You can use an adapter to connect the laptop hard drive through USB, and copy the contents to another computer, as long as the drive has not been damaged by the motherboard failure.
Adapters are available from many suppliers. A random selection from a Google search illustrates the type of adapter:http://www.newertech.com/products/usb2_adaptv2.php
My own adapter is older and only operates IDE drives, not SATA.
Edited by Platypus, 24 January 2010 - 05:32 AM.