Author Topic: How can I get files off a laptop with a broken screen?  (Read 786 times)

shelivesthedream

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How can I get files off a laptop with a broken screen?
« on: February 27, 2017, 08:03:01 AM »
Laptop A is an old laptop with a broken screen. As far as I'm aware, it's just the screen that's broken, but it is totalled.
Laptop B is an old laptop that's fine apart from being old and having a non-functioning battery (only works when plugged in).
Laptop C is a new laptop.

I have a data transfer cable which I've used to transfer stuff from laptop B to laptop C, but it requires you to "accept" file sharing on both computers individually. I want to get files (mostly music which I burned off CDs and then threw the CDs away) from laptop A to C but I can't do it without "accepting" the data transfer cable's program on laptop A. Can I use laptop B to somehow function as a screen for laptop A? What are my other options for file transfer that doesn't require a functioning screen?

J_Stache

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Re: How can I get files off a laptop with a broken screen?
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2017, 08:14:25 AM »
Plug laptop A into a monitor (do you have a desktop floating around) or pull the hard drive from A, place in an external enclosure and plug into B or C (ex. https://www.amazon.com/Tool-free-Inateck-External-Enclosure-FE2004/dp/B00JQTO8TU)

galliver

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Re: How can I get files off a laptop with a broken screen?
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2017, 08:51:59 AM »
Some TVs can function as monitors, too (depends on your  laptop's output options and tv's input options). Or ask a friend to borrow one.

Also, look up how to get it to show up on the external screen; there are a couple options and Google brings them all up if you ask (via forum posts and help articles)

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MrTinystache

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Re: How can I get files off a laptop with a broken screen?
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2017, 10:50:27 AM »
If you can connect the A lapop to a network connection you can use a utility like this one to see the remote screen or even copy files. 

http://www.dameware.com/dameware-mini-remote-control


actionjackson

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Re: How can I get files off a laptop with a broken screen?
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2017, 01:34:55 PM »
If it is a mac with firewire or thunderbolt, you can actually start it in Target Disk Mode, and then transfer files across, provided you have a second mac and a firewire/thunderbolt cable.

See instructions here - https://www.howtogeek.com/214322/how-to-boot-your-mac-in-target-disk-mode-for-easy-file-transfers/

I've used this to retrieve files from my wifes dead MB Pro when the OS crashed and wouldn't boot.

shelivesthedream

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Re: How can I get files off a laptop with a broken screen?
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2017, 02:23:36 PM »
Alas we have no desktop, no TV, and they're all Microsoft computers! I might see if I can borrow a desktop monitor from a friend, though. What kind of cable do I need?

GizmoTX

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Re: How can I get files off a laptop with a broken screen?
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2017, 02:46:55 PM »
The cable depends on the monitor & the computer.

Since the laptop appears to be toast, I'd remove the hard drive, put it into an external case, & plug it into the computer that you want to transfer the files to. I actually did this when my previous laptop's screen went dead (the laptop was almost 8 years old & not worth replacing the screen). The case needs to have the same interface as the hard drive & what the target computer has; USB is the most common. When you have finished & verified the transfer, you can use the now external HD as a backup drive.

HipGnosis

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Re: How can I get files off a laptop with a broken screen?
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2017, 05:07:46 PM »
We could give you more specific info and guidance if you tell us the brand and model of laptop A.

shelivesthedream

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Re: How can I get files off a laptop with a broken screen?
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2017, 10:32:11 AM »
We could give you more specific info and guidance if you tell us the brand and model of laptop A.

Ooh, I didn't realise it would make a difference! (tech dunce sometimes, sorry!)

Laptop A is a Dell Inspiron 1545. It has "Model No. PP41L" on the bottom. Laptop B is the same one, I think. Laptop C is a Dell Inspiron 15 5000. Nothing written on it.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: How can I get files off a laptop with a broken screen?
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2017, 12:35:24 PM »
We could give you more specific info and guidance if you tell us the brand and model of laptop A.

Ooh, I didn't realise it would make a difference! (tech dunce sometimes, sorry!)

Laptop A is a Dell Inspiron 1545. It has "Model No. PP41L" on the bottom. Laptop B is the same one, I think. Laptop C is a Dell Inspiron 15 5000. Nothing written on it.
If A and B are the same model, you can simply swap the drives.

shelivesthedream

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Re: How can I get files off a laptop with a broken screen?
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2017, 02:18:03 AM »
Amazing! Duh!

I very fearfully watched a YouTube video and got out my toolbox. I managed to swap the hard drives! (I'm fine with software and DIY in general but really intimidated by computer hardware. Even changing a battery feels monumental!) However... turns out the charger that fits laptops A and B got broken in storage. Hoping to borrow one from a friend later today, though.

Thanks for the evouragement!