So many people, myself included have encountered the horror of having a computer break down on us. It is always heartbreaking to know all of the photos, documents, software, and hardware is now inaccessible. However, there is hope that some of your investment can be recovered. In the first picture, I show you the hard drive worst case scenario, total failure. This leaves the rest of the computer usable, but will need a replacement hard drive. The other situation is other hardware failure, leaving all of your important files trapped on a derelict machine. This guide will help you solve both situations by replacing or transplanting your hard drive to another computer for operation or recovery.
Step 1: Supplies
All you will need for this guide is a small Phillips screwdriver and a replacement hard drive. The replacement needs to have an operating system installed or you need to have access to one. Be careful about putting a hard drive from a new computer into an old one due to computer requirement problems. For the two situations I described earlier, you will either need a new hard drive or a new computer (at least you have your files). Either way, I will just be showing you how to remove the old hard drive and replace it with another.
Step 2: Remove the Cover
Now there are a larger number of types of laptops than I could count. With some exceptions, many laptops have a similar configuration so this guide should at the very least be able to turn you in the correct direction. If you are still unsure, google/ computer website/ tech support should be able to help you if you get stuck. Also, obligatory warning, be sure that the computer is off, power removed, battery not in ( I don't want anyone getting shocked). Anyway, remove the back cover on the bottom of the laptop. Some computers have multiple access points for different components and if that is the case, open the hard drive sized one (seem obvious I know). They typically are not vented so that should give you some extra indication. Once the hard drive is exposed, move on to the next step.
Step 3: Removing the Hard Drive
For all of the laptop hard drives that I have seen mounted, they have a small screw securing them to the frame of the computer. This is because laptops unlike desktops get moved around and that movement can be exceptionally hard on connections if not properly secured. Remove the screw and you should be able to just slide the hard drive assembly out.
Step 4: Remove the Housing
To help protect, secure and mount the hard drive, typically there is a housing that the hard drive sits in to keep it in place. These are all different sizes based on the manufacturer and model. So before you install the replacement hard drive, you will need to first replace the old hard drive with the new one in the housing. Usually there are only a couple of screws and universally fit laptop hard drives.
Step 5: Reinstall, Boot, and Finished!
To finish up, slide the replacement drive back into the slots and secure it with the screw. Put the back plate back on, reconnect power from the battery or ac and power the laptop back on. If everything works as it should, you either have a working computer to use or can access your files to back them up or transfer them. Hope this helped and thanks for reading!