One of nice things you have happen when you work on computers is watching the people become happy because you saved what is otherwise a dead hulk of a machine and brought it back to life. If that isn't exactly possible if you can recover their files they get very happy there.
Case in point. Last night I got a 7:30 PM service call. At first the dispatch gave me information that did not make sense and I had to call K and have her talk to the customer to clarify the actual job. Turns out the job was data recovery.
Now to compound the issue a technician at a national computer chain outlet told the customer that her Hard Drive was unreadable. This turned out to be completely inaccurate. What the customer had was a laptop that had taken a beating during it's use. The power connector on the laptop wasn't making proper connection internally and the unit would run a barely charged battery instead of the AC power and would shut down in short time. Nothing was wrong with the customer's hard drive at all.
I took the hard drive from her laptop, placed it in my laptop, booted up with Knoppix and copied the entire "Documents and Settings" folder over to a 160GB extrenal Hard Drive and then moved her Quickbooks data files to the external Hard Drive as well.
Customer was then able to take the external Hard Drive and plug it in to her laptop and read the files. Happy was not the word. Relieved and estatic would be the one. She runs an at home business and could not afford the loss of her data.
So she had a dead hulk Laptop she didn't want and guess who got it? Yep I looked at it when I got home. Can it be repaired? Possibly, depends on the amount of actual internal damage but from the look of things I would say yes. The unit works, you have to get the power plug "just so" but I was able to get the battery charged. The USB plugs that are in the back next to where the power adaptor plugs in are also loose which means there just may be some main board damage. However, I'm good at fixing things like this using the "bubble gum and bail wire" method.
Its a P4 2.66 MHz unit with a Gigabyte of RAM and fully loaded. The only thing it doesn't have is built in wireless but I have a wireless card anyway. The customer kept the Hard Drive (I recommended she did anyway) so I will need to either use the Hard Drive in my old laptop or get a new one. I opting for a new one.
If I get it fixed (good possibility) I will have a more up to date laptop which will make my work much easier.