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Windows 7: Want to swap hard drives between two identical laptops?

30 Apr 2014   #1
Mr Davo

Windows 7 (XP, by Virtualization)
Want to swap hard drives between two identical laptops?

Hi Everyone,

I have two Toshiba Satellite Pro L550 laptops; recently one became unusable due to virus infections.

In fact it had so many infections that I would have needed to re-install Windows in order to get a good working laptop back. Because reinstalling Windows, software, data, etc is so time consuming I made the decision to purchase a new HP laptop.

My remaining Toshiba has a faulty USB Port, and instead of replacing the whole laptop I would like to take the hard drive from it, and put it into the Toshiba that I have just replaced (with my new HP).

Given that the two Toshiba laptops are exactly the same model, and with exactly the same version of Windows 7 (32 Bit) installed, they should have exactly the same drivers. The only thing that I can see as a potential issue is that Windows may have some 'hidden' serial number that matches it with the actual hardware components in the laptop.

Can anybody foresee any issues with swapping the hard drive between the two Toshiba laptops. Will Windows just run after the swap? If not is there anything post physical swap over that I will need to do?

Any advice here will be greatly appreciated.

Kind Regards,


My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Apr 2014   #2

Windows 10 Pro X64

You may have to reactivate it using the key from the laptop you are putting the hard drive in. Other than that there should be no problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Apr 2014   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1

There is one problem in doing that. The Windows 7 installs are OEM copies since they came in the laptop. You are not supposed to change motherboards with them. You should put the Product Key of your new laptop in the Windows copy that you switch to the new PC. As was said above, this will most likely give you a prompt that you have to call Microsoft for the activation. When I called, it was just a recording that asked a few questions and then gives the activation (if you are lucky). Good luck
My System SpecsSystem Spec

30 Apr 2014   #4
Mr Davo

Windows 7 (XP, by Virtualization)

Thanks guys. Worst case scenario I can just swap back I guess.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2014   #5

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers

Hi there.

Simple and probably (in fact definitely) won't require activation - if the hardware is Identical. Simply plug the disk in to the new machine -- end of Story.

Other method (paranoid /indirect method) - Take image of system to say external device with Free Macrium / Acronis etc.

Wipe HDD and fit to new machine.

Restore image to HDD.

I'd take the image first just in case something gets screwed up fitting the HDD or if you decide you want an SSD or whatever. But I'd swap the disks so I wouldn't need the restore --although ALWAYS HAVE BACKUPS.

W7 Activations don't have Mobo serial numbers / Bios info - it's purely on Hardware. I've changed a Mobo and even a processor several times and haven't been asked for re-activation -- although funnily enough adding a second DVD drive I DID get asked !!!!!. Nowadays I don't use physical DVD's any more - just use ant a USB external one in case I need to rip a CD / DVD.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2015   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

I also Have 2 Laptops Hp DV5/1254USAnd DV6 1259DX Both same CPU and Dv 6 came with Win7premium and Dv5 came with Vista i took HDD out from HP dv6 and put it on Dv5 and it worked and a all activated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Want to swap hard drives between two identical laptops?

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