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Windows 7: Can I swap in a hard drive from another computer temporarily?

10 Oct 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
Can I swap in a hard drive from another computer temporarily?

I recently obtained a spare computer (Windows 7) that has a power problem, and I won't be able to check out the hard disk on it until the problem is remedied. Meanwhile, I'd like to get a heads-up on the condition of the hard drive. The only other computer I have handy right now is my current laptop, which has a single hard drive bay and is running Windows Vista.

Can I swap in the hard drive and boot up my laptop, or is this asking for trouble? The computers are both HP Pavilion laptops with very similar hardware (although CPU/MB is different [Intel vs. AMD]). Or will booting up cause the computer to do some writing to the hard drive that may affect its ability to boot successfully in the original host computer?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

10 Oct 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Chances that it works are very slim - most likely because of the driver incompatibility. And then you also have an activation problem which may not be important for a short test.

Why don't you get an external USB attached enclosure and put it in there. Those enclosures sell for $7 and up. - EAGLE ET-CS2MSU2-BK 2.5" Black USB 2.0 Mesh External Enclosure
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Oct 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

^ I was hoping to do it sooner than later... but it looks like patience is the only way to go. Thanks for the tip on the external enclosure. I didn't realize they'd become so affordable. I was looking at getting a direct cable, but for just a few bucks more this nice enclosure would be preferable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Can I swap in a hard drive from another computer temporarily?

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