Lenovo Ideapad 120s died. How can I access the EMMC hard drive?

As above. My daughter managed to water damage the Ideapad. Tried drying it out for a week etc. No go.
The hard drive has information that we need off of it.
The Ideapad has a 32GB eMMc drive though soldered onto the motherboard.
Is there a way to get information off of this harddrive? short of taking it to a document recovery specialist (read $$$).


  • +3

    Do you have any soldering expertise? I guess easiest would be to desolder from the mainboard (or use a heat gun), and then fit it into an EMMC reader from eBay or Aliexpress. Depending on the layout of the EMMC, they plug into a USB port and this should give you file access. Otherwise if you have another Ideapad you could re-seat it into an identical device.

    This video describes one approach. You will need steady hands and some practice if you go this route.

    • +2

      Most laptops using EMMC should have a recovery port for data extraction. Not sure if this model has it but it is something to also look into.

    • Thanks. I have basic soldering expertise but I'm no expert. Never worked on a circuit board, mostly DIY automotive installs.
      I've checked out the example video. Looks doable but pretty tricky for the inexperienced I think. Hmmm…
      Plus I'd need to find a circuit board diagram for an Ideapad 120S I guess as well

  • +1

    Trying letting it sit and dry for a month instead.

    I spilled some water on my laptop keyboard and couldnt turn it on even after 2 weeks but after a month when I was ready to give up, I thought I'd give it one more shot before I bin it and it turned on.

    • Thanks. It's been over a month now. I turn it on and the power light comes on but the screen is completely dark/blank with no sign of activity at all. Not sure where the failure point is.

      • +1

        Any chance you could upload some pictures of the motherboard? Could be a simple fix like buying a new resistor or fuse. How much water was spilt on it. Was the laptop on or sleeping at the time and did you try and turn the computer back on instantly?

        • Sure, will try to upload picture tonight when I get home from work.

          Here's what happened.
          I purchased a replacement battery for the Ideapad.
          I was in the process of replacing the old battery for the new one. So I had the rear cover off and connected the new battery. Not connected to power at this stage. As I was installing the new battery my daughter knocked her drink bottle over next to me. Some of the water splashed on the edge of the exposed internal parts of the computer, just on one side. I quickly grabbed a tissue and tried to dry off the excess water.
          I then stupidly pressed the power up button to see if it was working (when I should have let it dry out for a couple of days rather than energizing it).
          Now nothing.
          The light on the back of the computer comes on and flashes but nothing comes up on the screen.

        • OK, here are the requested photographs. I circled the water damaged area in red pen on one of the photos. It's near one of the speakers and in one corner of the motherboard. Thanks


          • +2

            @Shark: Below is guide on what to do:

            By any chance do you have a laser thermometer (Kitchen one should do)? Just need to see of the CPU is getting power when starting up.

            In the image attached you will need to do the following:
            * Disconnect the speaker
            * Disconnect the battery
            * Disconnect the CMOS Battery (Small little button cell)

            Also is the Diode leaking? (Noted in the image)?

            Once the following has been disconnected. Plug in the power supply and turn the device on. If the device boots then to backup as fast as you can.

            If this doesn't work then you will either have to get a professional to get the data or if the data is semi not important then you can try de soldering the eMMC using a hot air work station and use a eMMC reader or transplant it to this motherboard:


            • @No Username: Thankyou very much for your detailed reply. Unfortunately I don't have a laser thermometer though. Just standard spike thermometer in the kitchen and kids underarm thermometers….

              • @Shark: The purpose of the thermometer in @No Username's completely excellent post is to see if the CPU is heating up. A home thermometer might be able to do the same thing, otherwise you could consider dabbing some (high purity) isopropyl alcohol onto the CPU to see if it evaporates quickly. You might be able to do it with a multimeter also, to measure voltage across the CPU if you know the right rails to tap (here is the schematic for your motherboard).

                But you're probably going to have to remove the eMMc from the board anyway so the rest of @No Username's post is still very useful, even if you can't tell if the CPU is receiving power.

      • +1

        Maybe try hooking it up to a external display via HDMI and see if that works.

        • This is a bloody good idea that I didn't think of. As I'm thinking it might be the screen output that is damaged rather than the motherboard or other critical items. Will definitely try this tonight.

        • OK, tried it. Nothing happens. Usually you can only extend to an external screen though after a successful boot up yes? I just plugged an external monitor in via hdmi and nothing.

          • @Shark: Yeah I'm not 100% sure but I'd assume you wouldn't have to be booted into the OS. Desktop PCs show you the BIOS screen so you should be able to see the BIOS.

            I think the mobo is fried.

    • Actually you are better off putting it in a sealed plastic container with rice underneath, shouldnt take more than 3-4 days.

  • Photos of computer in case there are any sleuths that can pick anything from a photo…


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