How to Recover Files From a Dead Laptop? Step-by-Step Guide [2023]

If your laptop dies out, you would think there is no other way to recover all the lost files. You may not know how to recover files from a dead laptop. There are specific ways by which you can recover all the missing data.

Also read: Lenovo vs HP: Laptop comparison 2022

If your device gets blocked due to a software problem, you will not reaccess any of the files. Usually, these files are on the hard drive and are completely safe. All that you need to do is recover the data from your device. It doesn’t matter whether it is a Windows, MAC or Linux laptop. These strategies would work for all.

If you want to know how to access files on Windows or other OS hard drives then keep reading the content. We shall guide you on removing the hard drive from the laptop and recovering the hard drive from the dead laptop.

How to Recover Files From a Dead Laptop?

Method 1: Remove your hard drive and consider it as an external hard disk

#1. Remove the hard disk of the dead laptop

Carefully unplug the device and turn it off. Finally, remove it. Once done, you can turn over the device. There are different compartments, out of which one is a hard drive. Check the model of the laptop to see which of the rooms is a hard drive and remove it.

#2. Disk Enclosure

It can work like an external hard drive once you place it on a hard drive disk enclosure. You can quickly establish a connection using a USB port. Just make sure that the hard disk and the disk enclosure model are of the same type. Get a universal adapter if you want less trouble.

#3. Connect to a Laptop

Get another laptop and transfer files from an old device to a new one. Make sure to have a lot of space before you move your files. If you want to run a verification, get a brand new hard disk and copy all files from the dead laptop drive to the new one. It is an excellent option to use a second laptop on the same platform as the first one.

#4. Check the compatibility

You will not be able to write information from Windows to MAC. The only option you have is to mount the hard drive with the help of Disk Utilities. There is no need to try anything else apart from “mount”, as that may cause the data to be erased.

#5. Connect the Hard drive and the Universal Adapter

A hard drive kit will help insert the dead laptop hard drive directly into the computer to help transfer data via the USB.

#6. Connect to a computer that is working

Firstly, you need a working computer to which you can connect the dead laptop’s hard drive. In some instances, the computer will give you a drive once you connect to it, but in others, it won’t. You can open the drive using “My Computer”. After that, try to reconnect the drive. If all these don’t work then the problem is somewhere else. It is better to get help from a professional in such a case. However, this is going to cost you a little more.

Method 2: Use an Old Hard Drive Within a PC

#1. Get Disk Enclosure

With a disk enclosure, you can place the hard drive of your dead laptop into the desktop configuration. Check the model as the adapter one needs to match the laptop’s hard drive.

#2. Get a compatible computer.

Try to get hold of a desktop with the same configuration as your laptop. You can transfer data quickly from one device to another. Just make sure there is enough space for extra memory—next, copy the files after connecting them. The best option is to use the same platform machines, but if that is not possible, you can always use a Linux device.

#3. Remove the hard disk from the dead laptop.

Unplug your device and turn it off. Turn around the device and see many compartments. One of them has a hard drive. Check the model scheme to see which of those has the hard drive. Once you see it, open the screws and take it out.

#4. Establish a connection

You need to see where to connect the enclosure for the pins on the side or the other side. Remove the adapter on the top to secure the connector plate. You can check the manual as it will help you understand better. Also, keep the hard drive to “slave” mode to let it function properly.

#5. Set the desktop

Turn on the power of your desktop. Go to BIOS and IDEConfig or CMOSettings. Change all the settings relevant to “master” and slave” to auto-detection.

#6. Now Exit and Save the Files

Reboot the system. Go to My computer where the hard drive can be seen. Open it and transfer all the files. If the “My Computer” option doesn’t show up, it means that your computer has a hardware issue and not a software one.

Method 3 – Recovering from Hard Drive of an Apple Mac

apple mac

The method of how to get files from a dead laptop is applicable only for those who use Mac. It is not helpful for those who are using Windows or Linux. You will have to access old files with the help of another computer (this could be any other Mac). To know more about the process, keep reading the steps.


#1. You will need a firewire cable.

Firstly, you will need a firewire cable. You can easily purchase these from a store or simply borrow them from someone else. There are various pin types, such as 8,6 and 4, which are available. You need to choose the one which is compatible with your MacBook or Mac. To find out which one is compatible with your Mac, go to the desktop -> Click on “logo of Apple” -> Click on “About this Mac” -> Click on “System Information”.

#2. Have another Mac to transfer data.

Once you get the Firewire, you need to get another Mac. If you don’t have one, you can get it from someone else. This is the device where you will transfer data. Make sure there is enough space in the device to transfer all of your data. If the space is limited, get an external hard drive.

#3. Establish a connection.

You will have to connect the dead Mac device to the working computer with the help of FireWire. Don’t forget to turn off the working computer before you click both.

#4. Restart the Working Mac

Once you have connected both the devices, you will have to restart the working Mac. While restarting, press the “T” key, and you will see the Firewire button on the screen. With the help of this, you will get access to the dead laptop’s hard drive.

If the T key method does not work, simply go to System preferences and click “Startup Disk”, then choose the “Target Mode”. Restart your computer, and it will start working.

#5. Access Hard Drive

You will have the hard drive on the desktop, and you will have to access it. If the targeted drive is not there on your desktop, it means your Mac is probably dead due to some sort of physical damage. In that case, all these will be of no use. You will have to take your laptop to a professional and get it fixed.

#6. Copy the Files from Working Computer

If you have been able to finish all of the previous steps successfully, you should be able to access the hard drive of the dead MAC now. You need to copy all the files to MAC’s hard drive or any other external hard disk based on where to store all of the data. Be ready for this step to take a while, depending on the data size you are willing to transfer.

Final Words – How to Recover Files From a Dead Laptop?

If you can recover data from a dead laptop successfully using either of these above methods, then you can be well assured that your laptop does not have any physical damages. The only thing that needs to be done is to reinstall the OS, and you will have your laptop as a new one, and it will be running again.


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