My work laptop just died...


Almost everything is backed up, but I still want to get to the hard drive. I have no idea what happened, power cable works (outputting 19.5 volts, what it says on the transformer).
Any ideas? Anyone ever use those computer repair shops? I don’t really want to rip it open myself, ideally I want the full contents transferred to another backup drive I’d provide.

Its an HP “Envy” if that makes any difference.



If you don’t want to do it yourself then sure, take it to Best Buy or some computer repair shop. They’ll look at all your porn, though, so be ready for some smirks if your tastes are… unusual.


hahaha, who puts porn on the work laptop?

I’m sorry it died on you, Guap. I wish I had something more useful to add. If the old drive died, then you need one of those services that can recover the data from the drive. If the laptop died because of something else, then it’s a matter of troubleshooting and replacing whatever failed. Once that’s done, then the drive should be just as you left it. Probably you can find a best buy that can do it all (they’ll probably send the drive out to recover files, if they offer that service. I seem to remember it’s pretty specific skill set, but I could be wrong), but first you have to troubleshoot, because you might not need a new drive.

Although, all that said, it probably is the drive. That’s usually what fails.


Yeah, I mean, I was just kidding too ha ha.


There are a lot of Envy models. However if you don’t plan to do it yourself, it doesn’t much matter, bring it to a shop.

If you change your mind, post the exact model. We can see what type of drive it uses, you can buy the appropriate USB adapter on Amazon, pull out the drive and hook it up to another PC.


Not only will they look at it, but they will share the results with the FBI.


This is an ancient one, that I bought more than 10 years ago. I’m sure there are newer better versions of the same thing out there. You plug power into the unit. You plug your hard drive from the failed computer in to the unit. You plug the usb cable into a working computer and if the disk is good, voila.

Any shop should be able to do this for you if you don’t want to do it yourself.


Uhh yeah, but I wasn’t accusing him of having kiddy porn, just nekked pictures of his wife or whatever.


I took entire thing apart, did resistance checks, checked voltages, reseated… and no dice. So I ripped its heart out as a lesson to other laptops and bought a new laptop and a special connector cable that turns an internal HD to an external HD. Got all my files. Problem solved!


That’s the way to do it! Now take it into the IT guys and just dump it on their desk.


dumps laptop on my kitchen table

Fix this!

I wish I had IT support. Startup woes.


press F to pay respects


Guap, what does it do when you power on? Any lights? Any screen display? Any strange beeps or noises you didn’t have before? Does your laptop have activity lights for HDD and power? Are those lighting up at all?


No beeps. I can hear the hard drive running and the power on indicator lights. The poert cord input lights up. Its getting power. Its just fucked.

This is the third Best Buy HP that crapped out on me. They might be cheap but HP is junk.


But the display never shows anything? It could be the display, Guap. Usually there is an indication on the laptop if there is a hard drive issue.

You might be able to plug the laptop into some sort of display if there is a jack for it. If it’s the actual motherboard adapter that is shot, at least you can narrow that down.

Just in case that is the issue, try these steps:

Some others having this issue:

And a company that sells replacement displays and shows you how to repair yours:


Thanks for the link man! If I can get it working again I can make it a very slow rendering machine.

I did try the external monitor via HDMI out, no dice. I got a kick ass ASUS notebook with like 16GB of Ram and an actual GFX card and what what to replace it. The broken laptop is actually a replacement for another HP which won’t process a Windows 10 upgrade so its stuck with 7. That itself was a replacement for a Surface I loved but dropped.


You know this already, Guap, but when you can, be sure and get a cloud storage option for any important data, be it dropbox, onedrive or whatever. And consider a cloud backup if you can go that route, like carbonite.

Your work data is far too important not to last through a failed hard drive.


If you don’t already own one, get an $0.88/year domain from and pay Google $10/month for GSuite for Business. This includes unlimited Google Drive storage. Then you can point Crashplan (or duplicati, or whatever backup software you want) to the unlimited GDrive.


That’s a great idea. I have dual DropBox and Onedrive backups right now but they are limited storage. $10/month is a steal for unlimited backup.


Dell has two nice things about buying laptops from them:

  1. Their customization is good, although they will definitely allow you to customize a machine that will not maximize the potential of its component parts.
  2. Their service plans are solid… Like, guaranteed to have a service dude come to your site within 24 hours and fix a broken machine on site.

I wouldn’t generally buy one for personal use, but these aspects make them a solid choice for our business.