Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Windows 8.1 Broken Screen - Blind Keyboard Navigation Help

  1. #1

    Posts : 3

    Windows 8.1 Broken Screen - Blind Keyboard Navigation Help

    Hi there,

    I have a W8.1 laptop (not mine) with a broken screen i.e. no visibility at all. It's not a touch screen. I'm an OSX user with minimal exposure to W8.1 (last Windows I got friendly with was 7) and I need to get the data off the HDD. I've got 3 options to solve this which I've outlined below but had no success. I would REALLY appreciate some help!

    Option 1: Connect HDMI cable to another screen. However I'm having trouble activating the second screen option blindly. When I turn the laptop on I'm told that the machine auto-logs on but I can't be sure. There shouldn't be a password on the account. Either way I would have thought that when I boot the laptop with the HDMI in I would see the boot process on the HDMI display but I see nothing. I've also tried VGA but with no joy.

    Option 2: Connect the HDD via USB to another machine and copy the data off. I've connected the HDD via USB to another Windows 8.1 machine but can only see it in Disk Management with "GPT Protected". Now I can't seem to find any decent articles explaining how to access a GPT Protected HDD through USB.

    Option 3: TeamViewer is installed on the laptop but disabled from startup. If I can launch TeamViewer I can control the machine remotely and copy the data off.

    Any assistance with any option is appreciated. Thanks guys!

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    If the laptop is newer than 2010-2012 (I suspect it is), then it probably uses UEFI in a quick boot configuration. This will usually bypass initializing to a second monitor for performance reasons. If you remove the hard drive, you may also try booting the laptop while connected over HDMI/VGA as the firmware may default to the UEFI setup as it has no operating system to boot. This may initialize the secondary display.

    If the laptop doesn't utilize HDD firmware encryption or Bitlocker encryption then your safest, quickest, and most effective option is to carefully remove the HDD, and connect it to another system for recovery.

    I wouldn't try to navigate blind as you are unfamiliar with this user's configuration and Windows 8.1 in general.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Posts : 3

    Thanks for your help.

    Quote Originally Posted by hydranix View Post
    If the laptop doesn't utilize HDD firmware encryption or Bitlocker encryption then your safest, quickest, and most effective option is to carefully remove the HDD, and connect it to another system for recovery
    When I connect the disk to another machine via USB I can't seem to access the drive. I can see the drive in disk management but my options there are limited (greyed out). The drive is marked as GPT Protected. I'm clearly missing a very simple step. Also there is no drive encryption.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10

    on the laptop - there is usually a FN key to press to activate the second video output

    FN + F8 (on mine)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    The Fn+Key combination doesn't persist through reboots, if I recall correctly. Maybe my netbooks did, can't remember.

    Your USB device might be the cause of the "GPT protected partition" problem.

    Others have had the same problem exclusively with USB-SATA devices. Some people even report that Linux detects the GUID partition table and its backup as corrupted with certain USB-SATA adapters.

    Try directly connecting then drive to the SATA port of another machine.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6

    Posts : 3

    Thanks all for your contributions!

    The GPS Protected problem with the HDD was caused by the USB adapter I used. Using another adapter I'm able to connect to the drive fine and copy the data across.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Windows 8.1 Broken Screen - Blind Keyboard Navigation Help
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