New motherboard or new computer and transfer hard drive data

I have a laptop that has had a hard life but there is lot of stuff on the hard drive I dont want to lose; my son disassembled it and says it needs a new motherboard. He is, sadly, unavailable to complete the job. I need to know if I should find someone to install a new motherboard on this machine, or just give up and buy a new one and have the data transferred.
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  1. What brand and model is the laptop? If it is more than like 4 years old, or probably even less, I wouldn't bother paying someone to fix it. I would just get the hard drive and hook it up to an adaptor or onto a computer and move the data.
  2. Just buy a new one and transfer the data.
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