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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Mar 03, 2012
    Posts
    2
    How to transfer files off a computer that won't power on
    So I bought a 13" mbp last week. My 13" white macbook that I bought in 2007 finally died. I would like to know if there is a way to extract the files from my old macbook and put them on an external drive? My problem is my old macbook won't power on. Is there a way around this?

  2. #2

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Location
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    Posts
    22,096
    Specs:
    Imac 27" Retina 5K, 512GB flash memory, 3.3GHz, 16GB memory, macOS Sierra beta.
    G'day and welcome to the forums.

    Big ask however try removing the hard drive from the failed MB and pop in the external case, connect and boot and see if the drive is readable. File recovery is a very expensive process which is why most of us use backups. You might like to give Data Rescue 3 a go as it has a demo mode.


    http://www.prosofteng.com/products/data_rescue.php
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Jan 08, 2012
    Posts
    152
    You have to remove the drive from the old computer and connect it to the new computer with a SATA to USB adapter.

    If the drive is still good and spins up you will be able to copy the files off it.

    When you say the old system died does it not power on anymore, no lights no sounds/beeps of any kind?
    If that is the case then the drive is probably still OK.

    Something like this.

    Newegg.com - Vantec 2.5"/3.5"/5.25" SATA/IDE to USB 2.0 Adapter - Model CB-ISATAU2

    You could also get an enclosure but most of those don't have there own power supply, they are USB powered and sometime don't work correctly on notebooks.

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Mar 03, 2012
    Posts
    2
    So the SATA to USB adapter will mount the old drive on my new computer so I can copy the files? That sounds pretty simple.

    Yes, It doesn't power on. No sounds or lights.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shootist View Post
    You have to remove the drive from the old computer and connect it to the new computer with a SATA to USB adapter.

    If the drive is still good and spins up you will be able to copy the files off it.

    When you say the old system died does it not power on anymore, no lights no sounds/beeps of any kind?
    If that is the case then the drive is probably still OK.

    Something like this.

    Newegg.com - Vantec 2.5"/3.5"/5.25" SATA/IDE to USB 2.0 Adapter - Model CB-ISATAU2

    You could also get an enclosure but most of those don't have there own power supply, they are USB powered and sometime don't work correctly on notebooks.

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Jan 08, 2012
    Posts
    152
    Yeah other always suggest Enclosures but most of those that are for notebook size hard drives are powered by the USB connection, by the computers USB ports. Which does not always work as some notebook USB port don't put out enough power to run the drive properly.

    With the adapter it has its own power supply.

    Yes it is very simple once you remove the old drive from the old notebook. That is IF that drive is still working.

    You can use the Adapter for many different styles and types of drive also. Even CD/DVD drives.

    Good Luck.

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