I have an old IBM laptop from ca. 2003. It doesn't boot anymore. When I turn it on, it gets to the IBM logo screen and just keeps resetting itself over and over again. But if I press the AccessIBM button, I get some options. One is to run diagnostic tests. I ran it, and it listed all these components, and they all said "OK", except "Option ROM" said "FAIL". Could this explain such behavior?

I don't really need this old machine, but there are some files I had made on the hard drive, which are pretty important to me. Should I try to physically remove the hard drive?


Should I try to physically remove the hard drive?

Physically removing the harddrive and connecting it to an old IDE to USB 'external drive'(tm) bay might be the easiest to get the date off that drive. If you should do that however depends on how easy it is to get to the drive and how comfortable you are with that.

Personally I think this is trivial to do, but I do not wear woolen sweaters when doing that.

As for the option ROM, most computers from that era have several ROMs they use when booting. One of them contains the BIOS, but add in devices (such as a SCSI controller, a network card with PXE capability or a graphics card) also may have their own ROM. IN a desktop it is usually trivial to replace these cards and boot the system with the broken part replaced. For a laptop removal of the HDD might be easier.

Make sure you get a correct device to connect the laptop to though. For 2003-ish devices you probably need a 44 pins IDE connector on on side. (for more modern devices it is SATA or M2, for older laptops it is often a custom format).

Or anything else which can generate static.

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