Tutorial: Recovering Hard Drive from Broken Computer Is Easy

Recovering hard drive from broken computer sounds like a very complicated thing. Don't worry, in this tutorial, we will introduce several effective ways to recover hard drive and data according to different damage situations.


By Kelsey / Updated on April 3, 2024

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Can you recover a hard drive from a broken laptop?

“My laptop is broken. Can I recover the contents of the hard drive using another PC? If so, how to recover hard drive data from broken laptop?”

There are many similar problems like this mentioned above. Indeed, accidental computer damage is very scary, because a large number of important files for daily work or study are stored in the computer. In order to keep the daily work schedule running smoothly, recovering hard drive from broken computer is an urgent matter. 

Can you recover a hard drive from a broken laptop when faced with the same situation? Fortunately, the answer is yes. However, you need to take different methods to restore it according to the different damaged conditions of your hard drive. 

Broken Drive

This detailed tutorial shows several effective ways to perform hard drive recovery. At the same time, in order to avoid data loss during the recovery process, we also provide a reliable Windows data recovery tool.

How to recover hard drive from broken laptop?

When recovering hard drive from broken laptop, the first thing you need to do is to check if your hard drive is accessible. You can remove the hard drive from the broken computer and insert it into a functioning computer to see if your hard drive is working properly. Keep on reading and try out the following methods depending on your actual situation.

Case 1: The PC is only physically broken, and the hard drive is still accessible.

Method 1: Use a hard drive enclosure

A hard drive enclosure is a device that converts an internal hard drive into an external hard drive. Before using this method, make sure that the enclosure model matches your hard drive and that the new computer connected has enough space to accommodate the transferred data. Let's see how to recover hard drive from dead computer.

Step 1. First you can use a screwdriver to unlock the damaged laptop case, find the hard drive that needs to be removed, unplug its cable, and then take it out.

Remove Drive

Step 2. Once the hard drive is placed in the disk enclosure, it can be used as an external hard drive.

Drive Enclosure

Step 3. Connect the disk enclosure to a functioning computer through the USB port.

Connect Drive

Step 4. The computer will then automatically open the drive and you can transfer the files to the working computer.

Check Files

Method 2: Get a hard drive adapter kit

Also, using a hard drive adapter kit and method 1 has the same effect, please purchase an adapter kit that matches the specifications of your broken laptop.

Step 1. With the adapter kit ready, open the broken laptop's access panel to remove the hard drive.

Step 2. Find a working computer to connect the old hard drive and then the adapter kit to connect it to the board.

Connect Drive Adapter

Step 3. Turn on the PC and enter the BIOS. Open IDEConfig or CMOSSettings and change the settings to Auto-detection.


Step 4. Then wait for the recovery to complete and restart the computer to transfer the data you want.

Case 2: Your hard drive is damaged, the disk data can not be accessed.

If your hard drive is unfortunately damaged and the disk data is inaccessible, the two methods above will not be able to recover data from dead hard drive. In this case, you need to use data recovery tools to restore the data in the hard drive and then ask a professional team for help to repair your hard drive. Follow these steps below to learn how to recover hard drive data from broken laptop.

Method 3:Recover hard drive data using Windows File Recovery

Microsoft provides Windows File Recovery, a free command tool that can help users recover dead hard drive and retrieve needed files. Windows File Recovery has two basic modes for data recovery: Regular and Extensive. Regular mode is the standard mode, applying to a healthy (not corrupted) NTFS drive. Extensive mode scans your drive thoroughly, applying to all file systems.

There are two advanced modes under the Extensive mode: Signature and Segment.

◆ Signature mode recovers lost files under all File Systems using file headers.

◆ Segment mode recovers lost files under NTFS using file record segment.

Note: To make better use of this application, you can learn about how to use Windows File Recovery.

Step 1. Connect the damaged hard drive to a working computer using a hard drive connector.

step 2. Open this PC, right-click the damaged hard drive and select Properties.

Check System

Step 3. Choose a recovery mode and the switch you need to locate the file type/path/name.

File system Scenarios mode
NTFS Deleted recently Regular
NTFS Deleted for a while Extensive
NTFS Formatted disk Extensive
NTFS corrupted disk Extensive
FAT and exFAT Any Extensive

Step 4. Download Windows File Recovery from Microsoft Store.


Step 5. Enter the command: winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/mode] [/switches] 

For example: winfr E: D: /segment /n *.docx

Enter command

Step 6. When the recovery is complete, it will create a folder called Recovery on the target hard drive.

▶ Another alternative :  Windows File Recovery GUI

Indeed, the above method is too cumbersome for beginners, you need to learn various complex parameters and avoid human error. So, here is a free Windows file recovery alternative WinfrGUI, which can help you recover your files in just a few clicks.

Step 1. Launch WinfrGUI and choose a location to save your recovered files.

Save Data

Step 2. Choose a scanning method you want. Please note that Quick Scan only supports the NTFS file system. If you need to filter the scanning, click Advanced Settings.

Choose Scan

Step 3. Click Start Recovery to get all data back to your computer.

Start Recovery

Method 4. Recover hard drive data via professional Windows data recovery tool

In fact, for ordinary users, the steps of method 3 are a little complicated and difficult to understand. What’s more, following these instructions above does not guarantee that you can completely restore your hard disk data. At this time, you can use a useful and simple Windows data recovery tool MyRecover.

It is developed by a mature team with more than ten years of experience in data security, which is equipped with efficient and advanced technologies and algorithms. With the help of this tool, as long as your hard drive is still recognized by the computer, you can scan and detect all the data in the damaged hard drive. 

The distinguished benefits of MyRecover 
  • It can recover data from the crashed hard drive with just 3 simple steps.
  • It can scan hard disk at a relatively fast speed and has a high success rate.
  • It is compatible with all data loss situations. Such as restoring data from formatted/damaged disks, crashed systems, etc.
  • It supports NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, ReFS in Windows 11/10/8/7 and Windows Server.
Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Launch MyRecover on new PC. Hover the mouse over the drive saved deleted files before, and click Scan.

Start Scan

Step 2. With the help of Quick Scan and Deep Scan, the scanning process will start automatically. You can search the wanted files or other data by extension, Type, Size, Date modified, etc.

Scan Drive

Step 3. Select the files you want to recover from the hard drive. Click Recover xx files.

Restore Data


This tutorial demonstrates that the chances of recovering hard drive from broken computer are great. And depending on the condition of the hard drive, we have listed several ways that you can easily recover hard drive data from broken laptop.

If you want an easy-to-use method with a high success rate for recovering your data, MyRecover is the best choice. Of course, in order to avoid various accidents, it is recommended that use AOMEI Backupper Software to regularly back up your important files.

Kelsey · Editor
Kelsey is an English editor of AOMEI Technology. She is passionate about helping people find effective ways to deal with all problems in computer. She has great insights into data backup and recovery, disk partition and clone, and other data protection measures. She likes learn computer skills to improve herself and enjoy quality time with family and friends.