What do you do with a dead laptop?

Our 4-year-old (that’s equiv­a­lent to 65 human years old.) Sony Vaio PCG-FR720 lap­top decided to take a much needed rest that day. Even Com­puWay couldn’t help it. Appar­ently, it’s moth­er­board needed replace­ment but unfor­tu­nately, it costs bomb to do so. So what the hell, I picked it up from Com­puWay after lec­tures and got daddy’s green light to dis­as­sem­ble it. XD

THAT’s what you do with a dead lap­top. XD


Ulti­mately, I’ll have to take out it’s hard disk to retrieve the pre­cious data inside. So, armed with the curi­ousity to see what’s under a Vaio’s hood and of course, these tools, I began my laptop-surgery initiative.

First, I had to look for the suit­able point to plant my surgery knife screw­driver. Com­mon sense told me the lap­top had to be flipped over.

It didn’t take much guess­ing where the hard disk should be. It should be placed in its own com­part­ment, allow­ing easy access when the need of replac­ing arises.

Hav­ing a rough idea how big (or small, depends on how you read this sen­tence) a lap­top drive is, I detached a panel that was slightly big­ger a hard disk drive. and voila! there it was, sit­ting there, with some sort of heat-reflecting-pad (I’m only guess­ing here, no idea what that black pad is.) that almost got me think­ing twice if I really got the hard disk. But yes, it was the hard disk all right, under that pad.

Excited with the progress, I quickly unscrewed three of four screws attach­ing the drive to the com­part­ment. Until I reached the last one — which was com­pletely burred. Crap.

spot the bot­tom left burred screw. com­pli­men­tary of com­puway technicians.

Those Com­puWay tech­ni­cians must have burred it up and told my mom that the data could not be retrieved. Lazy bums. Says so much about how trust­wor­thy are IT tech­ni­cians these days. When it’s a has­sle to fix, they just write it off and tell you need a new part, pay extra bla bla..

Luck­ily I did not really believe the ‘data could not be retrieved’ part.

But, that still does not change the fact that the last screw couldn’t be removed! I spent a good few hours into the night try­ing to remove that bloody screw.

When the clock showed 1.30am, I got fed-up and pryed the whole drive out with pli­ers. With a snap, the screw gave way along with it’s socket and I finally got the drive out. XD Gee, should’ve done that earlier.

the 40 Gig Fujitsu 2.5″ drive.

hard disk com­part­ment — emptied.

Vic­to­ri­ous, I installed the drive into an exter­nal hard drive adapter and plugged it via USB into my desk­top. As half-expected, Win­dows couldn’t detect it.

I then decided to try dad’s iBook G4 instead. The Mac took to no less than two sec­onds before the drive icons popped up on the desk­top, ready to be accessed. A Mac just works, doesn’t it? =P

Then it’s retrieval galore!

So much for believ­ing in the words of tech­ni­cians, huh?. All our data were safely retrieved — every sin­gle bloody byte. Next time your favourite PC repair shop says your com­puter is dead, don’t give up hope!

Welp, I guess it’s a new lap­top com­ing our way! XD

by shenghan in General, Happenings on 28th July, 2007 at 5pm, Saturday, July 28th, 2007 05:48 pm GMT +8


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  1. wong said

    So you mean now that the hard­drive become an exter­nal HD?!

  2. ember said

    well, yeah. You could put it that way. =)

  3. […] Port­fo­lio « What do you do with a dead laptop? […]

  4. […] I decided in des­per­a­tion to try out that wacky idea, but first, on our late Sony Vaio’s dead HDD (well it died awhile after I res­cued all data off it in that post). Since its dead and worthless, […]

  5. Tanzeel said

    hey dude my own PCG-FR720 just died out. Could you please send me the proces­sor of your PCG-FR720? I want to test if my processor’s burnt out but I can’t do it with­out another. It’s hard to get an AXMD2200FJQ4C proces­sor nowa­days (that’s the 1.35V vari­ant of AMD Athlon XP-M Mobile CPU 2200+ which is used on this model).

    • CK said

      Hi. I was won­der­ing if any of you have the this lap­top mod­els’ res­cue disk ? con­tact me please. thanks

  6. irule said

    mine is still tickin but i need new usb ports,battery and cover !!!!!!!!!