Data Recovery and New Laptop Setup for a Local Radio Station

Data Recovery and New Laptop Setup for a Local Radio Station

It is never a great moment when a laptop suddenly stops working, particularly when you are running a local service such as a radio station. My next fix involved recovering documents and files stuck on a laptop that would no longer switch on, and then setup a brand-new laptop with all the data transferred over to it.

So, let us get started.

First and foremost, I checked over the damaged laptop to see if it cold be repaired. After taking it apart I could immediately see the dreaded ‘white foam’ in key areas of the motherboard. The owner had mentioned some water had dripped onto the laptop, but this seems to suggest it had been a long-term issue. A water damaged motherboard is beyond repair, so the next port of call was to recover any data that could be salvaged.

Water damage can affect many components inside a laptop, so I took the hard drive out carefully and inspected it for any more liquid damage. There was nothing visible on my visual inspection, so I was optimistic I could get the data from it.

I plugged it into my hard drive caddy, connected it to my laptop, and hoped my laptop would detect it.

For a few short moments nothing happened. The hard drive took 30 seconds to start working, and there was a tense wait before, finally, my laptop recognised the hard drive, and I could see all the folders. For a moment I thought it would not work. Eventually I was able to claim ownership of the hard drive, access the user profile and recover everything saved on the desktop, documents, and pictures. There was nothing else in any other folder, and the total amount of recovered data came to around 60GB.

Once retrieved I copied everything onto an external hard drive ready to be put back on a new laptop. The act of copying it meant I had 3 copies of the data in case anything happened – one on the hard drive, one on my laptop and one on the external hard drive.

I was giving a budget of £400 to source a new laptop. I managed to find a great deal for a decent spec laptop on Amazon. 8GB RAM, 250GB SSD, 15-inch screen, and a 2.4GHz Intel Processor. With some discount codes and cashback offers I was able to get it down to £360, within my allocated budget.

A few days later the laptop arrived. The performance of the laptop was just as I had hoped, with the SSD proven to be a fantastic compliment to the RAM and Processor. There was no slow down and spending a couple of hours installing updates and removing unnecessary software made the laptop run even better. The hardest part was installing the Windows 10 20H2 Feature Update, which was not difficult, and took less then an hour to download, install and restart.

Once the laptop was up to date, I then simply copied the recovered data from the old laptop back into the same locations it was saved on the previous laptop, and it was ready to go. All the customer will need to do is activate their Microsoft 365 Office License and install a browser and antivirus if they want to use something other than Microsoft Edge and Windows Defender.

I must say I am impressed with Microsoft Edge since they switch to the Chromium infrastructure. It is a decent alternative to Google Chrome, but I still personally prefer Chrome.

I finished off the repair by matching the laptop up with a laptop bag I had available in case the owner did not have one.

And there we have it. Data recovered and a brand-new laptop. Happy days!

Price Breakdown

A new Laptop with 8GB RAM, 250GB SSD and a 2.4GHz Intel Processor @ £360

Data Recovery from old laptop @ £40

Broken Laptop was disassembled so that part such as screen, RAM stick, keyboard etc can be used to fix other devices. The only parts not salvaged where the motherboard (water damaged), the DVD Drive (missing) and the laptop shell (scratched in various locations and snapped).


Software Developer, Website Creator and Digital IT specialist over at The Legend of Skippy. I make stuff, that's essentially my job. And when I'm not making stuff, I'm fixing all manner of other stuff. It's a fun life to lead, and I'm here to share it all with you.