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Installing old hard drives in laptops

By hoyatables ยท 4 replies
Jun 11, 2005
  1. Hi everyone--hope someone can help me with this one.

    I've read the posts below on installing old hard drives in new computers, but they seemed to apply to desktops. I've got my hard drives from two old laptops; I'd like to know if I can use them on my new laptop. I've no real reason to access them, but it would be nice to be sure there is nothing I really want (the laptops with which they were associated died prematurely). I read something about changing master and slave jumpers, but I don't know how to change that, and I wasn't sure whether it was even possible or advisable to try this.

    Alternatively, is there an external advice I can use to access these drives?

  2. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    :wave: Hello & Welcome to TechSpot :wave:

    Unfortunately, what you ask is not as easy as it sounds... Desktops are built to be easily modified with different parts of the shelf, whereas the notebooks are also modular, they often have different specifications for how things are connected...

    It is possible to do what you ask, but it will require dismantling much more than you'd have to with desktops and might very well break your warranty.

    Keep unpacking until you get down to a 2.5 disk, which looks (more or less) like a normal harddrive). Now you have to put that into a "container" with the correct connections for your notebook.


    if you have a desktop handy, you should be able to connect them to that and check out the contents that way. It'll greatly reduce any risk of you doing something wrong with your notebook and is definately the way I'd do it...

    Hope this helps :)
  3. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Laptops are built to house only one HD. So if you put one of your old drives into your new laptop then:
    1) it will not boot and
    2) you have no way to copy the needed data

    It is easier for you to connect the 2.5" drives to a desktop computer or use an external IDE drive enclosure. There are adapters that let you connect 2.5" drives to normal IDE cables.
  4. hoyatables

    hoyatables TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the reply, guys--you confirmed my suspicions that it was probably unwise to muck with my current laptop.

    I was able to acquire a relatively cheap version of one of the old laptops that functions, so i'll just swap in the hard drives on that one. I just figure it would be nice to have a functioning backup computer.
  5. tdeg

    tdeg TS Rookie Posts: 119

    Depending on what brand of laptop you have you may be able to buy a harddrive tray to put a second hdd into the slot where your cdrom/floppy go.

    Thsi will let you run two harddrives (as the laptop actually usually has two ide channels). A word of caution though, boot first with a floppy disk and check the content... I put a second harddrive in mine that was a close of my existing (older version though) and ended up getting the computer really messed as it kinda tried to boot from both...).
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