View Full Version : Moving an internal hard drive to new computer

14-11-2012, 08:22 PM
Sorry if the title is a bit misleading but I couldn't think of anything better. Basically I have data on an internal hard drive that I want to take home over the summer break. However I cannot take my desktop home due to it being too costly for a poor student like me. So I was wondering can I just take the hard drive out of my current computer, wrap it up safely, take it home and plug it into another computer without losing any data. Sorry if this question sounds a but stupid but I just want to ensure I don't lose anything important.

Speedy Gonzales
14-11-2012, 08:33 PM
Will it be the bootdisk in this other computer? Or an extra hdd?? Because if its going to be a bootdisk , it may or may not crash once you install it. Because of the difference in the hardware (between your PC, and the one you're installing it in).

It should be OK, if you install it as an extra hdd tho. Dont think you'll lose any data. Is it IDE or SATA?? If its IDE, remember to jumper it first

14-11-2012, 08:38 PM
It would be an extra hard drive, both run on sata. I thought it would be fine but really didn't want to risk losing valuable data.

14-11-2012, 08:42 PM
If its your system drive (With your OS installed) then don't boot it on the other machine unless it has the same hardware - You could add it and read from it, just don't try to boot it.

Otherwise if it's just a storage drive then there's no issue.

Alternatively your could buy an external drive and make a copy of your data onto that, which you should anyway if you don't already have a backup.

15-11-2012, 08:33 AM
If it isn't the system drive, it may be useful to get an external USB drive case for it. That would avoid opening computers at each end, jumpers etc. And it would give some protection to the drive in transit.

15-11-2012, 11:11 AM
can I just take the hard drive out of my current computer, wrap it up safely, take it home and plug it into another computer without losing any data.

Certainly. You can connect direct (just don't boot off it as has been said. You won't lose anything but Windows may creash or try and update the drivers).

Better is to buy a Sata to USB adapter and connect it that way.

15-11-2012, 01:00 PM
I tried using an external case from a old WD external hard drive but it wouldn't load on another computer and required initializing (which I assume wipes the hard drive). So I just assumed that plugging straight into an external case wouldn't work. Or did I do something wrong?

15-11-2012, 02:01 PM
Possibly some kind of incompatibility between that drive and that external case.

Might be it needs to be an exact model type to work, or perhaps it was a higher capacity than the case can support.

15-11-2012, 02:36 PM
Well the old hard drive was only a 1TB while mine is a 2TB. But when in administrative tools it still showed the hard drive with the 2TB of storage. Could that still have been the problem you think?

Speedy Gonzales
15-11-2012, 02:40 PM
What version of windows is on your hdd and what version of windows is on the pc youre installing your hdd on?? Not all systems can recognise a 2 tb hdd. Unless there's some kind of hack. So it will recognise it. Or unless the system that the hdd is connected to, supports it (the BIOS on it may support 2-3 TB hdd's)

15-11-2012, 04:08 PM
Some WD external hdd models use encryption and I don't think you can just plug an already formatted drive in and read it due to this.
Most external enclosures don't have this problem/feature and using one is a good option.

Otherwise it'll work and there's no real danger as long as you treat the drive with some care, an anti static bag is a good Idea. If it's formatted NTFS you may have ownership issues trying to read or write to the drive. Usually if you are running with administrator rights it's not much of an issue.