My daughter’s laptop has stopped working and the computer won’t boot up.  Is there a way to retrieve a MS Word file and some other files off her laptop that she needs?

Laptops have become very mainstream in our world today but the support for their hardware has yet to catch up to our technological needs.  Due to the fact that laptop hard drives are more sensitive along with the other components in the machine, one of the most common problems I’ve come across is users wanting to retrieve their data when their computer will not boot up.  If you are looking to get files off your laptop hard drive when your computer will not boot up, there are some tools that can help you obtain your precious data again!

The method I suggest in pulling off precious data is to remove the hard drive and insert it into an external enclosure (like an external hard drive).

The first step is to remove the laptop hard drive.  In most machines, if you flip over the laptop, there should be screws next to a picture that would indicate the hard drive is underneath.  A quick Google search for your laptop make/model and "users manual" should pull up the schematics and step by step instructions on how to easily remove the hard drive. 

Next, you must purchase the external enclosure to connect the hard drive to another machine.  The adapters are called 2.5" External Enclosures (which can be bought at most large computer part retail chains), or ordered online at another reputable computer parts dealer.  (Example: NewEgg)

You can buy a 2.5" external enclosure (which is what the link above is to) or a dual 2.5" and 3.5" external which would do both laptop and desktop hard drives.  Personally I would go with the 2.5" and 3.5" for its dual purpose.

After you have the parts, simply put the hard drive in the enclosure (the pins and plugs are pretty self explanatory) and connect the device via USB.  Browse through the hard drive and pull off all the files you want!

Good luck!