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Windows 7: Quick swap of internal hard drives...

02 Jun 2016   #1
2wr3ckl3ss

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Quick swap of internal hard drives...

I have an external hard drive that is failing and I was wondering if I could put the files on a spare internal hard drive I have. So basically I would pull the HD from my Dell, replace it with my spare (which was from a Samsung), transfer the files, and then put the original HD back. Is this possible, and if so, do I need to do anything special? They are the same size and the pins all match up. Sometime down the road I will get a new external or possibly an enclosure kit. I just need some place to temporarily put these files. I'm not sure if it matters but I have Windows 7 Ultimate on my Dell, and I think the Samsung had Windows 7 Professional. Appreciate any advice. Thanks.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Jun 2016   #2
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

I'm not sure I entirely follow what you write, but generally---yes, you can move files to some other drive, either temporarily or permanently.

The drive has to be able to connect via whatever cabling you have, it must have a partition and be formatted, and it should be in good working order. Any drive you have likely has the NTFS file system, which is fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jun 2016   #3
2wr3ckl3ss

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I'm hoping I can take the original internal hard drive out of my laptop, put in the spare, copy the files from the failing external HD onto the spare internal one, and then switch back to my original HD.

In a sense, I'm wondering if the computer is just a vehicle for a hard drive. So if the pins/sizes matched, could I take my internal HD and put it in your laptop (as an example), do my computing, and then put yours back in with no problems?

Thanks for responding so quickly. You guys are awesome.
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02 Jun 2016   #4
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

see comments in bold

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by 2wr3ckl3ss View Post
I'm hoping I can take the original internal hard drive out of my laptop, put in the spare, copy the files from the failing external HD onto the spare internal one, and then switch back to my original HD.

Is this "original internal hard drive" in your laptop a boot drive? Or is it just a data drive? If the latter, I don't see any problem.

However, if this "original internal hard drive" is the boot drive for this laptop, all bets are off. If you put another bootable hard drive in there, it might boot and it might not. It might look goofy if it did boot and it might look OK. Your devices (printer, monitor, etc) might work as expected or they might not.

Most laptops have only a single hard drive, so maybe you ARE talking about a boot drive?

If so, you can try it and see if anything catches fire. All it can do is fail and you have to come up with a better idea.




In a sense, I'm wondering if the computer is just a vehicle for a hard drive. So if the pins/sizes matched, could I take my internal HD and put it in your laptop (as an example), do my computing, and then put yours back in with no problems?

Drives that contain data can be regarded as just vehicles. They don't have operating systems and can't boot a PC. They are just storage devices and can generally be moved around at will, assuming connectors and cables all match.

You could always use a USB flash drive to transfer files. Might be slower than you'd like and take multiple round trips, but should be pretty much foolproof.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jun 2016   #5
2wr3ckl3ss

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Ok, that makes sense. They are both original internal boot drives. The spare was the boot drive for my old Samsung computer, which I replaced with a bigger hard drive. When I replaced the Samsung's HD it had a problem booting at first, so what you are saying is I could be in for the same thing (if I'm lucky). At worst it just won't boot (and possibly emit some sort of evil chuckle from the speakers ).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jun 2016   #6
Lance1

Windows 7 Ultimate, Service Pack 1, 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by 2wr3ckl3ss View Post
I'm hoping I can take the original internal hard drive out of my laptop, put in the spare, copy the files from the failing external HD onto the spare internal one, and then switch back to my original HD.
Only if it has the Dell Inspiron 15 OS with Hardware specific Driver like chipset, NIC and so on. But you said that it came from a Samsung. So the answer would be no...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jun 2016   #7
2wr3ckl3ss

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

The hard drive I put in the Samsung was from an HP and it worked. I think all I had to do was reboot and update the BIOS. Hopefully I get lucky like that again .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jun 2016   #8
2wr3ckl3ss

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
In case anyone was curious...

I took the original hard drive with Windows 8.1 out of my Dell and put in the original hard drive with Windows 7 from my Samsung. The first time I turned it on the screen was black and it started making some loud internal clicking noise. I powered it off after about 30 seconds and then turned it back on. It immediately shut down the first 3 times I tried powering it on, but on the 4th try it booted up with Windows 7. The files and programs that were on it before were still there and working. I did notice that Driver Booster tried updating the drivers for the Samsung and not the Dell, which kind of makes sense. In short, switching the hard drives out w/o reformatting anything worked well enough for me to transfer files onto it, but the drive would need to be completely wiped and the operating system re-installed to work as a permanent switch. Thanks for the help ignatzatsonic.
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 Quick swap of internal hard drives...




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