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Windows 7: two different hard drives on same laptop

16 Feb 2015   #1
genso

IN - Indiana
 
 
two different hard drives on same laptop

My question is can I swap two different hard drives one with windows 7 and other with 8.1 back and forth on same laptop?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Feb 2015   #2
shadow2201

Microsoft Windows 10 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Assuming your laptop supports Windows 8.1, and you installed 8.1 initially on that machine, absolutely you can. I've done this before, at least with Windows XP and Vista, had 2 different hard drives, and swapped them out as needed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2015   #3
genso

IN - Indiana
 
 

Thanks for the quick reply Shadow. My Acer 5517 came with windows 7 and I want to use it for my music studio and new creations ect. and put 8.1 on a new same size drive...possible?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Feb 2015   #4
shadow2201

Microsoft Windows 10 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by genso View Post
Thanks for the quick reply Shadow. My Acer 5517 came with windows 7 and I want to use it for my music studio and new creations ect. and put 8.1 on a new same size drive...possible?
As long as the Hard Drive is big enough, you can make 2 partitions on it, and have your 7 install on one partition, and install 8 on the other and dual boot. That is definitely an option, and would be easier than having to swap HDD's everytime. Granted, if you have a smaller HDD, then I'd probably stick with swapping HDD's, so you don't run the risk of running out of space.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2015   #5
genso

IN - Indiana
 
 

I would like to put a larger one in probably for studio purpose but you are saying I can simply take one out and put other in?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2015   #6
Sir George

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by genso View Post
I would like to put a larger one in probably for studio purpose but you are saying I can simply take one out and put other in?
For simplicity use the following;
Drive A is in the laptop and Windows 7 is installed
Drive B is placed in the laptop replacing Drive A and Windows 8.X is installed.
(In the above scenario both operating systems will run with no problem, generally speaking)

If, however, you are swapping a drive from another computer with the operating system already installed you will have issues.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2015   #7
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I would run one of the OS systems from an external USB3 attached enclosure.. You only have to change the boot sequence - now tools required. That is a 10 second operation.

If you don't have the second disk yet, buy a SSD for the second OS. That will be a lot faster from the external attachment. A 120GB SSD costs appr. $60 - a 240GB SSD is under $100.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2015   #8
genso

IN - Indiana
 
 

very helpful advice. The only thing is that I already have a new sata hd.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2015   #9
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

You can use the HDD. It will just a bit slower for boot. But for the normal operation it will be fine. Do you have a USB3 port?

But you can always buy an additional SSD and use the HDD for images. Get an open external enclosure, then the disks are easy to swap.

Example:

HighPoint RocketStor 5411A Single Bay USB 3.0 SATA 6Gb/s Storage Dock - Newegg.com
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2015   #10
genso

IN - Indiana
 
 

that is a great option an open external enclosure that's just what I will do...thanks fellas
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 two different hard drives on same laptop




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