Windows 7 Forums

Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.


Windows 7: Adding old laptop HDD to new build, possible?

20 Aug 2016   #1
Miyan

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Service Pack 1
 
 
Adding old laptop HDD to new build, possible?

Hi, feel free to move this if it's in the wrong section, Ive only used this forum once before.

I recently built a computer from scratch. My sisters old laptop broke so I bought my parts to hand my laptop down to her.

Question, my sister's laptop motherboard failed and I need to know if I can put the laptop hard drive in my pc and grab the files off it since she needs some important stuff, without it getting mixed up and/or trying to boot from her laptop hard drive or something weird.

An issue worth noting, her laptop's hard drive has Windows Vista installed and my motherboard and display drivers don't support anything older than Windows 7. The drivers on her hard drive are also drastically different from the drivers installed for my parts.

Would I be able to simply make sure my current hard drive is the primary boot drive and when I put her hard drive in, it will simply be on the side and I can move the files to an external hdd? Or is there more to it? Thanks!

Edit: I know I can physically mount it in one of the ssd trays since its small enough and I have one more sata cable, so Im not asking if i can physically add it. This is about software I guess.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
21 Aug 2016   #2
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

I'm reasonably sure it will work as you desire.

You'll never know for a fact without trying it.

I'd expect your current HD will remain as C and your PC will boot normally, but you'll see your sister's drive as D or E or whatever.

Copy the files where you need to, shut down, and disconnect the laptop drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Aug 2016   #3
Miyan

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Service Pack 1
 
 

I figured as much, just wanted some second opinions since Im always paranoid something might mess up haha. Ill give it a go tomorrow and ill make sure in the bios that my current hdd is the primary boot drive as well (it should already be but still). Thanks for the assurance!

Ill mark this as solved if/when it works as intended tomorrow.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

21 Aug 2016   #4
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP
 
 

All you've described will do the job. I'll suggest you to buy a USB 3.0 external HDD case and put your sister HDD on it. After transferring all data you can format it and use as a backup drive. usb 3.0 external hdd case, Hard Drive Enclosures, Hard Drives, Components - Newegg.com
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Aug 2016   #5
Digerati

Windows 7 Profession 64-bit
 
 

An external enclosure will work but seems to me to be an expensive option for such a temporary task.

Installing this drive as a secondary drive in your computer should be as simple as powering down and unplugging your computer from the wall - then connecting this drive with a power cable and a data cable, then boot. It should show up under Computer where you can copy the files off (I would run a malware scan on it first - just to be safe).

Alternatively, one of these adapters are just plain handy to keep on hand just for situations like this. I keep one in my tool bag for house calls.

And I keep on my desk a docking station.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Aug 2016   #6
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP
 
 

As I wrote, all you've described will do the job. The external case isn't only for file transfer but also backup. The Newegg link I've posted has USB 3.0 external HDD case starting at US$ 4 with free shipping. It worth every $ spent on it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Aug 2016   #7
Eric3742

Windows 7 x64
 
 

You can put in your sis HDD to your desktop.
Don't do any setting, as your own HDD is still the active primary.
Do a final check by going into the BIOS to ensure your HDD is 1st boot option.

I had this done many times, and there are no problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2016   #8
TechnoMage2016

Windows 7 Ultimate, SP1, x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Miyan View Post
Hi, feel free to move this if it's in the wrong section, Ive only used this forum once before.
I recently built a computer from scratch. My sisters old laptop broke so I bought my parts to hand my laptop down to her.
Question, my sister's laptop motherboard failed and I need to know if I can put the laptop hard drive in my pc and grab the files off it since she needs some important stuff, without it getting mixed up and/or trying to boot from her laptop hard drive or something weird.
An issue worth noting, her laptop's hard drive has Windows Vista installed and my motherboard and display drivers don't support anything older than Windows 7. The drivers on her hard drive are also drastically different from the drivers installed for my parts.
Would I be able to simply make sure my current hard drive is the primary boot drive and when I put her hard drive in, it will simply be on the side and I can move the files to an external hdd? Or is there more to it? Thanks!
Edit: I know I can physically mount it in one of the ssd trays since its small enough and I have one more sata cable, so Im not asking if i can physically add it. This is about software I guess.
NO NEED to mount it in a tray....just hang it out the side of the case. See picture below.

As long as your main HD on your desktop is on SATA port 0 (zero) it will always be the default BOOT drive, and any other drive you connect to your motherboard will be a SLAVE drive. It makes NO difference if it has an OS on it or it DOESN'T have an OS on it. Sure you can access it under My Computer and copy the needed data files off of it and onto your main drive, where you can then save them to a Flash Drive or burn them to a CD.
I do this all the time, for my customers, when their motherboard fails, or when Windows is so corrupt that their PC won't even boot up, and Windows will have to be totally re-installed.

A typical "external HD connection":


Good Luck,
TechnoMage
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2016   #9
RoasterMen

Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
 
 

Installing a laptop hard drive to a desktop isn't a problem. The problem is installing a desktop hard drive into a laptop, HDDs come in two different sizes. You can put the hard drive anywhere flat but hanging because of vibrations that will shorten the life of the drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2016   #10
strollin

W10 Pro desktop, W10 laptop, W10 laptop, W10 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TechnoMage2016 View Post
... As long as your main HD on your desktop is on SATA port 0 (zero) it will always be the default BOOT drive, and any other drive you connect to your motherboard will be a SLAVE drive. ...
Technically speaking, SLAVE is an incorrect term here. The term SLAVE is a holdover from the older IDE drives where one drive on an IDE channel was the Master and the other drive on the channel was a SLAVE. The MASTER actually exercised control over the SLAVE. With SATA drives the MASTER/SLAVE relationship no longer exists, hence there is Primary and Secondary.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 Adding old laptop HDD to new build, possible?




Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search




Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
adding a monitor to a laptop
Have a freshly manufacturer refurbished Latitude E6410 laptop running Win7 Ultimate, 64 bit, SP1. Can't get it to detect a free standing Dell monitor or a Samsung flat screen TV using the PS2 or USB ports. I do this all the time with my other Win 7 and XP machines. Does this thing not have a good...
Graphic Cards
Adding SSD in 2nd laptop bay for Win 7
Okay so I have a couple of questions. I bought a Samsung 850 EVO 256GB SSD for my wife's Asus A73 laptop. It has 2 drive bays and an existing HDD partitioned as C: (235 GB) and D: (415GB). I planned to use the Samsung Migration software to clone C: from HDD to SSD leaving D: alone. However...
Installation & Setup
advice sought: adding to a pre-bundled NewEgg PC build
Hey guys, PC building novice here (4 builds and counting). I'm looking at the following NewEgg offer: Combo: 1624227 and I want to up the ram and also add an SSD for the operating system to reside on. shall I just double down on the ram sticks (4 instead of 2) and pick a decent deal on a ssd?...
PC Custom Builds and Overclocking
Adding SSD to my laptop's 2nd HDD/SSD Slot
Hello guys. This is my laptop: http://english.11st.co.kr/product/SellerProductDetail.tmall?method=getSellerProductDetail&prdNo=475745578 http://www.noteforum.co.kr/news/index.htm?nm=20548 If you scroll down a bit, you can see the feature about another HDD/SSD Slot that I can use. I know...
Hardware & Devices
Help with adding RAM to my new laptop.
Hey all, I want to upgrade the RAM on my new laptop, but I have a few questions. It came with 4 gigs, but it's upgradeable to 8gigs. It runs great with 4gigs, but I might as well unleash its full potential. I know it takes DDR3 Ram, but is that all there is to it? Do I have to worry about speeds,...
Hardware & Devices
New build won't load Win 7 after adding PCI-E card
My google-fu is failing me and I can't seem to find any solution before I return some of my new hardware. I just picked up and assembled the PC. I unstalled Win7 64 bit ultimate without any issues. As soon as I add the Ceton InfiniTV4 to any PCI-E slot, I can't get past the loading operating...
PC Custom Builds and Overclocking


Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 23:55.

Twitter Facebook Google+



Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App