Using eMachines hard drive in Dell Dimension

By denco
Jun 23, 2010
  1. I was just given a junked emachines T1840 and a Dell Dimension 4600. The Dell appears to be ok except for a missing hard drive. The emachines PC apparently has a bad mobo, but it DOES have a hard drive. Is it possible to use the HD from the emachines in the Dimension until I can get a new one?

    Thanks for your help!
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Yes... but variable from eMachine to eMachine. Many eMachines hard drives will work in a Dell without argument. In others, you need to use a Dell WXP Professional disk and boot to the disk, then run it in R for Repair Mode.

    There are ways to tweak the drive, but too much to post here.

    If it won't work, you will end up with a black screen... but the data is still there and the right boot disk will fix it.

    The Dell 4600 used SP2, so you will be OK there, and many of the 4xxx series Dell Windows XP disks will work when you cold boot to the Dell disk, then go through the choices until you get to R for Repair (not R for Repair Console). If there, the R for Repair, will follow on the screens as you click through your choices AFTER R for Repair Console.

    You WILL usually need to have to enter the 25 digit Dell product ID (usually from the sticker on the Dell case) available at the end of the repair install.

    I don't think there is any option except to try it. The hard drive from the eMachines will not work anywhere else either... but if you have data on it, you can stick it into an external USB enclosure that you can buy for $15 to $30, the retrieve the data from a cleanly installed hard drive.
  3. denco

    denco TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks Raybay - you covered some areas that I didn' think about. I'll give it a shot and see what happens. I appreciate your help!
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    What I left out. We have been confronted with recoverying a lot of eMachines hard drives because the failure rate on eMachines computers has been so high.
    We have found that most Windows XP Professional disks will work running in repair mode...
    And you can always install the eMachines hard drive as a second drive in a computer of the same socket (SATA or EIDE)... to drag and drop all the critical data from the eMachines hard drive onto your main or system drive...
    Then you can reformat your eMachines drive and use it as the main System drive... installing what you wish.
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