Help save cubase projects - failed laptop

My PC has failed to boot and despite taking it to numerous repair shops, I cannot get a straight answer as to what the issue is or whether it can be fixed. I am particularly worried about my HDD contents, not the laptop, as it contains my Cubase recordings. For one reason or another, the data isn’t backed up but I cannot express how hard and long I have worked on the mixes.

I would like a more professional opinion regarding the data and my software because I feel some of the solutions offered would compromise or risk the HDD.

Here is a list of options given to me, please advise me of the best course of action to avoid the risk of losing my work and programs:

a; Remove the HDD / Copy data to a new drive / Perform hard-reset / Re-install HDD
b; Remove and back up HDD / Repair Laptop components / Re-install HDD
c; Don’t remove HDD / Repair Laptop
d; Remove HDD / Create an external drive using an external HDD case

Additionally, please advise me of the risks involved to the data and programs with each option, as well as any issues that may occur with my audio files, software operation and Cubase Licences. I also use Superior Drummer 2.0 and am seeking similar advice from Toontrack.

Unfortunately you do not tell us exactly what happens if you try to boot your laptop.

My guess would be, that your hard disk itself is defective. In my experience hard disks are more prone to failure than any other component.

I would do the following:

Get an external case for your hard disk and connect it to another computer. If you can access the data, copy everything to another drive. Nothing will happen to your data on the old drive.

If you have done this perform some drive testing (SMART utility and others). If the drive still seems to be in good working order, put it back to your laptop and bring the laptop to a professional repair. Possible, that during the repair your hard drive might be erased, but you have still the backup.

If you can NOT access the data your only chance is to send the drive to a professional data recovery company. This will cost you $$$$

P.S: Learn your lesson: Data you do not back up, can not be important.

I would start with option d;

It’s the easiest and cheapest option if you want to save the content of the hard drive. However it may void the warranty of the laptop. This might be a consideration if you plan to get your laptop fixed.

Regarding the Cubase and Steinberg licenses, you can reactivate your soft licenses if you end up with a new hard drive. If you use the dongle, then this is no problem at all.