How To Get Your Data Off A Broken Mac

Many people don’t realize that just because your computer doesn’t turn on, doesn’t mean that your data is lost. Often, it’s possible to recover important files, music, and photos from an old computer.

Here are some examples of issues that don’t necessarily require data recovery to get your data off the computer:

  • It has liquid damage
  • Broken or black screen
  • Keyboard or mouse doesn’t work
  • Nothing happens when you press the power button
  • Graphics chip malfunctions
  • The battery is dead or won’t charge
  • Your friend accidentally sat on it and broke it in half
  • The computer is so slow you haven’t used it in years
  • You forgot your login password
  • You don’t have the right cables to plug your external drive in anymore
  • Error messages or popups appear when you try to turn it on

If you’ve got an old Mac that’s just sitting around collecting dust, you don’t have to pay for expensive repairs to fix the computer to get your data back. The only part of the computer that stores your information is the hard drive. If the hard drive is okay you still have options for data retrieval.

There are two ways to get files, documents, and photos off a broken Mac. The easy way, and the hard way.

First, the hard way:

You need to carefully remove the hard drive from your iMac or MacBook. This process is different for each model, and will likely require a few different electronics screwdrivers. Make sure the computer is unplugged, turned off, and the battery is disconnected before you attempt this! The hard drive may have a bracket attached to it. You want to remove the bracket. Do not unscrew or attempt to open the hard drive itself–this will permanently damage it beyond recovery.

Insert the hard drive into an enclosure or sled and plug the USB cord into a working Mac computer.
If the hard drive is functioning, you should be able to see it in Finder. If the hard drive isn’t showing up, you will have to perform data recovery procedures.

Drag the desired files off the old hard drive and onto your desktop, or use data cloning software to make an exact copy of the drive.

And now the easy way:

Bring your old or broken Mac to EliteMacTechs, and let us retrieve the data for you! We can transfer your data to an external hard drive or to another computer, usually within 1 day.