Can you get USB on it? Stick them on a flash drive, and be patient the first hour or two after you copy the directory to it, and access them afterwards?
Either way, if he wants those photos, they should be backed up to a USB drive or otherwise. Working with them on that slow drive already burdened by the OS and everything else is just asking for trouble imo.
Breaking them manually by copy-pasting is going to be as fast as any automated solution, even a .bat file or something, since the transfer rates will be far, far slower than the human intervention needed.
Not many "realistic" options that actually matter, imo.
Get the photos off that laptop and onto something else would be my best advice, asap.
Matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves... back to you with the weather, Bob!