Originally Posted by MaD
That is by far the quickest and easiest way to do it. There's usually only one or two small screws holding a laptop drive in so no offense but I don't see what's difficult about it?
Get a cheap IDE (or SATA) > USB adapter, pop it out, plug it into adapter, plug into PC USB port, copy data.
he's a machinist. once he touches one or two small screws he probably can't stop until all the screws are out.
alternately, you can run knoppix off a cd. it's a linux that's meant to boot from portable drives. so boot that and see if you can use it to browse your broken drive for any data.