How to Recover Data from SSD on Dead Laptop [3 Ways]
One of the primary reasons individuals opt for SSDs over HDDs is the belief that SSDs are vastly superior. Indeed, SSDs are engineered with more advanced technologies and generally outperform HDDs in many aspects. Because SSDs are marketed as the premium alternative to HDDs, they come with a higher price tag.
While SSDs have demonstrated technical advantages over HDDs, both types of storage devices are subject to failure over time, depending on how they're used. When an SSD ceases to function, it is often declared "dead." If you find yourself dealing with a failed SSD, this article outlines the steps you can take to address the issue.
What Causes an SSD to Die?
There are different causes of SSD failure; these causes range from a dead laptop to a logically damaged SSD and other possible reasons.
Scenario 1: Failing SSD
When an SSD starts showing signs of failure, those signs indicate that the SSD is about to die. Unlike HDDs (Hard Disk Drives), SSDs (Solid-State Drives) do not have moving mechanical parts that store data, so you practically hear any clicking sounds when it starts to fail. But then, when an SSD starts to fail, it exhibits several susceptible signs, which you should know. Understanding that not many PC users know these signs – the signs are listed below.
- Firmware upgrades no longer run successful – they hang or stop before 90 percent
- The laptop struggles to boot the operating system stored in the SSD
- Read and write speeds seem to have dropped drastically; sluggish performance
- The laptop seizes quite often or throws a BSOD when running some advanced actions
When your laptop starts showing these unusual signs, in most cases, the hard drive (which is an SSD) is about to fail. The best advisable action to take from here is to back up every important file you have on the drive. If you notice some files are already missing from the SSD due to these signs you’ve been experiencing, then use DiskInternals Partition Recovery to get back those files and back them up too.
Scenario 2: A Dead Laptop
Just as SSDs can die, laptops can die too. A laptop is considered dead when the motherboard or processing unit has failed completely – along with the RAM. Well, you can replace a dead motherboard with a new matching one, but the outcome isn’t satisfying in most cases. When a laptop is dead, it won’t show anything when you press the power button – it won’t boot up, either.
But then, a dead laptop doesn’t primarily mean the SSD inside is dead, too; a laptop can die while the SSD is still very much intact. As said earlier, what makes a laptop “dead” is a failed motherboard and/or RAM; when any of these mentioned components fails, even if you put in a brand new SSD or HDD, the computer won’t boot.
Signs that a Laptop is Dead:
- The screen doesn’t show anything – not even a BSOD
- The fans are not whinnying
- The laptop boots but won’t show anything
- You can’t boot the laptop at all
Well, there are quite several reasons why laptop motherboards and RAMs die, but the commonest reasons include power surges, water getting into the system, bad battery, weak/old motherboard, and faulty video card or RAM.
However, whatever happens, you can still retrieve files from a dead laptop – you just need to remove the SSD inside and insert it into another working computer. There are procedures to achieve this anyway.
Solution 1: How to Recover Data from a Dead Laptop’s SSD
If you have a dead laptop, the SSD may not be dead, too, so you can still access your files and probably have them saved to another computer that is functioning fine. Recovering data from an SSD removed from a dead laptop isn’t as complicated as you may think.
But if the SSD itself is affected – contributing to why the laptop won’t boot – then you will need to create a bootable media first. With a bootable media, you can now boot the dead laptop, access the files in the SSD, and recover or move them to a new storage.
When a laptop or any computer system won’t boot for whatever reason, one of the foolproof workarounds is using a bootable media. Bootable media or installation media allow you to boot a laptop from another source instead of letting the system boot from the primary disk; this method is mostly used when a computer’s primary disk is faulty, dead, or not booting the system.
You can create a bootable media using Bootable Recovery CD software, which works on virtually all Windows OS computers. You will need a blank CD or flash drive to use in creating a bootable device. Once you launch Bootable Recovery CD, it prompts you with instructions on how to create your bootable media. Once created, use it to boot the dead laptop to access the SSD.
Accessing the Data in a Dead Laptop’s SSD via Bootable disk
- Connect the bootable media to the faulty laptop and press the power button
- Once the laptop shows the first boot screen (where the laptop’s manufacturer logo appears), press the Del, F2, F12, or F8 button repeatedly until you’re taken to the BIOS (the actual button to press depends on your type of laptop)
- In the BIOS menu, go to the BOOT tab and change the booting sequence; select your bootable media and make it the primary device your computer should boot from
- Save the settings and reboot the computer – the system will boot from the bootable media, and you can then access the SSD
- Now that you can access the SSD, you can copy out the files to another external storage or back them up to your cloud storage, whichever seems best for you
Solution 2: How to Recover Data from Dead Laptop SSD
This method works when the laptop is dead (it cannot boot at all), but the SSD is still in perfect condition. In this scenario, you need to have access to another computer system and also a USB cable for connecting an external drive to a PC. It doesn’t matter if the second computer is a MacBook or Windows computer. But it’d be best to use a Windows computer, so nothing would seem complicated to you – from the start to finish of the process.
Recover Data from Dead Laptop SSD by Connecting to Another Computer
- Remove the SSD from the dead component (uncover the hood and loosen the nuts around the SSD housing to release the disk)
- Put the SSD into an external SSD/HDD casing and then connect the USB cable
- Now, connect the other end of the USB cable to the other computer (which is functional)
- Open File Explorer on the functional computer and check if the connected external SSD appears as one of the active drives on the system
- Double-click on the external SSD to open it and access the files inside. You can then choose to copy the files to another storage device
This method is straightforward and easy, especially if you’re also the owner of the second computer.
Solution 3: How to recover data with Partition Recovery by DiskInternals
If you discover that some files are already missing from the SSD disk, you can get back those files using an advanced data recovery app. DiskInternals Partition Recovery is a professional Windows OS program for retrieving lost, corrupt, and deleted files from any Windows computer.
But since your primary PC is dead and not booting, you will have to install Partition Recovery on another computer, then connect the SSD as an external device – as explained in “Solution 2” above. Partition Recovery works for getting back data from any type of storage media.
Step One: Install Partition Recovery
Download and install DiskInternals Partition Recovery on the functional computer. Connect the SSD as an external drive to the same computer and then launch the software.
Step Two: Scan the Drive
Select the drive (SSD) you connected as an external drive and choose a data recovery mode. You can choose between Fast and Full Recovery mode, but full recovery is recommended so that you’d be sure to get back all files you’ve lost from the SSD. However, full recovery mode takes more time to complete.
Step Three: Preview the Recovered Files
Wait for Partition Recovery to deeply scan the SSD and recover your files. When the scan is complete, you will see the recovered files appear with a red asterisk. Interestingly, you can preview these recovered files before saving them back to your preferred storage.
Steps to recover data from SSD dead laptop
- Remove the SSD: If the laptop is completely dead, the first step is to remove the SSD from the laptop. This can be a tricky process, and it may be helpful to search for instructions online or consult with a professional if you are unsure how to do it.
- Obtain an SSD to USB adapter: Once you have the SSD removed from the laptop, you will need to connect it to another computer. You can do this by using an SSD to USB adapter. These adapters can be purchased online or at a computer store.
- Connect the SSD to another computer: Connect the SSD to another computer using the SSD to USB adapter. The SSD should appear as a removable drive in the file explorer.
- Use data recovery software: You can use data recovery software to attempt to recover your files from the SSD. There are many options available, both paid and free. Follow the instructions provided by the software to recover your data.
- Contact a professional data recovery service: If the above steps do not work, or if the data on the SSD is particularly important, you may want to consider contacting a professional data recovery service. These services have specialized equipment and expertise to recover data from damaged or corrupted drives.
Recovering files from a dead laptop or SSD is still possible by following the guides provided in this article. Partition Recovery by DiskInternals is one of the best data recovery applications that run on virtually all computer and laptop systems with Windows OS installed. The software comes with many handy features and a swift interface that is easy to understand and navigate.
Can you recover data from a dead SSD?
It is possible to recover data from a dead SSD, but the success of the recovery depends on the cause of the failure and the extent of damage to the SSD. Data recovery from a dead SSD can be a complex and challenging process that may require specialized tools and expertise.
How do I get files off my laptop that won't turn on?
If your laptop won't turn on, there are several methods you can try to retrieve your files. Here are some possible solutions:
- 1. Remove the hard drive: You can remove the hard drive from your laptop and connect it to another computer using a SATA-to-USB adapter cable or an external hard drive enclosure. This will allow you to access the files on the hard drive and copy them to the other computer.
- 2. Use a data recovery service: If the hard drive has physically failed, or if you're unable to remove the hard drive from your laptop, you can try a data recovery service. These services use specialized equipment and techniques to recover data from damaged or inaccessible hard drives.
- 3. Boot from a live USB: If the problem is software-related, you may be able to boot your laptop from a live USB drive. A live USB contains an operating system that you can run directly from the USB drive without installing it on your laptop's hard drive. This will allow you to access your files and copy them to an external hard drive or USB drive.
- 4. Try a data recovery software: If your laptop is not turning on due to software-related issues, you can try data recovery software. These programs can help recover lost or deleted files from the hard drive. However, this option may not be useful if the hard drive is physically damaged.
Can you retrieve data from a dead laptop?
Yes, it is possible to retrieve data from a dead laptop, but it depends on the cause of the issue and the extent of the damage.