How can I backup my photos and music on my MacBook Pro that will not boot?

by on November 26, 2012

Q: I have the 3 beeps of death, and am going to take it in to get fixed, but I want to back up my photos and music first. Is there any way I can do this? As of now it will not turn on at all, I just need to back it up!

Here are the steps I went through:
1. Computer (Early 2011 MacBook Pro bought on the Certified Refurbished Apple Store Christmas Day 2011) crashes in the middle of a Skype meeting. Bottom half of the screen and little bits of the top half turn green and gray. A warning pop up shows up (half covered in green pixels) and tells me to shut my computer down immediatley.
2. Held down the power button until it turned off.
3. Briefly freak out.
4. Finish Skype meeting on phone, then turn computer back on (after 3-4 minutes). First example of three beeps of death comes up, lasts breifly then the computer turns on
5. Computer operates normally, I log in, begin to file a report to apple when it logs me back out automatically.
6. Log back in, then bottom half of the page gets green pixel stripes (I took a picture this time).
7. Hold down power button until it shuts down again.
8. Give it a few minutes then try again.
9. No dice, computer just begins giving me the 3 beeps of death continuously and not turning back on.
10. Plug it in and let it sit, completely shut down until the next day.
11. Buy an external harddrive the next day and hope to turn it on and it will operate enough for me to back up my files (I have been lazy and not done so). Try turning on the computer again and get the 3 beeps continuously. Shut it back down and tried again with my camera out, still not operating at all.
12. Look into Apple online support and check out serial number (for my coverage), and it says the serial number doesn’t exist.I had the 3 beeps problem last summer and followed some Youtube advice to fix it (obviously didn’t work) and during that Apple said I had no coverage as well, until I told them it was refurbished, so maybe they confused it since I am the new owner of a refurbished computer.

Seeing as it is a RAM issue, should I be worried about my memory? What can I do to back up my files?

You can see the photo of my screen here: http://imgur.com/eMRzj
The photo of my serial number being denied here: http://imgur.com/Tx5zN
The video of the 3 beeps here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRpW3fgYcqg&feature=youtu.be