Can I move my laptop HD to a desktop?

By Gamer73
Sep 8, 2012
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  1. My laptop won't turn on and it's the only computer that has Windows 7. Is there any way for me to take the hard drive from that and use it in my desktop and run Windows 7 without buying a disc?
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 8,945   +585

    bottom line is 99.999% no.

    The HD contains the OS itself + the hardware drivers specific to the machine where the OS
    was originally installed. At a very minimum, the hardware drivers would all need to be replaced - -
    and without the right ones, the OS would not run far enough (if at all) to allow them to be updated.

    If you're really really really knowledgeable on PCs and Windows (which kind of you're not as you are asking here),
    then there's a long complicated path of
    a] finding the drivers needed for the new maching
    b] accessing the old drive
    c] installing the drivers from [a] onto
    d] moving the old drive to the new target platform
    c] trying to boot

    Then there's the question of the CPU differences between the old and new and if not compatible, this was all for not.

    IT IS POSSIBLE to get all the old data from that drive to a new system, using something like this,
    assuming that the old HD is functional and not corrupted.
  3. alexe3831

    alexe3831 TS Enthusiast Posts: 29

    What I usually do in this case (A computer dies and I am trying to recover stuff) I have an external HDD enclosure, one for laptop HDD's and one for desktop HDD's (2.5 and 3.5 respectively) That way I can just plug in the laptop hard drive into the device, and access it as a hard drive.

    I have even been able to boot from it on computers, most support booting from USB now.

    Hope this helps :)

  4. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,426   +142

    And in fact the Window OS may deactivate itself thinking it has been transferred to another computer (I believe this is not allowed in versions of windows used by companies like HP.

    So yes the answer is no.
  5. alexe3831

    alexe3831 TS Enthusiast Posts: 29

    Well I just tried this with my Win 7 HDD from my laptop, and it worked fine with the External HDD Reader I suggested.

    Was able to boot and everything normally, and the hardware on the computer I booted on was better than the laptops.


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