Use HDD fr 1 Laptop in another??

By alan.garcia2 ·
I have two laptops, one is failing, but has a new, larger hard drive with
all my data, apps, etc.

The hard drive is exactly the same type as used by laptop #2.

QUESTION: what would happen if I simply placed the drive from
Laptop #1 into Laptop #2?

Laptop #2 definitely has different hardware than #1: diff graphics, a
built in memory card reader, 802.11g wireless (vs. 802.11b), etc.

The tech at the local computer shop said that windows would find all
new hardware and work to install appropriate drivers, etc.

Whaddya think?

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Might if if there was only a few minor differences

by ComputerCookie In reply to Use HDD fr 1 Laptop in an ...

such as RAM and processor speed.

It will spit the dummy when the types of RAM and processors vary, then you will have problems that are difficult to easilly resolve and you will have to reformat and do a clean reinstall.

When you add "diff graphics, a
built in memory card reader, 802.11g wireless (vs. 802.11b), etc." it would be better to back up you data and use your "Restore Disk" to format and reinstall.

It may also be a better option to buy an external drive case for the larger HDD copy all your data to the laptop, format and partition the the external drive and use one partion for regular backups.

You should post the specifications for each laptop if you want a definitive answer.


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While it could happen that way it is very unlikely

by OH Smeg In reply to Use HDD fr 1 Laptop in an ...

Windows installs drivers for the hardware it is installed upon and when it is a System Makers Product like Dell, HP or so on it isn't even a full version of Windows just the Bare OS with the drivers for the hardware that is supposed to be present when the Recovery Disc is used. So there are no Default Drivers or anything else available not even the Repair Install Option.

But if you have a M$ Branded Install Disc as apposed to a System Makers Recovery Disc you can swap the HDD over and Install Windows or repair the Windows install and load the necessary drivers for the new hardware by following the directions here for replacing the M'Board,;en-us;824125

If you don't have a M$ Install Disc the Recovery Disc will attempt to wipe the existing Install and perform a New one trashing all your Data. So you should Back Up everything before even considering attempting this course of action.

Remember there are only 2 types of Computer Users those who have lost all their Data and those whop are going to loose it all. So the more that you do initially not to be one of these 2 groups the longer you will retain your Data for till you forget and then it turns around to Bite you on the but and cost you a fortune to recover.

The other thing to consider is that if they are both the Same type of Drive but a different size there may be an issue with the size as with IDE Drives BIOS has a Upper Limit beyond which it can not access so if the size of the drive is massively different it is unlikely to be compatible with the NB. Of course if these are fairly new NB's with SATA Drives this isn't an issue.


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Image each laptop

by nepenthe0 In reply to Use HDD fr 1 Laptop in an ...

With an image of each laptop, you could swap hard drives without concern for different hardware configurations. I'm partial to Norton Ghost (Symantec):

Obtain an appropriate capacity Firewire/USB-2 external hard drive. Make full image backups of each laptop, identifying the machine in the file name.

Many IT experts recommend wiping and reformatting the hard drive that has been in use. You can do this from a bootable CD of Darik's Nuke & Boot:

This is a free resource. To create a bootable CD, likewise download the free CDBurnerXP utility:

Follow these instructions to create a bootable C

OH Smeg's admonition about 2 types of computer users is particularly sage. One is reluctant to shell out $70 for Norton Ghost until catatrophe has struck, then it seems like a bargain. If you are wiser than the typical computer user, you will purchase imaging software sooner rather than later...

Rick/Portland, OR

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