General discussion

How dangerous is it really to turn on Dell after PSU short?

Hi. After hearing popping sounds and seeing a small puff of smoke coming from my Dell Latitude D630, I contacted their technical support.

They want me to send it in for a replacement. I want to transfer my videos and photos first but they say it is too dangerous to turn it on (even though it is still working) to copy the files.

How dangerous can it really be while on battery power? I really want to save my files.Is Dell just being super cautious and lawsuit averse? Can I turn it on to transfer the files or do I really need to take the hard drive to a computer shop that will charge a lot to transfer the files?
Grateful for any advice!!!

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Comments
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(NT) Worth a try on the battery.
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Such is why I keep a couple of external enclosures around

You might consider investing a few bucks in a USB enclosure for 2 1/2" drives. You put the HD in there, connect to another PC and collect your data. They aren't expensive and do come in handy.

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I'm going to agree with Steve on this

I'm going to agree with Steve on this. Especially since removing the hard drive is a simple matter of two screws on the D630. Look for the headphone and microphone jacks, and on the underside will be two screws. Take those out, use the small ridges to get the drive out, and then depending on what kind of enclosure you get, you may need to remove one more screw to get the drive off the little sled. Only tool you should need is a Philips #2 screwdriver.

Alternately, just send the laptop to Dell sans hard drive. They should have no problem putting another temporary drive in there for diagnostic and testing purposes. Then all you need do is slide the drive back in when you get it back.

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thank you!

Just wanted to thank you for taking the time to post the detailed instructions on removing the hard drive. Looks very straightforward. I will do it that way.

I have looked to try and figure out whether it is a 2.5 or 3.5 inch hard drive on the Dell site but come up short. I guess it will be obvious when I get it out. I read that it's a SATA drive. I suppose that's all I need to know (size and SATA) when I go to the store here in Spain to buy the hard drive case.

By the way, Dell has made it clear that they are simply going to replace the whole computer and that I have to return it with the hard drive power supply cord etc. So I need to get my stuff off first.

Thanks again for your advice.
Rachel

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What you could do

What you could do, and this assumes Dell Spain operates similar to Dell USA, is just wait for the replacement system to come, swap the hard drives, then send the broken one back with the "new" hard drive. It's identical hardware, so there shouldn't be any issues with Windows or any other software. It's what I did when a Dell laptop I had was defective. As long as the drive wasn't damaged by events, shouldn't be any problems. You can just swap the drives without even having to remove them from the little sleds/trays they sit on.

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It is a 2.5 inch drive and ...

the reasoning behind any "dangerous" statement was not indicating danger to you but to your data.

If you noted a "small puff of smoke" it is an indication that electrical current is "playing around" within the laptop and the simple act of turning it on could "fry" the hard drive making it VERY expensive to attempt data retrieval.

Removing the drive as already suggested is your best route fotr retaining the data. The laptop itself will definitely require inspection and cleaning and that can be done either by Dell of any shop that works on laptops since the D630 is most likely out of warranty.

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