Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/173067/how-to-recover-files-from-a-dead-computer/
Uh-oh, your computer isn’t booting anymore. Maybe it’s a problem with Windows or maybe the computer’s hardware is fried. If you have important files trapped inside your malfunctioning computer, this guide will help you recover them.
Excellent article! The best advice was in the last paragraph:
*To avoid scares like this one, be sure to always have backup copies of your important files. If a computer’s hard drive dies, you should hopefully be able to shrug it off. Sure, you’ll have to go through the trouble of setting up a computer again, but your critical data files should be in more than one place so they’re preserved when a computer gives up the ghost*.
I followed the "your computer’s hard drive is dying" link (http://www.howtogeek.com/134735/how-to-see-if-your-hard-drive-is-dying/). That page references CrystalDiskInfo so I followed the ' download it for free' link (http://crystalmark.info/software/CrystalDiskInfo/index-e.html) and downloaded the standard edition. When I installed it Malwarebytes Pro blocked the install as a PUP threat. I think it is blocking the 'Open Candy' installer. Have you ran into that? I'm usually not comfortable using something with a name like that. Am I downloading the correct stuff?
Why open up the "good computer" at all. There are cables for $20 or $30 (less on sale) the will allow the hard drive from the dead computer(when removed) to be plugged in via USB to the "good computer" and accessed as an external drive. No accidentally unplugging or shorting out anything in the "good computer". No need for an adapter for a laptop 2 1/2 inch drive for the desktop. just plug in the cables and go.
The only thing you need to be aware of is the connectors (SATA or IDE). The cables I bought had both.
Good topic !!
Such a well written article!
Im not going to lie, just a tiny bit made me laugh
You’ll then need to connect the hard drive to another computer. You can do this by inserting the hard drive into the other computer
Other than that, clear, easy to follow and useful for any geek who hasnt encountered such infuriating problems before!
My Acer laptop will not turn on at all. The button to show it is "on" does light up for less than a second and then is out again. I inquired with a search and found there were many Acer laptop users of the model I have in my storage room that had the same incident. I contacted Acer but it was not their problem. I have alot of personal information on that computer so have not given it to even a tech school or highschool as a challange. Suggestions?
I once recovered a business PC that wouldn't boot, and they didn't have backups of course. The problem was stiction*. The motor didn't have enough oomph for the initial start-up of the drive. I removed the drive, but left it connected. As soon as I applied power, I gave the drive a little rotational spin with my hands helping with the start. THEN they did their back-up and restored everything. This obviously won't help at all if the heads have crashed or the electronics are fried, but if you don't hear the drive spinning it's worth a try.
*Stiction - resistance to initial move. Try moving a full glass slowly across a table. If you move it very slowly it will probably move in fits and starts. Once you get it going at a better speed, it should move smoothly, as evidenced by the liquid in the glass.
If you want to recover your data then give it to a professional or follow the directions in this topic. Based on your description of the problem, the chances are your hard drive is OK and your data is there to be recovered. If you don't feel comfortable doing it yourself then have a pro do it. Remember that you probably do not need a 'clean room' environment to do this because your problem is probably not your hard drive.
If you are only concerned about the data getting into the wrong hands then you can follow the directions in this topic to plug the hard drive into a second computer. From the second computer you can format the original drive. If you are really concerned with security use a utility such as DBAN. Howtogeek has an article about that (http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/15817/wipe-delete-and-securely-destroy-your-hard-drives-data-the-easy-way/).
I did think of giving it to a professional but do have concerns as MS Money and account numbers are listed on it still. I agree the harddrive is OK and others that have this same issue with the power staying on more than a second agreed as well. I don't understand how I can connect it to another computer if it won't stay on and I, as well as many others with same issue, are at a loss. We all thought that the laptop would have to have power and this one model does not. It was a major concern and Acer would not stand behind a faulty power button or whatever and we were all left with no computer. Until then I loved that laptop. Thank you and if I am just "not getting it" I apoloize.
The early Acer Aspire Ones were notorious for getting a black screen of death that rendered the machine totally comatose. No error message, no nothing. There was a fix for the BIOS that came out but that was too late for me. Acer did a poor job of handling the situation.
Sorry I was not more clear. You need to remove the hard drive from the laptop and connect it to another computer. One way to do that is to use a cable that will plug into a USB port of another computer. This is an example of such a cable (http://www.amazon.com/2020-Adapter-Converter-Optical-External/dp/B000YJBL78). That way the old hard drive appears to be a external drive on the new computer.
Removing a hard drive from a laptop varies in degree of difficulty. You might be able to search on youtube for a video of someone removing one from that model of laptop. You could also go to the manufacturer's website for hard drive removal instructions.
Thank you so much. I now "get it". Very grateful for your patience and time.
Another SAFETY precaution I would recommend Before opening up your computer and working with its "insides": If you're working with a laptop, REMOVE THE BATTERY in addition to unplugging the power supply. Then you can safely have fun playing around with computer guts all day long.