Peter's motherboard died. How can he retrieve the data on his hard drive?
I'm amazed that in this world of cheap external hard drives and near-universal broadband, people are still not backing up their data. It's real simple, folks: You should never have only one copy of anything.
If you want some advice about getting into the backup habit, see 7 Backup Strategies for Your Data, Multimedia, and System Files.
Be glad it was the motherboard that died and not the hard drive. If that were the case, you'd have to send the drive to a data recovery service that would charge you hundreds or even thousands of dollars to recover your data...if your data was recoverable.
But with a dead motherboard, you got off easy. All you need is an adapter that turns an internal IDE or SATA drive into an external USB drive. The Bytecc USB 2.0 Drive Mate is pretty good.
Remove the drive from the PC, plug it into the Bytecc, plug the Bytecc into a PC's USB port, and you have access to your old hard drive.