Laptop data recovery

If your laptop doesn't start due to some reason and you need to recover data from a laptop hard drive, then you should be aware that laptop data recovery is complicated by the fact that first you need to pull the disk out the laptop and hook it to a PC.

Getting out the laptop hard drive

To get the disk out you need to disassemble the laptop which typically requires just a couple of screws removed, because most laptops are designed to have hard drives replaced easily. For video instructions for your particular laptop, please watch our video below where we show how to get access to the laptop hard drive data.

Connecting the laptop drive to a PC

Once you get the laptop hard drive out, attach it to the desktop PC using an USB box, a SATA-to-USB adapter, or directly via a SATA port (watch the video below).

When you successfully hook the hard drive to the desktop PC, open My Computer and see if there is your laptop drive here. If you see the disk in there and data looks OK, just save data to a safe location.

If there is no disk in My Computer, check Disk Management. To open Disk Management you need to press WinKey+R and type in diskmgmt.msc. If you see your drive there, most likely you deal with a logical problem and you need to recover data from this disk.

Recovering laptop data

To recover laptop data, you should use ReclaiMe File Recovery software.

  1. Download, install, and launch ReclaiMe File Recovery software.
  2. Select the laptop drive as a target for data recovery and click the Start button.
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    Laptop data recovery in ReclaiMe
  3. Wait till the software brings the data.
  4. Check the quality of recovery by previewing the files.
  5. Select the files or folders you want to recover and click Save.

If you don't see the laptop drive in Disk Management, most likely your drive is mechanically damaged. In this case you can try to connect the drive to a desktop computer directly. Please see the video below showing how to do this.

Using a bootable CD

If you do not want to disassemble the laptop, you need a bootable CD or an USB thumb drive. Put either a bootable Windows installation on it, or a bootable Linux (this is called "Live CD"). For Windows, you will need your Windows CD and one of the following tools:

  • BartPE (Windows XP only),
  • nLite (for Windows XP) or vLite (for Windows Vista).

Once you created a bootable CD, you can boot from it and either create a disk image file of the failed laptop disk or perform data recovery using the laptop resources.

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