How to Transfer Files From A Broken Laptop?

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The laptop is one of the most essential parts of our daily life, but unfortunately, it often happens with us that we sometimes break our laptops. 

As the laptop is not meant for rough use, dropping or bumping laptops with hard surfaces damages them seriously.

Also, sharing files on a broken laptop becomes impossible as there is no way to connect the broken laptop to another computer to share the important data stored in it. 

Thus, here I will share one PROVEN method to transfer files from a broken laptop to another laptop.

External Hard Disk

The most recommended method to transfer files from a broken laptop is using an external hard disk.

External hard disks are small, compact, and lightweight to be carried easily when you are traveling. 

Also, external hard disks have high transfer and storage capacities to be used as an alternative to broken laptops.

Before going towards the process, I will brief you about two types of external hard disks:

USB Flash Drives: 

These drives have no inbuilt memory, and their main advantage is that they can be carried easily as they are very small and compact. 

Also, if you want to store many files on these external hard disks, you need not empty your wallet as these drives are available at low prices on the internet. 

The only disadvantage is that transferring data from one computer to another through a USB flash drive may slow down computer speed. 

This may also affect other operations if the laptop you are using for this purpose already has a slow processing speed.

External Hard Disk Drive: 

These are preferable to USB flash drives because of their faster data transfer speed, large memory capacity, and stylish design. 

They can be carried easily at work or office also. 

They are available with Mac compatibility if you want to use them on Mac machines for transferring files from a broken laptop to another working laptop. 

That is because external hard disks may not be compatible with all types of laptops as USB flash drives.

Now, coming towards the process, which I am going to share below briefly:

Step 1: 

Ensure that both the computers (broken and working one) have an internet connection so that these two computers can connect through file-sharing websites like Google Drive, Dropbox, etc. 

If you don’t know how to check the internet connection on your laptop, you can check it through the following steps:

Press the Windows+R key to open the “Run” box. Now type cmd in the Run box and press Enter to open Command Prompt window. 

Now type config/all in the Command Prompt Window and press Enter. Alternatively, you can also check internet connection through Control Panel -> Network And Internet -> Network Connections, etc.

Step 2

Ensure that your broken laptop has sufficient free space so that its data may not get corrupted while transferring into another working laptop during transfer.

There are possibilities that due to insufficient free space, some files may get corrupted, which will be replaced by new files of proper format and size after formatting and then transferring into another computer.

Step 3: 

Ensure that both the laptops have working CD drives with bootable disk support. 

Bootable disks can be used to start a computer without loading Windows or all required software and hardware elements into RAM.

They are helpful to access data from broken laptops easily. 

Thus, using bootable disks, you can transfer files from a broken laptop to another laptop even if there is no internet connection on your working laptop as you need not download file-sharing software like Dropbox, etc. 

I will share one method by using which you can create bootable disks for transferring files from the broken laptops after describing their pros and cons below briefly:

  1. CDs/DVDs: 

Using bootable CDs/DVDs is an easy way of transferring files from a broken laptop to another working laptop. CDs and DVDs are widely used and readily available items on the market. 

But, their major drawback is that they can be used for one-time data transfer only after using them once they become useless as per recent technological advancements. 

If you are still not getting it, this video tutorial might help.

Additionally, If you have a working laptop with Windows 7 or 8 or 10 installed, then you can create these disks quickly by following the steps below:

  • Close all running programs on your computer. 
  • Now open My Computer/This PC. 
  • Now press SHIFT+CTRL+N keys simultaneously to open a new folder. 
  • Name this new folder with the disk name you want to burn (e.g., Bootable Disk). 
  • Now open this newly created bootable disk folder and copy all required files to it. Now open this newly created bootable disk folder and press SHIFT+CTRL+V keys simultaneously to paste these copied files into it. 
  • Now, open This PC (My Computer), right-click on the CD/DVD drive with your bootable disk inserted in it, and select Open to open it. 
  • Then, navigate to the bootable disk and copy all required files from the bootable disk by pressing CTRL+A (select all) keys simultaneously. 
  • Now, paste these files into another folder (for example, your Desktop) by pressing CTRL+V (paste) keys simultaneously. 
  • Now, right-click this newly created folder and select the “Rename” option. Rename this folder to iso (e.g., Bootable Disk iso).
  • Installing a bootable disk in your broken laptop for transferring files to another computer. (brief)
  • Insert the bootable disk in the CD/DVD drive of your broken laptop. 
  • Now turn on your computer and set the Boot menu by pressing the ESC key repeatedly as soon as you see the laptop logo. 

If your BIOS supports media booting, it will give the option to boot from CD/DVD drive; otherwise, first set the Boot menu to USB and then boot from CD/DVD drive. 

Now, go to the option of Boot From CD/DVD and press any key on the keyboard, which will take you to the startup page of your newly created bootable disk. 

Now, select the “Launch Startup Repair” option and press Enter key on your keyboard. 

You will be asked to select the Operating System among all operating systems supported by your bootable disk. 

Select the appropriate OS and press Enter key. Now, your bootable disk will open, and you can transfer all required files from a broken laptop to another computer. 

So, copy and paste all files from a bootable disk to another computer by following the abovementioned steps.

Also Read: How to Replace Hard Drive from Your Laptop?


If you want to transfer files from a broken laptop, then create bootable disks and use them as they help transfer all required data even if there is no internet connection on your working laptop. 

But remember that this method has been shown only to transfer files from a broken laptop. 

For ultimately transferring data from a broken laptop. You can also use Linux as it is the easiest operating system to transfer files from a broken laptop.

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