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Thread: Laptop Disaster

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    Laptop Disaster

    On top of my well documented desktop problems, my laptop died today. It turns on but the screen is blank, and there is no activity from the hard disk. I'm looking around for data recovery companies now. Has anyone else had similar things happen to them? I really hope the information is retrievable. If my desktop had been completed and was stable, I was going to back everything up on to it

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    YUKIKAZE arthurleung's Avatar
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    Re: Laptop Disaster

    Blank screen is usually not hard drive related, most likely something wrong with the motherboard, GPU or LCD panel. Don't rush to the recovery company, get a 2.5" USB caddy and you should find your data intact. That is unless you turned on disk encryption, which even the recovery company can't help you.
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    Nikomus (21-12-2009)

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    Re: Laptop Disaster

    I assumed broken screen at first, but the hard disk activity light doesn't flash... It's always a good idea to ask here first, people always know there stuff!

    Laptops are a bit of an unknown quantity to me I'm afraid. I don't like it when all the bits are vacuum sealed in and you can't see them. It's an Acer Aspire One if that's of any use.

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    YUKIKAZE arthurleung's Avatar
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    Re: Laptop Disaster

    Quote Originally Posted by Nikomus View Post
    I assumed broken screen at first, but the hard disk activity light doesn't flash... It's always a good idea to ask here first, people always know there stuff!

    Laptops are a bit of an unknown quantity to me I'm afraid. I don't like it when all the bits are vacuum sealed in and you can't see them. It's an Acer Aspire One if that's of any use.
    If the light doesn't flash then its not even got to the boot sequence. Normally when a disk died, the light stays on, indicating that the system is trying to read from disk.

    The bits aren't vacuum sealed, and you can remove the harddrive from the AAO very easily. There is not much difference between a laptop and desktop apart from being harder to put together / taken apart!
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    Nikomus (21-12-2009)

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    Re: Laptop Disaster

    Thanks! I know they're not actually vacuum sealed, just squished in tight was all I meant. I've looked at a few tutorials and it doesn't look that easy to remove the HDD, considering I've never opened a laptop before. If it didn't have things on I needed, I might be a bit more adventurous, but I think this will be a time to call in the professionals!

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    Re: Laptop Disaster

    Had one of these die on me the other day for no apparent reason after the battery went flat. Google for Aspire One force BIOS flash and see what that brings up...

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    Re: Laptop Disaster

    Can you get nothing from it at all? no lights at all when you try to turn it on?
    If so my first guess is that the power regulator on the motherboard has died or the power brick died.
    What that means is that there's been no power going into the laptop so it's just been running off the battery with is now flat.

    The bad news is that the only way to fix it is to replace the mother board.

    If it's the power brick that's died then you're in a slightly better position, you'll probably need a multimeter to test the powerbrick to see if it's producing any power.
    The fix here is buy a new power brick, so is a far simpler fix.

    Recovering the data from the hard drive (as long as it's not encrypted) is easy, just plug it into a desktop pc, if it's pata you'll need an adaptor, if it's sata then you can just plug it in as you would with any sata hard drive.

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    Re: Laptop Disaster

    Hey guys, thanks for all your input.

    The laptop turns on, power light on and I can hear the fan inside, but nothing on the screen. No flash from the HDD, and no BIOS. It will however charge, so there is no battery issue. I'm taking in town to get fixed today, rather than sending it away for data recovery. I'll let you know how it goes!

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    Re: Laptop Disaster

    Did you try the BIOS flash routine mentioned above? You need to download the BIOS, put it on a USB drive and press a key combination to activate the process.

    Have a look here: http://macles.blogspot.com/2008/08/a...-recovery.html - it's a very common problem with the Aspire One and it's happened to me a couple of times.

    It's quite impressive - it looks like the computer's completely died, then it suddenly bursts into life like magic after the BIOS flash.

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Laptop Disaster

    Data recovery from a laptop hard drive is no problem. I've managed to kill 2 laptops (one chipset issues, one broken motherboard) recently and I've been able to just pull the HDD and stick it in another machine. If you can't get it fixed, it shouldn't be a problem to get the HDD out and save all of your data off it.

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    Re: Laptop Disaster

    In this case I strongly suspect that it's the notorious Aspire One BIOS problem which can be fixed easily as described above. In general though, an excellent piece of kit for rescuing data from hard disks is this:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/136214

    I use one of these when I want to burn DVDs from my netbook.

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    Re: Laptop Disaster

    Quote Originally Posted by benjus View Post
    ... an excellent piece of kit for rescuing data from hard disks is this: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/136214
    Couldn't agree more. One of the first things I did in my current job was make my boss buy me one of these, and I regularly use it for both data recovery and data backup (onto drives ganked from decommissioned machines). Does exactly what it says on the tin

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    But Why's It So Cold?. jon bda's Avatar
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    Re: Laptop Disaster

    Quote Originally Posted by benjus View Post
    In general though, an excellent piece of kit for rescuing data from hard disks is this:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/136214

    I use one of these when I want to burn DVDs from my netbook.
    Bought one a short while ago as i was getting pee'd off with dismantling my pc just to plug hard drives into to get peoples docs off, excellent bit of kit.

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