Can I transfer laptop HDD to another laptop, and will it read it ok?

By Tosca9248 ยท 9 replies
Feb 13, 2005
  1. My son has a compaq presario the laptop will not stay on it is faulty.

    The laptop hard drive has lots of his data on that he wants to keep. Thesis, music files etc.,

    I have loaned him my second laptop that I keep for a spare which is a Dell Latitude CPi.

    Would the hdd from the Compaq work in the Dell. I know it will fit what I want to know is if it will read the hdd or will it only read in another Compaq machine.

    Is there any way of geting the data off of this hdd?

  2. Lunatic

    Lunatic TS Rookie Posts: 49

    No it will not read okay. The only way to do it is to get the exact same laptop and install it there. The Compaq HDD has drivers for that specific mother board.

    Maybe installing it as a slave on the good laptop?
    Will it stay on at all? I have transfered files by networking a laptop. The only way it would stay on was if it wasnt touched at all.

    sorry not much help
  3. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    That must be an issue specific to that brand and model, because I have swapped laptop hardrives, memory, etc all over the place and never any problem. I am typing this right now on a laptop which had its hard drive upgraded.

    You can get small USB caddies for laptop hard drives, I am also using one of those right now. You could get the HDD from the old laptop into that, and try reading it.

    Unless Lunatic is right about Compaq HDDs being different in some way.

    Could you tell us more about that, Lunatic??
  4. Tosca9248

    Tosca9248 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Do you mean a pocket hard disk drive where you put a hdd in usb case and attach to laptop. I have one of these but not used it yet. I did not think this would work if the hdd had an operating systemon it. I thought it worked like the small pen drives and held files, music etc.
  5. Lunatic

    Lunatic TS Rookie Posts: 49

    That is another thing I was thinking about. Or you can get an adapter (5 to 10 bucks) to hook up the laptop drive to a desktop and get the files off of it. Then just transfer them else where.

    What I was talking about is not only a Compaq HDD thing. When installing a new HDD on a system, once the OS is installed, you will need to install drivers for that specific motherboard.
    If that HDD is installed on a different system with different motherboard the drivers will not work. The new system may try to fix this problem and end up causing others, unless this does not apply to laptop computers.
  6. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    Yes, but if he just wants data off of a laptop hard drive, he can place the hard drive in a cheap USB caddy, then plug it into a regular PC or another laptop to get the data off.

    An OS installation of XP is indeed tied to the motherboard it was installed on, whether that is a laptop or not. You could not boot the old OS, if that was what you meant. But the hdd from one laptop will read fine in another laptop. They are just smaller hard drives.
  7. Tosca9248

    Tosca9248 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks Phantasm66 and Lunatic for all your help.

    I will try his hard drive in my usb pocket hard drive tomorrow after work and see if I can get the data off the drive for him.

    Many Thanks
  8. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    That's a good idea. Get the HDD out of the laptop, into one of those USB laptop HDD pocket drives, and then plug the drive into another machine, does not matter if it is a laptop or not. Then just copy paste the data off.
  9. Lunatic

    Lunatic TS Rookie Posts: 49

    Yeah, It was just that from his question I wasnt sure if he was going to just exchange the harddrive in the running laptop and transfer the files that way or add it as a slave and not boot off it but try to read it only.

    Either way the HDD pocket drive is a good idea.
  10. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    Actually, the pocket drive is a really good purchase anyway if you have a spare laptop HDD around.
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