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: 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 MVP

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?

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
How can I disable a hard drive temporarily?
I have two internal 750GB HDs - one is partitioned to C (Windows) and the other D (data). The other is E and simply a mirror backup of D which I do once a day. The problem is that the E drive goes to sleep after XX minutes but some applications or processes (e.g. Empty Recycle Bin) want to wake...
Hardware & Devices
Hard Drive Swap?
Some time ago I replaced an IDE hard drive with Windows 8 installed for an SSD drive onto which I installed Windows 7. I would like to know if I can temporarily swap back to the IDE drive (Windows 8) while I obtain the Windows Product Key (embedded in BIOS apparently) and then replace the SSD drive...
General Discussion
How should I deal with bit locker if I want to swap OS temporarily?
I've got Win 7 32 bit installed on my lenovo x301. I wanted 64 bit but had to install 32 bit for a VPN app. I now have the ability to use their 64 bit app but I want to test it first. I've got Bitlocker turned on with the TPM on my 32 bit install. I want to swap HD's and install 64 bit...
System Security
Hard drive tray used to swap W7 boot drive?
I do vertical systems integration and am getting more and more requests for W7. I have a drive tray used as the boot drive and I want to be able to swap out the boot drive in order to change OS's and Options. I don't trust multi boot installs, they get in each others way, and sometimes I need...
Installation & Setup
Laptop hard drive swap
Can I swap out my old hard drive from my HP dv6 to a refurbished same model? The 1st one's MOBO burned up but Hard drive was not damaged. Want to be able to access the stored data. Hoping swapping the HDs would be the easy way
Hardware & Devices
How to swap to a new hard drive
Hi. Please can someone tell me the most reliable way to upgrade my hard drive. I have Norton Ghost 15 Would like to transfer my system onto a new hard drive and then just boot from that new drive, removing and destroying the old one. How do I do this? Thanks
Installation & Setup

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 02:01.
Twitter Facebook Google+ Seven Forums iOS App Seven Forums Android App