There are a few ways to recover data from a Dell laptop. If the hard drive on the laptop can still be seen, there is an easy method to do to in order to boot up the laptop and access the data. For this data recovery purpose, we can use Linux bootable disks and Windows based bootable disks such as Hiren's Boot CD or UBCD4WIN.
If the hard dive cannot be seen by the laptop, or if the laptop does not start, then the data recovery process will be more complicated. In this case, the hard drive must be taken out and connected to a computer with a recovery software, such as File Scavenger.
Modern Dell laptops have their hard drives located on the corner of the laptop. It is fixed to the caddy, and the caddy is inserted into the laptop with one or two screws.
The images below show specifically how to remove the hard disk from a Dell laptop Inspiron 1525.
The next step is to use an external USB to SATA adapter. These adapters are very inexpensive at the moment and can be snatched up for only a few dollars. Start by connecting it as shown in the image below. At times, these adapters might show a bad character, and the hard drive will not be recognized by the computer. In this case, simply disconnect and re-connect.
If the hard drive can be recognized, then there should not be a problem when copying data. Problems occur when Windows cannot copy over a file that cannot be read from the disk. When doing this transfer, use a Total Commander.
In addition, if the laptop cannot recognize the hard drive, and the hard drive does not make a clicking noise, then there is a good chance that the data will be able to be retrieved with a software such as File Scavenger. This is a very easy process to do.
Sometimes, the connection of the external power supply to the hard drive brings the laptop to life.
Conversely, if the hard drive is recognized by the laptop, then a Linux bootable CD will definitely do the job. Both CD's are available for purchase from the Ubuntu website or from eBay.
Me holding a laptop hard drive
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