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Access hard disk without turning on the laptop???

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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August 27, 2011 3:04:53 PM

Hey there!

I have an MSI laptop with both software and hardware problems. The system needed to be reinstalled, but it was impossible because the laptop's cooler fan is too old and not working properly. So, the laptop couldn't stay on for a long time. I needed to replace the cooler fan in order to reinstall the system, but since that replacement is a bit complicated for me right now, I just decided to buy a new laptop.
But, all my music, movies and pdf/word files are still in the old laptop, and I can't transfer them to the new one, because the old one stops responding after 10 minutes, which is not enough for me to transfer all my stuff to the removable hard disk. (The copy/paste process gets terminated too once the laptop gets crazy.)

So, my question is - is there any way to access hard disk of my old laptop without having to turn it on?
I am a total computer dummy, so please make it as simple as possible. :) 
August 27, 2011 3:25:00 PM

No unfortunately the computer has to be powered on for the HD to work and access your data. The HD could be removed and installed in another PC to remove the files if you have another PC or a local computer shop could do this for you.
a b D Laptop
August 27, 2011 3:33:20 PM

Ok, this will require some hardware handling.

You will need to remove your hard disk from your old laptop and put it into an external hard disk enclosure.

Remove power adaptor and battery of old laptop

hold power button for 30 seconds

Work in a hard sturdy surface in a well lit room

ground yourself

find out the location of the hard disk and unscrew the plastic lid covering it

once you see the inside, unscrew the caddy holding the hard disk in place

take the hard disk out

slot the hard disk to the usb hard disk enclosure* and screw the cover on

now you have an external hard disk on usb that you can plug into another computer to extract your files

*your hard disk on the old laptop can be ide or sata, can you provide us with the model number of the laptop so we can advice you on the usb enclosure you need
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August 27, 2011 4:37:07 PM

Pyree is right, but there is a different option instead of going for a hard disk enclosure just get a sata adapter that has a power supply cord. These act the same way as the case by just plugging into a usb. It will save you time too you just plug the 2 cords in plug the usb in and it should autodetect.
a b D Laptop
August 27, 2011 4:43:13 PM

I just think it is a nice addition to storage capacity to have an external hard drive made from scavenged part.

But vigilante212's option also works

Also, you can plug the laptop's HDD internally to a desktop to retrieve the data

But I assume Mili_87 you don't want to make too much changes to hardware because you don't have much experience in swapping computer hardware.
a c 433 D Laptop
August 27, 2011 8:20:39 PM

Generally speaking, electronics cannot work without power.
August 31, 2011 4:49:24 PM

If there is an operating system on the laptop HDD, will there be any interference with the desktop operating system when you attach it and boot up?
!