How can you get data off a hard drive if the motherboard is burnt out?
Question by WilbertandTeresa Hamilton /

I was told my motherboard was destroyed by lightning. So is there a way to still retrieve data from the hard drive?

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Answers (7)
  • Stevo520

    No enclosure needed, there are cable adapters available so you can plug it into your new PC via USB. However, get an enclosure style for your drive if it works and you want to keep using it as an external HDD.

  • Giuseppe Calamita

    Hello, with windows 7 or if you have to migrate to a operating system equal to the one you was using try simply to uninstall your old hard dis a install it on the new computer. Or simply use the following application to:
    1. take your old hard disk;
    2. insert it in a hard disk USB enclosure;
    3. connect it to your new computer;
    4. use the Paragon backup & recovery to backup your hard disk with the scenario to migrate to a new system (creation od a restore drive etc.)

    You’ll be able to use your old hard disk on the new computer (and hardware) with the applications you installed; that application is able to guide you to the installation of the new drivers on the new hardware with the old windows operating system installation and hard disk!

  • Reý Aetar



    Hello, there is a very strong possibility your harddrive is fried too….In any case, if you want to check if harddrive is working somewhat, you can take the harddrive out of your computer and connected a another computer that has same connections as yours.

    You also have the options of getting something like the following:



    USB to sata/ide converter cable:

  • muotechguy

    Bear in mind the hard drive might be fried too, not just the motherboard. Otherwise, as the other commenter said, you would need to pull out the drive and either transplant it into another PC or easiest to get a correct size hard disk enclosure with USB connection. Laptop drives are 2.5″, desktops 3.5″; make sure you get the corresponding size. Also, need to find one with right connection. There are SATA and IDE – depending on the age of the laptop it may have IDE (older).

  • iStoopKid

    you should be able to plug the hard drive into a usb hdd enclosure and recover the files by plugging it in to another computer through usb. or you could slide the hard drive inside another computer in a spare slot (if you want to take this route, if not use the usb enclosure method). put the hdd in slave mode and you should be able to browse it’s contents on the new computer.

    • Laga Mahesa

      Just to clarify, ‘Slave’ mode applies to IDE drives only. If yours is a SATA drive, just connect the power and SATA cable in the second slot. Your replacement motherboard will have 4-6 such slots – the first will be taken by your new boot drive.