My laptop—a Toshiba Satellite C55-B5101—does not turn on anymore. This laptop contains many critical information.

I tried a new power supply as that was the primary suspect, but still there is no indication of power.

I have no clear idea how to connect internal hard drive to my desktop.

How do I know what size of enclosure I need? based on Google there are 2.5 inch and 3.5 inch sizes.

Also is this an easy thing to do? I never removed an internal hard drive for a laptop.


4 Answers 4


I carry something similar to this: http://www.amazon.com/Generic-SATA-5-25-Cable-Adapter/dp/B000YJBL78

It is a USB to IDE/SATA adapter, so if I need to remove a drive to see if I can get files off of it due to the computer not booting, I can connect it to my laptop and grab the files that way...assuming that the hard drive isn't completely dead.

  • Is this an enclosure? Does it fit all internal hard drives?
    – S Nash
    Oct 14, 2015 at 14:08
  • 2
    @SNash: It's not an enclosure; it's an adapter that fits on the drive's connector. It has multiple connectors on it to fit pretty much any type of drive. The other end of the cable plugs into a USB port. They're very inexpensive and very handy.
    – fixer1234
    Oct 14, 2015 at 14:34
  • 1
    It should be noted that these adapters will only work with 3.5" SATA HDD's (Likely the type of drive @SNash is using) Full sized HDD's will need an external power supply.
    – Honk
    Oct 14, 2015 at 17:24

RMarkwald's suggestion is a great way to go, especially if you only need a short-term hookup. You won't need to worry about getting the proper size enclosure. If you plan on leaving it attached long-term, an enclosure will provide more protection for it.

Your drive is SATA and 2.5". Your laptop specs say it shipped with a 500GB drive, so it probably isn't a "slim" one (you can measure it; the thickness is usually stated in millimeters). Some enclosures will hold only a slim drive, so check the enclosure specs for the maximum thickness drive that will fit.

There's heavy competition for dirt cheap enclosures, and the quality varies. Some have a high percentage that are DOA. Amazon is a good source and they have a big selection. More important, they have reviews. Pick an enclosure with a low percentage of bad reviews.

As far as difficulty, I'm not familiar with your specific model, but on most laptops, the hard drive sits in an accessible compartment with a cover. The cover either slides off or is held closed with a screw. The drive just sits inside, plugged into a connector (it generally isn't fastened in). Once you remove the drive, you either plug the USB adapter onto its connector or install it in an enclosure. The enclosures are just a case with a connector at one end that you plug the drive into. So installation is basically following instructions to open the case, plug in the drive, and close the case (the case is usually held together with a few screws).


If you have never done this before, and the data is genuinely critical. Hire a professional to do it!

There is nothing we can do on SU that will safely ensure you do this properly. Turn on the enclosure before plugging in the drive can destroy it, as can improper disassembly of your laptop or drive.



This link provides plenty of information. Getting the hard drive out is generally pretty easy. Good luck!

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