Fourtitude.com - Sort of dilemma... hard drive removal
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    1. Member
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      03-15-2019 03:48 PM #1
      A family member has been having issues with a new laptop that they bought about a month ago, it basically gets to the Dell logo at boot up and then sometimes goes all the way to Windows, where it then typically gives a blue screen of some description. I offered to take a look at it for them, with the ultimate goal of fixing it, but failing that getting the few documents they have on there off of the hard drive in case they need to return it. This morning while trying to get into safe mode, I noticed the dreaded hard drive clicking sound, after giving up with Windows I installed Linux Mint onto a USB flash drive, figuring I can then access the Windows drive, copy what I need and then they could return it to the store for replacement.

      Problem is, the hard drive appears to be pretty much dead. BIOS does not see it, the Dell recovery does not see it, so obviously Linux is not seeing it either. I am somewhat hopeful it decides to come back on at least long enough for me to get what I need, but it's not looking good.

      So, here is my dilemma.... The laptop is one of these stupid newer types where in order to access anything, you have to pretty much dismantle half the laptop. For example, there is no battery you can just remove on this thing, you have to take the entire bottom cover off. The hard drive is the same, to get at the hard drive, I need to remove all the screws from the bottom and pry the laptop open. I had been thinking of removing the hard drive, putting it in a USB enclosure and trying to access it that way. My concern though, is if I open this thing up, that when it comes to returning it, the store will say they damaged it opening it and deny replacement. The type of plastic cover never goes back on quite right, so it will be pretty clear someone opened it.

      What would you do? Any suggestions? There is not much on it that I need to copy, but it is stuff I need to get (of course, they don't have a back up.... ) would rather not leave on there either as it is business / finance related. Most of the stuff is on another laptop that was networked with this one, but there are a few things on this one.

      Thanks.

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    3. 03-15-2019 05:35 PM #2
      I'd attempt to open the laptop as gently as possible. There's no rule against opening the laptop up. Just don't damage anything and you'll be fine. You can roll the dice and hope the drive comes back to life long enough to work with a USB enclosure but if it's that important, I'd say it may be worth sending to off to a data recovery lab.

    4. Member XClayX's Avatar
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      03-16-2019 11:07 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by naiku View Post
      A family member has been having issues with a new laptop that they bought about a month ago, it basically gets to the Dell logo at boot up and then sometimes goes all the way to Windows, where it then typically gives a blue screen of some description. I offered to take a look at it for them, with the ultimate goal of fixing it, but failing that getting the few documents they have on there off of the hard drive in case they need to return it. This morning while trying to get into safe mode, I noticed the dreaded hard drive clicking sound, after giving up with Windows I installed Linux Mint onto a USB flash drive, figuring I can then access the Windows drive, copy what I need and then they could return it to the store for replacement.

      Problem is, the hard drive appears to be pretty much dead. BIOS does not see it, the Dell recovery does not see it, so obviously Linux is not seeing it either. I am somewhat hopeful it decides to come back on at least long enough for me to get what I need, but it's not looking good.

      So, here is my dilemma.... The laptop is one of these stupid newer types where in order to access anything, you have to pretty much dismantle half the laptop. For example, there is no battery you can just remove on this thing, you have to take the entire bottom cover off. The hard drive is the same, to get at the hard drive, I need to remove all the screws from the bottom and pry the laptop open. I had been thinking of removing the hard drive, putting it in a USB enclosure and trying to access it that way. My concern though, is if I open this thing up, that when it comes to returning it, the store will say they damaged it opening it and deny replacement. The type of plastic cover never goes back on quite right, so it will be pretty clear someone opened it.

      What would you do? Any suggestions? There is not much on it that I need to copy, but it is stuff I need to get (of course, they don't have a back up.... ) would rather not leave on there either as it is business / finance related. Most of the stuff is on another laptop that was networked with this one, but there are a few things on this one.

      Thanks.
      Fire up Youtube and find a video on the subject. I'm sure there's one using the same or very similar laptop. I've replaced them in laptops like that before its not to bad. You just need to account for every screw and carefully pop it off. Often they have clips press in.

      I'd just use plastic tools if you can. Metal screw drivers are what usually leave marks.

    5. Senior Member A.Wilder's Avatar
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      04-30-2019 06:13 PM #4
      did you open the laptop? generally if the laptop is upgradeable for ram, or hdd, it's pretty straight forward and easy, doesn't void warranty, etc. When i got my new laptop and opened it up to put a 1tb hdd in it my wife came home and about died because she thought i broke it
      signatures are annoying, right?

    6. Member
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      05-15-2019 05:46 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by A.Wilder View Post
      did you open the laptop? generally if the laptop is upgradeable for ram, or hdd, it's pretty straight forward and easy, doesn't void warranty, etc. When i got my new laptop and opened it up to put a 1tb hdd in it my wife came home and about died because she thought i broke it

      Just now seeing this reply, I did not open it in the end. I did not want to risk damaging it by prying the back of it off, I don't think this one was built to be able to upgrade anything in it like some laptops can be. Tried accessing the HDD by using a bootable USB drive running Linux, it did not even see the existing hard drive, BIOS would sometimes see it, Windows would then try to repair it but by the time the utility opened up, the hard drive would quit again.

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