Collect data from notebook with messed up screen

I have a Samsung notebook running Windows XP.  We used it to record some data in the field.  As it was being transported back to the office to get the data off of the notebook, the screen became competely unreadable.  I believe the notebook is still functioning other than the display.

Obvious solutions would be to find some kind of USB display so we can see what we're doing.  I could also plug in a USB keyboard and - using another notebook - figure out which keystrokes to use to copy the data to a thumb drive.

A third option (and this is where i need your help) is to write some kind of script that I could have on a thumb drive that would run automatically when the machine starts up.  I am familiar with C++, but that's about the extent of my programming prowess.

So the question(s) would be:
1. Is it possible to get the thing to run a script from a thumb drive on startup?  Obviously at this point we have no way of accessing the registry or startup menu.
2. Would there be any other simple solution to this problem?  I don't have a USB display device or keyboard in the office.  If we have to, we can go out and buy one, but I'm exploring other options first.

Thanks
theclayAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Scott1201Commented:
I've got to ask the obvious questions - is there a VGA port on the laptop?  Can you boot from a CD-ROM or DVD and read the screen?  Does the screen work if you boot into Safe Mode by pressing F8 as soon as the BIOS finishes loading?  

You can potentially boot using a thumb drive or a DVD/CD image of a Linux OS, if it's a display driver problem and not a hardware problem you may see the screen that way.  
0
BoguezCommented:
Try connecting the laptop to an external display
0
Juan OcasioApplication DeveloperCommented:
The best solution?  Buy a new laptop.  You can them remove the HD from the broken laptop and remove the data using a USB HD enclosure.

Of cours, the other option would be to get the laptop fixed.  The VGA screen would work short term, but it may be a pain to have to continuously attach it every time someone comes back from the field to retrieve data. If you have a docking station for the laptop, this would alleviate this issue, however
0
Ultimate Tool Kit for Technology Solution Provider

Broken down into practical pointers and step-by-step instructions, the IT Service Excellence Tool Kit delivers expert advice for technology solution providers. Get your free copy now.

Myztikal_Commented:
On older windows machines (XP and older) it's possible to automatically run a program by creating a file called 'autorun.inf' on a USB however newer Windows operating systems prevent programs from automatically running as this has become a magnet for spreading viruses, trojans and the like.
0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
theclayAuthor Commented:
No VGA port.  This is a notebook with a touchscreen - not a laptop.  All that I have are 2 USB ports.
0
Scott1201Commented:
Do you have an optical drive?  What about Safe Mode?  Do you see any legible video during initial boot-up, before Windows starts to load?
0
theclayAuthor Commented:
I see nothing during bootup and I have no keyboard to hit F8 during startup.  The screen looks like it took a blow - has a shattered look that starts on the bottom right corner - although you can't feel anything abnormal.  It seems like the cover is still good but underneath it's destroyed.  I'm thinking the best move would be to go out and buy a USB keyboard.
0
theclayAuthor Commented:
Autorun.inf works but isn't running automatically as soon as I plug in the thumb drive.  I have to click on the thumb drive to run the program.  If I had a keyboard on the thing it would be a simple matter of typing in the path to the batch file on the thumb drive.  I appreciate all the input here.  At this point I'm planning on buying a keyboard as it will be good to have one around here anyway for similar problems in the future.  If anyone has any other insite I'm still open for suggestions.
0
theclayAuthor Commented:
OK, correction there:  Autorun DOES work IF there are no other files on the thumb drive.  When the only files on the drive were Autorun.inf and the batch file I wanted it to run, it happily copied the files I needed from the dicrepit notebook.
0
BoguezCommented:
Good luck
0
theclayAuthor Commented:
This worked great since this is an XP machine.  Thanks
0
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Disaster Recovery

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.