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Author Topic: Can I get my data from a laptop that will not boot without dismantling it?  (Read 1971 times)


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Can I get my data from a laptop that will not boot without dismantling it?

It has an SSD and due to water on the keyboard, it won't boot at all.

Any ideas?



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It's not difficult to pull the SSD and plug it into another computer using an external drive adapter.  I'm not sure if that's what you mean by dismantling it.  Another option is to boot the computer with a flash drive running free linux or something and then trying to copy the data off it onto a second flash drive.


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Why not dismantle it?

If the water on the keyboard did not reach the SSD, it will actually be preferable to take it out, while the rest is being dried out. While waiting for the drying to finish, use the drive in a (portable) hard disk enclosure to retrieve data from it.

Even worse, the longer it takes for a laptop to dry out, the higher the chance it will never work again. Better to turn it off immediately, then dismantle it as far as you dare and start using (paper) towels to remove all the water as quickly as possible. And blow dry  the rest.

If the dried laptop has put all its parts back in and connected, but it still won't boot....well, then it won't take you much time to take the drive out and repurpose it.

However, I have learned along the way that when people say that "the laptop/computer doesn't boot at all" has different meanings. Please explain what you mean with "Does not boot at all" as many of us here in the forum have made presumably "dead" systems work again with surprisingly little effort and/or costs. Looking at myself: before I declare a system "dead", I like to put my hands on the physical device and make my own assessment.

An example:
Some 6 or 7 years ago a friend of mine was gifted a brand new laptop (Lenovo Yoga 500) by her parents. Some 2 years ago she was completely fed up with it. Brought it to me for an attempt of bringing it back to life. Unfortunately I could only tell her that her HDD practically died. And that the battery didn't hold a charge any more according to Windows 10. Without a charge the screen of the laptop continuously switched between 'power saving mode' and 'connected to grid'-mode. She did not want to spend anything on repairs, so I offered to buy it from her for 100 USD.

She could not say 'Yes' quicker. Replaced the HDD with an SSD I had lying around. Installed Linux on the laptop and it came back to life. The SSD gave the laptop a serious 'kick in the pants'. Even better, the battery started to keep a charge again and last about 2,5 hours on a charge. From 0 to 2.5 hours is a bonus.Because the battery holds a charge, the screen flickering was solved as well. I am using the laptop to full satisfaction for 2 years now and think it will last me a few years more. What I am sure of is that if the laptop hadn't crossed my doorstep, it would have ended up in landfill 2 years ago.

Many words to say that your "dead" assessment is not my "dead" assessment.