Can I use a desktop hard drive in a laptop?

By Technically Challenged ·
My laptop recently broke, and I think it was the hard drive. Whenever I try to turn it on the screen remains black, and the computer begins to loudly beep. Is it the hard drive? If it is, would I be able to replace my laptop hard drive with a hard drive from an old desktop?

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It's probably not the hard disk

by Churdoo In reply to Can I use a desktop hard ...

No video and beeps at POST isn't generally a hard disk problem. Are the beeps in a pattern, like X beeps then a pause then X beeps? If you count the beep pattern you may be able to look up on the manufacturer support site what the problem seems.

To answer your question you probably cannot use a desktop hard disk (typically 3.5-inch) in a laptop (typically 2.5-inch), not to mention you said "old" desktop so could be PATA and depending on the age of the lappy may be SATA disk.

Again, I don't think the disk is the problem anyway.

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Reponse To Answer

Yeah there are 7 beeps and then a pause.

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Agree, probably not drive

Cheapest way to check the drive is to take the drive, if you can remove it yourself, to a repair shop where they probably have a dock, etc., where they can just slide the disk into it and access the drive using Windows Explorer. This won't tell you if the operating system is ok, but it will tell you if the drive is readable, thus "good" or "bad." If it's readable you can recover your data or buy an external enclosure and use it as a 2nd drive.

But it does sound like it's your laptop. Either the motherboard or video. In either event, it'll probably be cheaper to replace the laptop than have a tech test it, tear it apart, and replacing the motherboard. Shop fees can add up and be expensive.

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Not drive

by dion.shaw In reply to Can I use a desktop hard ...

If the drive were the sole issue, you would not get beeps at all. Check here for common beep codes: http://www.rookiejournal.com/dos-beep-chart.html

This problem is possibly memory (RAM) or more likely, video. Also possible is a power supply issue, but much less common.

No, your desktop hard drive will likely not work in the laptop for reasons cited above: size and bus interface, SATA vs PATA/IDE. These are not compatible or interchangeable.

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Some have said no, can't use it, but I say why not

by CG IT In reply to Can I use a desktop hard ...

depending upon the age of the laptop, you could conceivable put the O/S on a flash drive and boot from that provided the laptop will boot from USB. You could stick a full size hard drive in an external USB enclousre and like the flash drive, boot from that.

So you could use a PC HDD on your laptop, but it might not be practical.

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