back in january, my macbook pro hooked up with half of an unscrewed bottle of diet pepsi and made broken laptop babies. it was terribly romantic for them i am sure, but i felt like such a boob.
after they called time-of-death on my laptop at the genius bar, i was referred to a company that specializes in hard drive recovery. their initial estimate was something like $750. um, ouch. i figured someone could recover my hard drive for much cheaper, and found the geek squad at best buy, who quoted me $150, plus $60 for the hard drive enclosure. much better. i sat on it for a while, not sure i wanted to throw more money at it, until all of my old music and photos started to haunt me in my sleep. so i loaded up my macbook corpse and headed back to the geek squad, prepared to pay in full.
lucky for me, some nice employee let it slip that all i really needed was a cable and a little DIY spirit. he gave me the run down, and $35 later i was ready to take me apart some hard drive, autopsy style. i felt a little like dana scully hovering over an alien with a scalpel.
should you find yourself in a similar situation where your computer hath kicked the bucket and your harddrive might be salvageable but you're not at all sure, here is what you do. (now that i've done it it seems incredibly obvious, but for five whole months i was clueless--so maybe you are too?)
step one: find a teeny tiny screw driver, and unscrew the million teeny tiny screws along the bottom of your laptop.
step two: pull off the backing and take a peek.
your hard drive will be in the bottom left corner, right there.
(i had already pulled mine out when i took this photo and was way too nervous to put it back in for a photo. ;)
step three: plug in your cable.
this is what the hard drive end of your cable looks like. i found an old ipod sleeve and slipped my hard drive inside. from what i've read, you don't want too much exposure on these guys? probably i should buy a real enclosure one of these days.
step four: plug the cable into your usb port.
step four point five: pray something comes up.
with any luck, your new computer will recognize your old hard drive just like it recognizes any external hard drive, including all of the data inside. the happy ending for me was, it worked! all my old photos, all my old music... i could have cried tears of joy. (and maybe i did.)
$750 $220 $35 i ever spent!
good luck and happy hard drive recovering!