Trying to connect laptop hard drive to desktop

SilverNim

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Sep 19, 2014
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Apologies if this thread is misplaced, I thought it would belong better in a desktop or hardware forum but do not see those options.

My laptop died suddenly and for no discernible reason, so I need to backup my data on my external hd before sending it off to stupid Lenovo. Money is tight and I really want to try doing it myself rather than paying a tech business in town (last experience was very bad...)

I opened up my laptop and got the hard drive out. It uses a combo SATA/power connection. Then I took apart the desktop and stuck the hd in; desktop has the regular one SATA connection and one power cable. They fit onto my hd just fine, but when I turn on the computer it says there's nothing to boot from. I can hit Enter to retry, never works. I have adjusted, disconnected and reconnected the cables many times, but still I am unable to boot up.

I've Googled a solution for this and searched on these forums, but nothing has been helpful. Is there a way to make this work, or is it just impossible? Any help is very much appreciated.

Laptop is a Win8, desktop is an old-ish Vista.
 

thx1138v2

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Jun 18, 2011
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It sounds like you disconnected the desktop hard drive and the desktop machine it now trying to boot from laptop drive but it's not recognizing it.

Try connecting your desktop drive at a lower numbered SATA port and the laptop drive at a higher numbered port. Maybe it will then boot from the desktop drive but it still may not recognize the laptop drive.

You definitely won't be able to boot the desktop machine from the laptop drive because the processor and chipset drivers installed on the laptop boot drive will be different from those needed on the desktop machine.

It may just be that the laptop drive died and that's why the laptop went down in the first place.
 

thx1138v2

Distinguished
Jun 18, 2011
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It sounds like you disconnected the desktop hard drive and the desktop machine it now trying to boot from laptop drive but it's not recognizing it.

Try connecting your desktop drive at a lower numbered SATA port and the laptop drive at a higher numbered port. Maybe it will then boot from the desktop drive but it still may not recognize the laptop drive.

You definitely won't be able to boot the desktop machine from the laptop drive because the processor and chipset drivers installed on the laptop boot drive will be different from those needed on the desktop machine.

It may just be that the laptop drive died and that's why the laptop went down in the first place.
 
Are you trying to boot from your laptop drive, or are you trying to boot from your desktop drive and then access the laptop drive?

You cant take a drive from one computer and boot with it on a completley different computer as the hardware is completley diffferent.

Now you can boot from your nomral desktop drive and have the laptop drive pluged in and access it as a second hard drive. You will need to make sure your desktop drive is set as the first boot device in bios though.

Win8 uses GPT type partition tables while all previous versions used MBR. You may have to go to disk manager and assign a Drive letter to the drve once you boot as it might not show under your computer drives at first.
 

SilverNim

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Sep 19, 2014
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I originally wanted to boot from the desktop drive and just see my laptop drive as storage. I thought about trying both drives at once, but I only have one power cable and only one port for it on the board, so it's not possible to have both powered at the same time. Yet I have space for two drives on the same SATA cable. Weird.

I did read something about the drives and processor earlier, but I don't know enough to be sure if that was the issue here. It seems you've both confirmed it, so I guess I just have to go to a techie in town.

The drive itself is not bad, I think there was a short that caused the sudden death syndrome. The motherboard also has some problem, though it was not the kind that would make it eventually go out. Luckily I am under warranty until mid-December.

Thanks to both of you for the info. The upside here is that my desktop tower is now really clean inside.
 
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