Guides maybe. But since we can use cables like this (link -> http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=2020 ) that allow us to connect to almost any drive even leaving it inside a desktop, then copying files from that to another drive, I can't guess what steps are needed.
I have (had) a Dell Optiplex GX270 (80 GB hard drive)which ceased to function. I took it opened it and the capacitors on the motherboard were bulging and had crud on them. Another motherboard is en-route, but I was was told that when replacing the motherboard I really need to reinstall all the programs, which can wipe out all the data on the hard drive. And dummy that I am, I never backed up.
So what is the best, economical and easiest to use way for this unsophisticate to get all the data from the hard drive on to some type of storage device? And how would I do it, with detailed instructions, please? I would then transfer the data to the repaired computer, or if I can't fix it, transfer the data to a new one.