Thanks, you must be right. I took my chances, removed the hard drive from the laptop and purchased for 9 bucks a 2.5" IDE hard drive enclosure w/ USB cable and was able to access all my docs that way - except for my Outlook Express e-mail. No idea how to find that and that's too bad as I really went through the trouble because of my e-mail. Most of my other docs were already backed up. Any idea how to find Microsoft Outlook/ Outlook Express mail that has been downloaded from the earthlink server?