The first one is my favorite.
1. A 2.5 to 3.5 inch IDE drive adapter. These run under 5 bucks from geeks.com, newegg.com or other places. Just put it in a desktop and get the files.
2. An USB 2.0 drive enclosure. Not as good as number 1 in my book, but can be a solution.
I have a Compaq 12XL510A manufactured in 2001(OS Windows ME, 128MB RAM, 800 MHz, 40 GB HDD, CD/DVD player) that recently stopped powering up. I had had some problems with it powering down unexpectedly, and a problem restarting it, as even the adapter light went out when the machine powered down itself. I had to unplug the AC adapter, replug it in, wait for the adapter light to come on, and press the power button. After a few times of this I actually had to manipulate the AC adapter plug a bit to get the adapter light to come up, then use the power up button to start the machine. This last time, I tried the same old routine to no avail. If I did get the adapter light to come on, when I hit the power button, all the buttons would flash as usual, I'd get the Compaq screen, then all the lights and the screen went off; in other words, the machine just shut down. If I press really hard on the power plug, and straight back, I can get the adapter light to go on, but then when pressure is released the light goes off and I cannot power the machine up with the power button. It may be a more serious situation, as I cannot power the laptop up via the battery, which appeared to be fully charged, but obviously isn't.
I think there is a loose connection within the adapter port. I assume this is soldered to the mobo so repair might be possible. If not, is there anyway I can get the data from the hard drive? Can the hard drive be removed and the data retrieved somehow? There isn't much as I did a complete save of my files to some zip disks, but I did not have a chance to back up my emails before it died---that was the task of the moment. Any advice is much appreciated