How to Recover Data From a Broken Laptop

In this Video Tutorial I’ll explain how to recover personal files, Pictures from a broken laptop. Assuming the laptop hard drive is still in working order.

I’ll be retrieving data Using 2 different methods

Video Tutorial:

Recover Data From a Broken Laptop

Installing the drive on an additional Computer in your home and also using an external USB enclosure for laptop hard drives.

1. Remove the hard drive from the broken laptop as you see in the video.

Most laptops use 2.5″ hard drives and It’s either IDE or SATA hard drive.

2. Purchase an external USB enclosure for 2.5″ laptop hard drive, some are universal for IDE and SATA.

3. Install your IDE or SATA hard drive into the enclosure.

4. Connect the external USB enclosure to any working computer (laptop or desktop).

5. It should be detected by the computer automatically, If there is no problem with the hard drive.

You should be able to access the external hard drive and transfer all needed files.

User files are stored in different locations depending on the Operating System installed.

  • In Windows XP you’ll find user files in the following path:

C:\Documents and Settings\User Account

  • In Windows Vista and Windows 7 you’ll find user files in the following path:

C:\Users\User Account

Where C: is the main system drive. The external hard drive will have a different letter but the path to user files will remain the same.

NOTE: If while accessing user files you get “Access is Denied” error message. It happens because your user account on the broken laptop was password protected.

In order to get access to user files on the external hard drive you’ll have to take ownership over the user folder.

Click here to learn how you can take ownership over the Users folder


I started this tech blog back in 2011 as a place to write down processes I took to fix my client systems and network. Now I write some tips and tricks to help others with the tech issues that one might encounter.

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