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Hardware woes

Ding dong, the laptop is finally dead.

ETA: darkravine's advice worked, at least for now. It lives! Many, many thanks, my dear.



It's lived a full year past what I thought it would (cf Writercon tech failure of 2004). I'm not sure just *how* dead it is. I'm fairly certain the hard drive is fine. It's just finally not going to push juice through its mechanisms any more. The power cord is lit a pretty green and cycling properly. I have a backup from a couple months back, but anything even remotely recent is inaccessible to me at the moment, including most of my email. Forgive lack of response -- I'm using the boys' computer right now and it is slow and unwieldy, not to mention frequently occupied by one of them.

Anyway, I unplugged it to move it to a different room and left it undone for a couple of hours. Now it won't light up. Chances are that it will cost me half or more of what it would cost to replace to fix it. So what I want to know is this: what do I need to connect the internal hard drive from this laptop (it's a Dell) to some other piece of hardware so I can grab what I need off of it? Can I just take it out and to a computer repair place and have them do something like archive it off to another computer, or put it on cds or something? Ideally, I'd love to be able to connect it to this computer here (it's running XP) and use it like an external drive...

Thanks for any help you can offer on a Sunday, and for your patience if you're trying to reach me. I don't want to dl email here because that'll just create more complexity than I want to deal with...

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
darkravine
Jun. 5th, 2005 08:34 pm (UTC)
I would remove the battery and unplug the computer for about 15 to 20 minutes and see if it will do anything. It should start up and get to a point before it stops responding. Try to make note of what is on the screen before it stops responding. You may also want to press the ESC key once you power it up that way you will see what is happening instead of the Dell logo.

If the system is truly dead you may be able to bring it to a place like CompuUSA and they should be able to at least give you a diagnostic of what is wrong with it and how much it will be to repair.
chrisjournal
Jun. 5th, 2005 09:08 pm (UTC)
Okay, so good news is had. Pulling the battery out for a good long while actually seems to have helped. I traded out the power cord for hubby's, and between the two, I have liveness.

This computer seems to have more lives than a cat, thank goodness. But I really do need to figure out how to do a total dump of the HD data somewhere else, I think, just to be safe.
darkravine
Jun. 5th, 2005 09:34 pm (UTC)
I think CompUSA or a place like that will do it for you, but it probably won't be cheap. Hubby says somewhere around $35/hour, and depending how much data, it can get pretty high. :(

chrisjournal
Jun. 5th, 2005 09:39 pm (UTC)
Hmm. Yeah. 18GB drive. Cheaper to buy firewire or something and do it myself one weekend.

Tell hubby I said, "Thank you!"
elsaf
Jun. 5th, 2005 11:12 pm (UTC)
You can make a direct connection through an ethernet cable to a desktop or other laptop, and backup as much as possible.

Option two: If you can connect this machine to a CD burner (or if it has a CD burner) Norton Ghost will allow you to make a complete image of the hard drive on CDs.

Option three: Go on eBay and find a USB laptop harddrive enclosure. Then, if you buy a new laptop, you can pull the hard drive out of the nearly dead one and put it in the USB enclosure. Then connect it to the USB port of the new laptop and you'll have full access to it's contents.
chrisjournal
Jun. 5th, 2005 11:27 pm (UTC)
Oh *wonderful* -- options 2 and 3 both seem like very good possibilities to prevent future panic.
angela_o
Jun. 5th, 2005 08:45 pm (UTC)
Sadly, I'm of absolutely no help with this sort of problem. All I can do is wish you luck and think good thoughts for you. But, I promise to do that. :)
chrisjournal
Jun. 5th, 2005 09:09 pm (UTC)
I think it worked -- it's kicking again, though who knows for how long. Yay!!
sweet_ali
Jun. 6th, 2005 04:18 am (UTC)
Wish i could offer some help, and you'd think i could considering all my own laptop probs. I will say that I've had great luck with Best Buy Geek Squad team if you end up needing to bring it somewhere. Much luck!
chrisjournal
Jun. 10th, 2005 12:52 am (UTC)
Ugh. My experiences with Best Buy have been completely and wholly negative, but I suspect a lot depends on your local folks. Right now, I live in a town where the nearest things to a computer/electronics store are the Staples and Wal-Mart. Blockbuster in a real pinch. I could drive it in to Raleigh or Durham, though, if it came to it. At this point (see nine lives comment below), though, I think I'm going to concentrate my efforts on finding a way to move this HD's contents to another drive or cpu. At some point, my luck *is* going to run out.
mintwitch
Jun. 9th, 2005 04:08 am (UTC)
That laptop has more lives than a cat!
chrisjournal
Jun. 10th, 2005 12:50 am (UTC)
No kidding! I'm obviously meant for it ;-)

::tackle hugs::
mintwitch
Jun. 10th, 2005 03:08 am (UTC)
Miss you! ::hug::
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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