What kind of a converter do I need to backup my laptop hard drive?
June 3, 2007 8:36 PM   Subscribe

What kind of a converter do I need to backup my laptop hard drive?

My HP Pavilion dv4000 has officially been rendered inoperable (looks like the VGA adapter is not working). I need to back up all my files before I send it in to be repaired, and I've heard about converters that allow you to connect a notebook hard drive to a desktop computer via USB. However, after looking at the different models of converters, I am really confused - do I need a 2.5-inch or a 3.5-inch bay? How do I make sure that I get a notebook-to-USB converter and not some IE model?

Any help would be appreciated!

(Oh, and may as well throw this in - is there any way to output my laptop to a desktop monitor if the VGA adapter is not working? The laptop itself seems to go through the boot-up process okay - it's just that the screen remains black.)
posted by Pontius Pilate to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Laptop hard drives are 2.5".

Have you tried the VGA output port on your laptop? Is that what you are referring to? Or is it just the screen that is bad?
posted by philomathoholic at 8:49 PM on June 3, 2007

I think this is what you need. Despite the seller, it should work equally well with PCs and with Macs. It requires you to physically remove the drive from your dead laptop, but after that you can plug the drive in to that gizmo and then plug it into any computer with a USB 2 port. It provides power to the drive and interfaces the drive to the computer.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 8:54 PM on June 3, 2007

Response by poster: I have tried to use the VGA output port, but that doesn't seem to do anything. The reason that I think there's a problem with the VGA adapter is because when I turn the computer on, there's a long beep followed by two short beeps - which, assuming HP motherboards use the standard codes, is a problem with the video card.

Hmm. I just pulled out the notebook hard drive and it measures about 3.5 x ~3 inches. Is that not the standard notebook hard drive size?
posted by Pontius Pilate at 8:56 PM on June 3, 2007

Laptop hard drives are mos definitely 2.5 inches. That number is referring to the size of the platter inside that data is written on.
posted by baserunner73 at 9:16 PM on June 3, 2007

Response by poster: Well, that explains it - I thought the measurement referred to the actual physical size of the thing, like with the old floppy disks, etc.

Steven's link seems like it'll do the trick. Thanks!
posted by Pontius Pilate at 10:47 PM on June 3, 2007

ByteCC makes a product similar to the one SCDB described, and it can be bought at Newegg for about 30 bucks.

That said, just pull the hard drive and send the laptop in without it. They need a hard drive to test, but it doesn't have to be yours - I'm sure they have a few laying around.

I've done this hundreds of times with no problems.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 6:08 AM on June 4, 2007

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