Did your laptop suddenly die? You can’t turn it on and use it.

What about your hard drive data? Whether you have an HDD or SSD, you can retrieve files from your dead laptop. We’ve prepared a guide on how to recover files from a dead computer with and without disassembling your SSD or HDD.

Table of Content
    1. Is It Possible to Retrieve Data From a Dead Laptop/Desktop at Home?
    1. Prerequisite: Remove the Hard Drive/SSD From a Computer
    2. Way 1. Transfer and Recover Files Using an Adaptor Kit
    3. Way 2. Turn Your Hard Drive/SSD Into an External Device

Is My Laptop Dead? X Signs of a Dead PC

How to know if your laptop is dead? When your laptop dies, it can be due to its processing unit or motherboard failing. It can lead to your computer not booting up and no response when you click the Power button. The signs that your laptop is dead are very straightforward.

If your laptop is showing any of the following signs, it’s probably broken:

  • Your laptop boots but doesn’t show anything;
  • Your laptop can’t boot;
  • The fans aren’t whinnying;
  • The screen doesn’t show anything;
  • Strange noises and even smells;
  • Your plugged-in laptop isn’t charging.

Is It Possible to Retrieve Data From a Dead Laptop/Desktop at Home?

If you’re experiencing the above symptoms, your laptop is probably dead. However, even if it is dead, that doesn’t mean your HDD or SSD is. Your hard disk or SSD could be fine, but your dead laptop stops you from accessing your data. Fortunately, you can recover data from a dead laptop or desktop at home if your hard disk drive or SSD isn’t physically damaged too.

Recover Files From a Dead Laptop by Creating a Bootable USB (Without Disassembling the SSD/Hard Drive)

dead laptop hdd ssd data recovery

Removing a hard disk or SSD from a laptop isn’t easy, but your laptop can’t turn on. How can you recover your hard disk data on a crashed laptop? You can recover your files from a dead laptop without disassembling the hard drive by creating a bootable USB.

The easiest way to do that is by using Wondershare Recoverit. Wondershare Recoverit offers the best and easiest recovery option for recovering data from crashed computers, including computer being unbootable, stuck in blue screen of death (BSOD), or black screen of death.

Moreover, another perk of Wondershare Recoverit is that it’s the easiest way to recover data from your computer without removing your HDD or SSD. What you need to recover data from your crashed laptop is:

  • Your dead laptop/computer;
  • A working computer;
  • A blank USB drive.

To recover files from a dead laptop without removing your HDD/SSD, view the video tutorial or follow the steps below.

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Free Download
  1. You need to create a bootable USB drive. To do that, connect the blank USB drive to the working computer on which you’ve installed Wondershare Recoverit.
  2. In Wondershare Recoverit, go to System Crashed Computer and click Start.
    select system crashed computer in recoverit
  3. Then, select your USB drive and click Start.
    select drive to create bootable usb
  4. It will ask you to format your USB drive first. Click Format to do so.
    format usb drive
  5. After formatting the USB drive, it will start creating a bootable drive.
    create bootable usb for your dead laptop
  6. You’ve now created a bootable USB. You can follow the on-screen instructions to recover data from your dead laptop. First, connect the bootable USB to your dead computer.
    connect bootable usb to dead laptop
  7. Then you need to adjust BIOS to boot from your USB drive. To do that, restart your dead laptop and press the BIOS entry key.
  8. Customize the BIOS settings by setting your USB as a primary source for booting.
  9. When you’ve set that, your dead laptop will become bootable again and you can get files from it. Choose either Hard Disk Copy or Data Recovery.
    hard disk copy or data recovery
  10. If you choose Hard Disk Copy, follow these steps:
    • Choose the copy directory.
    • Connect a safe hard disk to your crashed computer.
    • Select that hard drive and click Copy.
    • The message “Data copy completed” pops up when the copying is completed.
  11. If you choose Data Recovery, follow these steps:
    • Choose your hard drive to start the scanning process.
    • Connect a safe hard disk to your dead computer.
    • When scanning is done, choose a safe location for the recovered data. Then, click Recover to restore data to the selected hard drive.
    • When it’s done, the message “Congratulations! Files recovery completed!
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Free Download

Recover Files From a Dead Laptop by Connecting to Another Computer (Disassemble the SSD/Hard Drive)

Another way to get files from your dead laptop is to connect it to another computer. Even though your laptop or desktop is dead, you can still retrieve files by connecting your hard disk or SSD to a different, working computer.

Prerequisite: Remove the Hard Drive/SSD from a Computer

Connecting your hard drive or SSD to a working computer requires you to disassemble the HDD/SSD and remove it from your crashed laptop or computer. It’s a delicate process as HDD and SSD drives are very sensitive. Therefore, removing a hard drive or SSD can damage it, so you need to be careful. Removing hard drives from a laptop and a desktop differs, so we’ve prepared the guides for both.

Case 1. Remove a Hard Drive or SSD From a Laptop

To remove a hard drive or SSD from your broken laptop, follow these steps:

  1. Get a set of jeweler’s screwdrivers compatible with tiny screws on any laptop.
    jeweler’s screwdrivers
  2. Take out your laptop’s battery.
    remove laptop battery
  3. Disconnect all the cables connected to your laptop.
  4. Then, hold the Power button for around 15 seconds to drain all the remaining electricity from your laptop.
  5. Step 5: Find the main access panel and remove the screws.
    remove main access panel screws
  6. Then, remove the drive mount that keeps your hard drive/SSD in place.
    remove drive mount
  7. The next step should be executed very carefully. Slowly and gently pull the drive out of the connectors. Make sure you don’t damage it.
    pull hard drive out
  8. Now you can remove it from the bracket, and your HDD/SSD is successfully removed.
    remove hdd from bracket

Case 2. Remove a Hard Drive or SSD from a Desktop

To remove a hard drive or SSD from your crashed desktop computer, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off your dead desktop computer and pull out all the cables.
    remove cables from computer
  2. Step 2: Remove the computer case.
    remove computer case
  3. Find the hard drive and be careful not to damage other components.
    locate computer hard disk
  4. Carefully disconnect the cable that connects your hard disk to the motherboard first. Then unscrew the screws and gently take your HDD/SSD out.
    remove computer hard disk

Way 1. Transfer and Recover Files Using an Adaptor Kit

Once you’ve successfully removed the hard drive, you can start retrieving data from the hard drive of dead laptop. An adaptor kit is one way to transfer and recover files successfully. It lets you connect your hard disk drive or SSD to the motherboard. To transfer your files from a dead laptop or desktop using an adaptor kit, follow these steps:

  1. Buy an adaptor kit that matches your laptop’s specifications.
    suitable adaptor kit
  2. Get the hard drive you’ve removed from your dead laptop.
  3. Turn off and open a working computer and attach the adaptor kit to the motherboard of the working laptop and your hard disk.
    attach dead computer hard disk with adaptor kit
  4. Now that you’ve connected them, you need to set the configurations. Set your hard drive to Slave mode.
  5. Then, turn your laptop on and go to BIOS.
  6. Open IDEConfig or CMOSSettings and change everything to Auto-detection.
    set configurations for hard disk
  7. Then you need to reboot your laptop. Your hard disk will automatically detect the new HDD/SSD, and you’ll be able to access your data.

Way 2. Turn Your Hard Drive/SSD Into an External Device

Another way to recover files from a dead computer after removing your hard disk or SSD is to turn it into an external one. After you’ve removed your hard disk or SSD from your dead laptop or desktop, follow these steps to turn it into an external device:

  1. Find a compatible enclosure for your hard disk drive or SSD.
    suitable enclosure for hdd
  2. Mount your HDD/SSD into the enclosure. Enclosures usually have screws or fasteners to hold the hard disk.
    mount hard drive into enclosure
  3. Now you need to plug in the connections. Modern hard drives usually use SATA or mSATA, so there’s a single 7-pin connector.
    plug in connectors
  4. When you’ve connected it correctly, seal the enclosure tightly.
    seal hard disk enclosure
  5. Use a USB cable to connect your external hard disk or SSD to a working PC.
    connect dead computer hard disk with usb
  6. Your computer will recognize your external hard drive, and you’ll be able to access your dead laptop hard drive and retrieve files from it.

Part 4. If All the Above Methods Fail – Turn to Laptop Hard Disk Data Recovery Service

If you’ve tried everything, and the above-mentioned methods don’t work, it’s not the end of it. You can always contact a hard disk data recovery service. It’s essential to find a reliable hard drive recovery service, so look for a local specialist and send your dead laptop’s hard disk so they can help you recover your data.

Conclusion

If your laptop is dead, your hard drive or SSD still contains all your data, so you can still recover it. Your dead laptop’s hard disk data recovery can include disassembling the hard disk or SSD. If so, you can recover your hard disk data with an adaptor kit or by transferring your data to an external hard disk.

To recover your data without removing the hard disk or SSD, you can use Wondershare Recoverit and a bootable USB. If all those methods fail, find and contact a reliable laptop hard disk data recovery service nearby.

FAQs About Data Recovery From Dead Laptop

  • Can I retrieve data from a dead laptop?
    Yes, you can recover data from a dead laptop if your hard disk or SSD isn’t dead too. You can do it by removing the hard drive. using it as an external device or transfer the data to a different hard disk via an adapter kit. Moreover, you can use Wondershare Recoverit and not remove the hard drive from your dead laptop.
  • How do I get data off my laptop that won't turn on?
    You can still recover its data if your laptop doesn’t turn on, creating a bootable USB with Wondershare Recoverit without removing the hard drive or SSD, or remove it and connect it to a working laptop. That way, you’ll access your data from the dead laptop that won’t turn on.
  • Can you recover data from a dead SSD?
    Recovering data from a dead SSD can be challenging, but it is not impossible. In some cases, the SSD may not be completely dead, but rather experiencing a firmware issue or logical error. In these cases, a data recovery software like Wondershare Recoverit can recover the data. However, if the SSD has experienced severe physical damage or the NAND flash memory chips are damaged, data recovery may not be possible.
  • What to do when a laptop SSD dies?
    You can’t recover data from a completely dead SSD. Their construction is more complex and advanced compared to HDDs. Therefore, we suggest you carefully remove your dead SSD to avoid further damage and find a reliable data recovery service that can provide you with professional help.
Sue Wayne
Sue Wayne Jan 18, 24
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