computer would almost finish the boot, then the power would shut off. The owner had tried to get it running by continually rebooting till he had completely corrupted the hard drive.

    Apparently it was trying to write to the hard drive when the power would shut off.

    I use one of those adapters also. They work very well. They also make them for SATA hard drives, which a lot of newer laptops are using. And that's something you might want to check. Go to the laptop manufacturers site and see whether it has a SATA or a PATA hard drive.

    A bonus with those adapters. You can make any loose hard drive or DVD drive an external drive in just a few seconds. It works well for laptops to transfer data out when the DVD/CD drive in the computer has died.
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  8. Member
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    Originally Posted by PhoneMatt
    Thanks, I'll check those out. I'll also look at our local MicroCenter, they may have something like that, so I can get this done this week. (My nephew's I-tunes are on here. I'd forgotten how impatient 14 year olds can be.)
    Bits, what happens is, if you plug the cable in, the lights flicker for a second then stop. Once or twice, the power stayed on long enough to get into the boot for about 4 seconds before dying. It is not the cable. I used a different cable and had the same problem. (I actually have a similar machine which uses the same power supply. Too bad neither has a working battery.) I've tried this with the battery in place and with the battery removed. Just curious, why would this make a difference?

    Matt
    I suggested it just for trouble shooting purposes.

    I had a similar problem with one of my daughters laptops and it turned out to be a cold solder joint where the charging cord plugs into the laptop, I can not remember the name of that plug at the moment.

    One advantage to the small external enclosure is that if you ever find yourself with a spare laptop drive it makes a nice compact USB drive with lots of capacity.
    bits
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  9. Member
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    Thanks for all the answers. It looks like an enclosure is going to be the most useful, in the long run. I'll hit Fry's tomorrow morning and see what they have.
    Redwuz- I know about that problem, found out the hard way when I lost power while booting up and all of my files had names like !!#^||. But I don't think that this machine ever gets past reading the BIOS. (It really doesn't stay on that long.)
    Thanks again for all the advice
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  10. Greetings Supreme2k's Avatar
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    If you're near a microcenter, they have the enclosures for about 10 bucks and up.

    Here's one for $16
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0255262

    $13
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0238516
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