is there a adapter to hook up a laptop hard drive to a desktop computer?
Yes there is.
do you know what the name of it is so I can look it up?
Don't know if there is any official term for it, but just google for laptop hard drive adapter.
If the desktop has USB then you have 2 routes. Either will cost you about $30 US.
route 1) USB "hotlink". I just saw this in CompUSA. It's a USB that connects one computer to another (both need to be working) and allows data transfers and such. I do not know the official name.
route 2) USB External Enclosure. Take the harddrive out of your laptop and plug it in to the enclosure. USB it to your desktop. It will mount just like a new drive on your desktop.
I think someone missed the question and the answer here..