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Here's the issue: Water was spilled on my laptop and after trying everything we could to dry it out, it still won't turn on. Called Toshiba support and they are going to look at it, however, we were warned of possible data loss if they repair it. How can I remove the data without doing something to void the warranty (this repair might be covered under their warranty)?

The laptop has an e-SATA port and an HDMI port. I want to know if it's possible to use these to remove our data before I buy a cable to do so. Thanks in advance.

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If the machine will not boot then the laptop ports are useless for accessing the data. You'll need to remove the drive from the laptop to back it up. –  Chris Nava Mar 2 '11 at 18:59

2 Answers 2

Best thing to do would be to remove the HDD and plug it into a HDD Caddy. Then you can get the data from the HDD as if it was a removable drive on another PC.

Another way to do this without purchasing equipment would be to install the HDD in another computer and back up the files that way. The easiest way to do it would be as a second HDD in a PC to get round driver issues. This guide is quite complete for putting a second HDD into another machine. Of course if you don't have a spare SATA cable to put the HDD in the machine you'll run into problems here too.

A Drive Caddy is under £5, to guarantee your data is ok thats a cheap price IMHO.

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But to some very zealous service centers, removing HDD could void the warranty! So be careful there. Also, hardware repair probably won't be a reason for them to poke around the hard drive and they mention data loss just to make sure you can't sue them if they do lose the HDD, but it's better to be safe than sorry, if the data is important. –  AndrejaKo Mar 2 '11 at 17:08
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It commonly is a user serviceable part so it normally doesn't validate the warranty. Check with them if you can. I'd probably try Shinrai's suggestion to ask them if you can send it without the disk if possible too. –  Colin Newell Mar 2 '11 at 23:20

You shouldn't even NEED to send the hard drive for this repair, since it's more than likely a motherboard failure. Ask them if it's okay just to keep it. (The reason they say that sort of thing is if it turns out to be a software problem, their resolution is to wipe the drive and reinstall Windows, but clearly this is not a software problem...)

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When I worked at a local repair shop that did warranty service, we sometimes still had to send laptops to the manufacturer after diagnosing the problem. Before sending the laptops in, we were supposed to remove the hard drive, RAM, and any PC cards or accessories that the customer had installed. –  rob Apr 16 '12 at 9:36

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