SSD Recovery for Dummies
January 26, 2015 6:51 AM   Subscribe

Can an idiot [me] open my dead laptop, remove the SSD and get the data off of it?

My limping laptop finally died. It is a few years old Samsung with a sealed in battery that quit-it had been working as long as I kept it plugged in.
Then, it just sort of *poof* turned off and won't turn back on.
I'll buy a new laptop, but I'm wondering if there's as easy way to remove the SSD and get the data off of it?
The SSD was swapped in by a friend [who I am no longer in contact with] when the computer arrived.
Can you point me to some step by steps or offer some simple advice. It's not worth the stuff on the hard drive to pay someone else to do this, but if its possible for a computer-dummy to do so, I'd like to give it a try.
posted by atomicstone to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
That should not be hard at all. Get a USB drive enclosure (example) and plug it into the new laptop. It should be another E: or F: drive. You'll need a small philips head screwdriver, an eye glass kit might work. A quick search on youtube will probably get you a how to video.
posted by sammyo at 7:04 AM on January 26, 2015

Google should help you find instructions for removing the hard drive from your particular model. I've done it on several laptops and it's generally pretty easy. I've also copied data from an old drive to a new PC using a very cheap USB adapter cable from eBay, no enclosure required. I bet you could get the necessary hardware for $5 or less.
posted by jon1270 at 7:14 AM on January 26, 2015

Yeah, it shouldn't be too difficult...I've taken apart 3 or so laptops for hard drive replacement with no trouble. Just as a heads up, you will likely need a set of precision screwdrivers with a 0 and/or 1 size phillips head.
posted by puritycontrol at 7:38 AM on January 26, 2015

I would recommend buying this drive dock (or something similar). Use it to connect your SSD to another computer. Your SSD will show up as drive D: (or E: or whatever), and then you can copy all files off of it.
posted by alex1965 at 7:44 AM on January 26, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks! My aforementioned friend purchased me a drive enclosure to use the original, removed hard drive as an external drive. I....never did this-can I use that? Or is there some SSD specific one needed?
posted by atomicstone at 7:51 AM on January 26, 2015

Best answer: The enclosure purchased by your friend should be fine. Unless it's a particularly old HDD, both HDD's and SSD's use the same separate SATA connections for power and data.
posted by quinndexter at 8:07 AM on January 26, 2015

As people have said it's not too hard to figure out how to get your harddrive out but if you want some extra confidence and your laptop is an even remotely common type there is most likely a YouTube video out there somewhere showing exactly how to disassemble it. Just search the make and model and "disassembly" or "teardown". For the most common brands is a good resource for instructions and videos.
posted by Wretch729 at 9:31 AM on January 26, 2015

Can you post the exact make / model of the laptop?
posted by Diskeater at 11:37 AM on January 26, 2015

Response by poster: Hi all, thanks!
Diskeater: it's a Samsung Series 5 NP535U3C-A01US 13.3-Inch Laptop, although as previously mentioned, the hard drive it came with was swapped out for an SSD.
posted by atomicstone at 7:44 AM on January 27, 2015

Best answer: Looks like there's a single screw on the bottom of the laptop that you need to remove. Here's a review with pictures of that panel and here's a video explanation. You can definitely do this without assistance.
posted by Diskeater at 8:05 AM on January 27, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks to all! Now on to the project of what stupid laptop to buy to replace the dead one. Guess what my question next week will probably be about!
posted by atomicstone at 7:46 AM on January 28, 2015

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