Accessing files of one dead computer through another?


TS Rookie
I have this pretty old laptop from several years ago with files on it that I would like to access. It still runs, but the screen on it is completely broken. So basically you can turn it on and use it but you just can't see anything you're doing.

I haven't used it in years because I don't need to, but I know there are files on it that I would like to access. So my question is, is there any way I can access those files?
I thought maybe using some kind of cable like this one might be one solution, but it seems like with any kind of cable you have to have the right settings and the right drivers installed on both ends. I don't think installing a driver on the laptop with the dead screen would be possible, so I'm kinda stumped on what to do. Any ideas/possible solutions would be greatly appreciated!

Cycloid Torus

Stone age computing - click on the rock below..
[1] VGA port? External monitor?
[2] Remove HDD and attach that to another computer?

Best bet is to locate manual for old laptop and look for alternatives for your specific system.
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TS Redneck
It might be possible to get a monitor to work using a USB adapter. I don't know if they will require installing drivers or not though. If you could get one that is plug-n-play, might help.


TechSpot Addict
Assuming your laptop is even 10 years old, it should have a "SATA" hard drive.

Laptops have what is known as a 2 1/2" form factor, while desktops all have provisions for 3 1/2" drives.

However, the cables connect in the exact same manner, with the exact same cable ends.

Therefore, hooking up the drive from your laptop is a very simple matter, and pretty much all desktops have extra power and SATA ports available. A friend with even basic repair and building experience, can hook the drive up to an existing computer, and back it up to the medium of your choice.

Should you be able to hook up the machine to an external monitor, make sure you have enough in the way of flash drive capacity to hold the contents of the laptop' HDD.

Patience is also a virtue, when writing the contents of a complete HDD to flash media. It's gonna take quite a while.
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