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Hey guys, first post!

I'm doing IT and tech support at an American study abroad program in Italy and have my first case of a fried computer, a Dell Vostro 220s with what I believe to be a fried graphics controller. The computer (to a certain extent) boots up and I can nominally get into the boot menu, although I can't see anything other than a blue screen with streaky white lines because of the aforementioned graphics controller. My original plan was to pop it open, pirate a compatible video card from another tower lying around, and voilĂ !

But no. The graphics controller is integrated. Since there are said computers lying around, though, my plan is just to pull the data off the hard drive of the wounded soldier, fire one up, and throw the data on there. The problem is that I really have no idea how to go about pulling the data off the HD, which is a SATA-300, and putting it back on. I assume that it would involve pulling out the HD and hooking it up to the other machine, but I'm not entirely sure about the process or the tools needed to carry it out. Any help would be greatly appreciated -- websites and web servers I can do, but I'm still learning about many other things.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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Last Post by ilyons
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You might want to make sure the Dell is dead first. Make sure the CPU is seated properly, change out the RAM and check for any popped caps on the mainboard.
If you do decide to fire up a replacement then remove the HDD and slave it to the other machine, copy of what you want to save and then format the 300 and leave it set to slave your C drive. You should only need your earth strap and a screw driver.

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Good looking out on the double-check... I had grabbed a boxed, new-looking monitor from the closet -- one that had been left there by the previous network admin -- and upon double-checking, the monitor itself was the faulty unit. I learned this after pulling the HD and putting it in another machine and then plugging it into the same monitor, only to witness the same symptoms.

I reseated the HD in the original machine and started up, but the problem now is it seems like it doesn't want to give any output to the monitor through the D-SUB cable. The machine also has HDMI out and DVI out, so I'm currently looking for one of those two but I can't say I'm convinced that they'll be readily available.

I tried to pull the plug and hold down the power button for 15 seconds and thought I saw a BIOS menu screen, but the loose d-sub cord dropped out of the back of the computer and I haven't been able to bring it back up. Any idea?

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I should likely also add that the power light is blue (normal) and there is a single beep as it starts up, which I believe is normal on this machine. The HD access light flickers on twice but then stays silent. I suspected that I would open up the case and find that some plug or card had loosened itself, but I've check what I believe to be all of the connections and have yet to find something loosened. Thanks again for all of your time -- I'm much more of a network admin than a hardware tech, but I'm hoping to learn.

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