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my dell laptop battery barely holds a charge, the power jack has been damaged to the point that it has just stopped working at all to power the laptop, I know that I need a new computer, but my question is this: can I piggyback to another laptop that is AC powered long enough to power my computer on and get my personal info off of it?

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What do you mean by "piggyback to another laptop"? –  cpast Feb 20 '13 at 3:00

2 Answers 2

The three possible ways to power a laptop are:

  1. AC adapter to laptop power socket
  2. A fully charged battery
  3. Docking station

No, it's not feasible to piggyback another laptop because the power requirements of each laptop match their power source. So if you were able to jury rig some hypothetical connection, the result would require more power wattage than the working laptop could safely supply.

Drac's suggestion is the most reliable. Another more time consuming way, is to power a charged battery (of the same battery model) to use while copying files. This way might require multiple charge/use/replace cycles. Using a compatible power adapter would be better, but a common problem that is sometimes reported as a bad power adapter, is really a broken power socket in the laptop. (Where the power adapter plugs into the laptop). This is a point of much physical wear and the solder points on the motherboard can become intermittent. Good luck.

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A better solution would be to remove the hard drive from the laptop and plug in to another computer. You should be able to do this either directly (ie. inside the case) or purchase a USB external drive case (or dock) to plug the drive in. This should allow you to read all the data contained on the drive.

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