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Question: Burning smell from Mac book, now won’t turn on. Can I get files/photos off it?

Need to access hard drive for photos, files etc.

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Mar 15, 2018 3:17 PM in response to Brentk350 In response to Brentk350

Sure. You'll need another Mac and an external USB/FW enclosure. You would need to remove the hard drive and then install it in the enclosure. At that point it will act just like an external hard drive where you can access the data there.

Which version of MacBook? It might be helpful to provide instructions for how to extract the hard drive. It can only be a SATA drive, so you only need this type of enclosure:

Amazon.com: AmazonBasics 2.5-inches SATA Hard Drive Enclosure - USB 3.0: Computers & Accessories

This is only an example, and there are many other versions on the market.

Mar 15, 2018 3:17 PM

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Mar 15, 2018 5:50 PM in response to Brentk350 In response to Brentk350

If you've few technical skills or have some, you could remove the HDD

from failed MacBook (older ones are easier than even older PowerBook)

by using free iFixit guide for MacBook (circa 2006~2010) or MBook/Pro

or MBk/Air from their site online; identification is helpful...

If just a simple MacBook, look through here and identify the model which

matches the failed unit (or look into similar product models and see how

most likely you'd remove the hard drive.) They are enough alike to do this...

• MacBook Repair - iFixit

only Four of Seven guides listed are for 'earlier' MacBook 13" 2006-2010

other links to all the additional macbook/named product guides:

•MacBook Pro

•MacBook Air


If you want to pay someone else to open a failed MacBook, to try & get

access to the internal hard drive, there are Apple Authorized Services

and those providers can do various tasks for a fee.

There's a 'universal drive adapter' that attaches to bare drives, has its own

power adapter and comes with wires to connect the HDD to USB cable.

An example of this great idea is from this maker & mac-centric vendor:

NewerTech Universal Drive Adapter USB Bare Drive Adapter

So this is a good product to own because it helps you format a new HD

or SSD, and access failed non-bootable hard drives; can be a first-effort

instead of paying recovery services for your files. {Once out of failed Mac

there are free utilities that could be used to try to get other files.} ~ You'd

need a separate external drive ideally, to archive additional saved content.

User uploaded file

Mar 15, 2018 5:50 PM

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Mar 15, 2018 5:52 PM in response to Brentk350 In response to Brentk350

Brentk350 wrote:

Mac book that’s all it says pal, had it several years though. My mrs plugged it in last night and it started smoking.

Thanks for your reply

That's the issue. It's kind of hard to tell what you have with just that information. This is the 13" MacBook page, but of course some people post here when the question is about the latest MacBook. This forum is for the 13" MacBook from 2006-2010, which only used SATA drives. However, there are several MacBook models after that starting from the 2015 models, and they use a proprietary solid-state drive. I'm guessing that's not it.

Maybe look on the bottom of the computer. There should be a "Model No." there in really tiny type. It isn't really that specific, but that will at least narrow down the case. There are three "flavors" of MacBook that apply to this forum - the first polycarbonate (plastic shell) ones where the drive is in a slot that's accessed by removing the battery and unscrewing an L-shaped shield. Then there's the silver-colored aluminum Unibody and the polycarbonate aluminum Unibody. Those require the bottom of the case be taken off (with #00 Phillips head screwdriver), and the drive is pretty easy to remove once that's off. They might require specific screwdrivers depending on the model. The original MacBooks have a drive "sled" that's secured with T-8 Torx head screws. I'm not sure about the later ones although I remember one might have used tri-wing screws. If you can provide the Model No. on the bottom it might be possible to narrow down proper instructions.

If it's

Mar 15, 2018 5:52 PM

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Question: Burning smell from Mac book, now won’t turn on. Can I get files/photos off it?