How to Get Data off Laptop Hard Drive that Won’t Boot

This guide will show you the way to get data off laptop hard drive, including two cases: how to get data off laptop hard drive that won’t boot & how to get data off a hard drive on a broken laptop.


By Lena / Updated on April 3, 2024

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There’s always a possibility your laptop will crash or even won’t turn on. Since all data we created and downloaded are stored on the hard drive, recovering data from the hard drive becomes essential in such cases. Fortunately, it’s possible to get data off laptop hard drive.

If your laptop won’t turn on, you can boot the laptop via a bootable disk and then you can get files off the hard drive. 
If your laptop is physically damaged, you can remove the hard drive and connect it to another computer to access the files. 

When you successfully access the drive, you may find that the data you need is gone. Well, chances are that the files have been deleted because of the system crash. In this case, you can let the data recovery tool help you scan the drive and find all deleted and missing files.

Getting data off laptop hard drive may seem complicated but don't feel worried. We will explain each step in detail. It’s not that difficult as long as you follow the instructions closely.

Part 1. How to get data off laptop hard drive that won’t boot

When the system doesn’t completely crash, you can use a bootable disk to boot the dead laptop. If you have no bootable disk, you can create one yourself.

To create a bootable disk, you need an empty USB flash drive (or a blank CD-R/-RW, DVD-R/-RW disc) and a well-functioning computer.

In addition, you need to download AOMEI Backupper Standard on the well-functioning computer. It’s one free tool that can help you create a bootable disk.

Steps to get data off laptop hard drive that won’t boot

Step 1. create a bootable USB

  • Open AOMEI Backupper Standard > Plug in the USB drive into the well-functioning computer.
  • Chooses Tools from the list on the left > Then select Create Bootable Media.

Create Bootable Media

  • Select Windows PE option > Click Next to continue.
  • Select the USB drive > Click Next to create a bootable USB.

Step 2. Boot laptop from bootable USB

  • Insert the bootable USB stick into your laptop.
  • Enter the BIOS: turn the laptop on and press the Del key or the F2 key at the same time.
  • In BIOS, locate the Boot menu and look for the Boot Sequence or something similar.
  • Set the laptop to boot from the bootable USB. (Make USB stick at the top of the list.)
  • Press F10 key to confirm and your laptop will boot from the bootable USB.


Step 3. Get data off laptop hard drive

Now you can access the data on the hard drive as usual. If you find that some data has disappeared, you can move to Part 3 to get the solution.

Part 2. How to get data off a hard drive on a broken laptop

If your laptop is broken, then you can take out the hard drive and try to get data from the hard drive on another computer. A special adapter is needed to connect the hard drive.

Steps to get data off a hard drive on a broken laptop

Step 1. Take out hard drive from the broken laptop

Use a screwdriver to unlock your laptop case and take out the hard drive.

Take Out Hard Drive

Step 2. Connect hard drive to another computer

You can connect the drive as an external drive to another computer via the adapter: plug the adapter into the laptop’s USB port > plug in the power via the molex adapter unit > turn on the switch on the power cable.

Connect Hard Drive via the Adapter

Step 3. Get files off hard drive

The hard drive will appear as a removable drive in File Explorer. You can open the hard drive and copy the files you need to other places. When you try to open the folder, a pop-up window may appear, in which case, just click Continue.

Get Files off Hard Drive


You can use hard drive cloning software to clone the entire drive.
If necessary, you can let data recovery tool mentioned in the next part help you scan the drive to check for lost data.

Part 3. How to recover data from laptop hard drive

Data loss is very common after a computer crash. If you find some files disappear from hard drive, you can let MyRecover help you scan the drive and the deleted files.

MyRecover is one professional data recovery software for laptop developed by AOMEI, the benchmark of the data recovery industry. With an advanced scan engine and robust data recovery algorithm, the tool can recover 200+ types of data.

Click the download button to get ADR for Windows and follow the steps below to recover deleted data from hard drive.

Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
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  • Launch ADR for Windows > hover the mouse over the drive, and click Scan.

Start Scan

  • The software will scan the drive with Quick Scan and Deep Scan. Quick Scan aims at finding deleted data, while Deep Scan searches for other lost data.


  • The files found by the software will be listed in the Scanned files list. Once you find the files you want to recover, you can select the files and click the Recover button. Or you can wait for the complete scanning result.


Final words

That’s all about how to get data off hard drive. Depending on the situation, there are two methods. You can try to boot the laptop via a bootable disk or take out the hard drive and connect it to another computer to get the data. If you can’t find the needed files on hard drive, you can scan the drive via ADR for Windows.

PS: We never know when a computer will crash but we can take steps to ensure data security beforehand. For example, you can backup data on your laptop via laptop backup software. In this way, you will never worry about data loss.

Lena · Editor
Lena is an editor of FoneTool, she covers backup & restore, and phone data management and so on. She enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, eating, reading and so on. She takes most of time with her family when she is not working.