Recover Files From a Fried Laptop




Introduction: Recover Files From a Fried Laptop

In this instructable I will show you how to recover files from a hard drive coming from a laptop with a fried motherboard. The hard drive cannot be damaged in any way, only the other parts of the laptop.

This does not require any sort of adapters!

-one fried laptop
-one working laptop
-Ubuntu live boot disc or Flash drive 
-somewhere to put your recovered files


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Step 1: Swap the Hard Drives

This part isn't too hard, most laptops don't hide their hard drives and they are fairly accessible. The case on the hard drive makes it so you can't just easily lip it into another computer.

1. Locate the hard drive in your fried laptop.
2. Remove it.
3. Locate the hard drive in your working laptop.
4. Remove it.
5. Remove the cases from both of the hard drives.
6. Put the case of the good laptop on the fried laptop's hard drive.
7. Put the fried laptop's hard drive in the working laptop.

Step 2: Grab Ubuntu

This part is easy and free. Plus you can see if you like Linux, the free operating system.

1. Go here:
2. Make your Ubuntu CD or Flash drive. 
1. Go here:
2. Buy an Ubuntu live boot CD.

When i got Ubuntu, they were giving away the CD's for free, and came with free stickers!

Step 3: Load Up Ubuntu

If you're familiar with computers, this part is a no-brainer. 

1. Turn on your computer
2. During load up, press f12 to bring you to the boot menu.
3. Choose your boot CD or Flash drive.
4. Choose "Try Ubuntu without any change to your computer"

This will not install Ubuntu on your computer or anything, don't worry. 

Step 4: Get Your Files Back!

Here you go, just grab your files and slap 'em on your external hard drive or flash drive or something. 

1. Click places > ___GB media 
2. Click places > flash drive or external hard drive or whatever
3. Drag files from the fried laptop's hard drive onto your flash drive or whatever. 
4. Shut down your computer, remove the fried laptop's hard drive, remove the boot disc.
5. Replace your regular hard drive.


1 Person Made This Project!


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8 Discussions


3 years ago

Does it work on mac?


Reply 2 years ago

well you can at least try, but i really doubt, better google it


Reply 2 years ago

I know one cool tool. It's called Disk Drill. It's one of the best free tools that can recover deleted files on Mac OS. I always use it when I need to restore music, photos or videos. Always works great.


8 years ago on Introduction

Thank you. I think you just saved me at least $120. Much appreciated.


9 years ago on Introduction

in the picture that has the fried dell is the buntu sticker does the computer reallyrun on ubuntu
wow.... that kinda sucks


9 years ago on Introduction

Very helpful and informative. I will have to use this on my PC if it can.


Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

It should work on PCs. Just switch the hard drives, which is easier with PCs because the cable to the hard drive just pops out.