Question Using old laptop hard drive in a different laptop

Apr 2, 2020
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Hello.

I had an HP Pavilion laptop. It broke. I checked at a store - the hard drive is OK.

I want to buy a laptop and put the old drive inside the laptop.
I do NOT want to re-install or uninstall anything. I want to use all the programs and files exactly as they were.

I've heard this is possible if you buy the EXACT model of laptop again. This is looking very difficult to do.

Is it possible to buy a laptop with very similar specifications?
Which specifications are important in ensuring I can use my old hard drive with no problem.
Processor? Hard drive type of the laptop? Memory? Brand?

I'm assuming the software specs of the laptop I buy won't be relevant, as I would be using my old hard drive?

Any help would be much appreciated!
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Hello.

I had an HP Pavilion laptop. It broke. I checked at a store - the hard drive is OK.

I want to buy a laptop and put the old drive inside the laptop.
I do NOT want to re-install or uninstall anything. I want to use all the programs and files exactly as they were.

I've heard this is possible if you buy the EXACT model of laptop again. This is looking very difficult to do.

Is it possible to buy a laptop with very similar specifications?
Which specifications are important in ensuring I can use my old hard drive with no problem.
Processor? Hard drive type of the laptop? Memory? Brand?

Any help would be much appreciated!
I want to buy a laptop and put the old drive inside the laptop.
I do NOT want to re-install or uninstall anything.
Unlikely that will work. But not 100% guaranteed to fail.
I've had very similar laptops where trying that failed completely.
I've had much greater difference systems where it worked.

We'd ALL like a Windows install to be that modular.
Sadly, it is not. Especially among laptops.

You can try, but don't be surprised if it fails completely.
 
Apr 2, 2020
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Unlikely that will work. But not 100% guaranteed to fail.
I've had very similar laptops where trying that failed completely.
I've had much greater difference systems where it worked.

We'd ALL like a Windows install to be that modular.
Sadly, it is not. Especially among laptops.

You can try, but don't be surprised if it fails completely.
If I were to able to purchase the exact laptop again (exact same model number and specs), would that be likely to work?
 
Apr 2, 2020
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"The information on the old hard drive are very important to me. "

Then you absolutely need to copy that data off to some other drive, before you stick this drive in any different system. Even if it an exact replacement.
How do I safely copy/back up the hard drive, seeing as I don't have a laptop? Is this risk-free in itself?

If I were to buy a new laptop and realise my old hard drive doesnt work with it.... Will I be able to install the programs onto the new laptop, transfer the program files for that program, and then use the program normally? Or will the files be jumbled or corrupted in such a way that I wouldn't be to use them?

If it makes any difference, I'm talking about music production software and their files
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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Depends on what you mean by "program files".
Things that YOU created, probably. Parts and pieces of the original progam, almost certainly not. Plugins, maybe.

I would absolutely NOT plug that old drive into a new system without a known good backup.
The process of making that drive work with a different system could easily wipe the whole drive.


Way ahead:
Buy a new laptop
Install whatever applications you currently use
Buy a USB-SATA dock. Like this: https://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters-Docking-Station-Support/dp/B0099TX7O4
Plug your old drive into that, and copy your personal files from it.
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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Also, take this as a heads up to start a comprehensive backup routine.
Your HP laptop dying could just as easily have taken out the drive in doing so.
Never ever have irreplaceable data in only one place.
 
Apr 2, 2020
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Depends on what you mean by "program files".
Things that YOU created, probably. Parts and pieces of the original progam, almost certainly not. Plugins, maybe.

I would absolutely NOT plug that old drive into a new system without a known good backup.
The process of making that drive work with a different system could easily wipe the whole drive.


Way ahead:
Buy a new laptop
Install whatever applications you currently use
Buy a USB-SATA dock. Like this: https://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters-Docking-Station-Support/dp/B0099TX7O4
Plug your old drive into that, and copy your personal files from it.
Do the specs of the new laptop I buy matter?

I appreciate your help very much.
 
Apr 2, 2020
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Hello all,
I'm looking to buy a new laptop. I want to transfer files from my old laptop's HDD drive to the new laptop. Once I do that, I will want to back up that data on 1 or 2 external hard drives.

I know SSD is faster. Apart from that.... Will I be able to use all my transfer? Can files transferred from an HDD to an SSD be read properly (and vice-versa)?

Thank you for your time
 

RealBeast

Titan
Moderator
Hello all,
I'm looking to buy a new laptop. I want to transfer files from my old laptop's HDD drive to the new laptop. Once I do that, I will want to back up that data on 1 or 2 external hard drives.

I know SSD is faster. Apart from that.... Will I be able to use all my transfer? Can files transferred from an HDD to an SSD be read properly (and vice-versa)?

Thank you for your time
Sure, files can be transferred or copied -- but not programs, just data. There are a number of ways to link them from an Ethernet cable to wireless just make the files/folders shareable for a while.

And it might be easiest to backup all the data to an external drive and then just use that to copy data to the new laptop.

Some data may require special attention, like Thunderbird and/or Firefox settings, bookmarks, old email -- you would need to use a tool like mozbackup to save the stuff in the latest version of the programs and then reload it to your new machine after installing the software.

And cloning would not be useful as it would clone the old OS and be incompatible with the new laptop.
 
Apr 2, 2020
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OK. So I can transfer data between SSD and HDD without any problem? And this data will work with both ssd and hdd?
For example.... A program file that was saved on a hdd can be transferred to and used on a new laptop with sad? (after I insta ll the program on the new laptop of course)?

Kind regards
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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OK. So I can transfer data between SSD and HDD without any problem? And this data will work with both ssd and hdd?
For example.... A program file that was saved on a hdd can be transferred to and used on a new laptop with sad? (after I insta ll the program on the new laptop of course)?

Kind regards
Define "a program file".
Something like an Excel .xls, sure. No problem.
Something like the Excel application, no.
 
Apr 2, 2020
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Hello all,

I have all my files from my old laptop (it is a HDD hard drive).
If I copy these files onto a new laptop (with SSD), will I be able to use them with no problem?

If relevant, I'm talking mainly a) audio files and B) program files for certain music production softwares.


Would I then be able to backup files from my SSD laptop onto an external HDD hard drive?

Kind regards
 
Hello all,

I have all my files from my old laptop (it is a HDD hard drive).
If I copy these files onto a new laptop (with SSD), will I be able to use them with no problem?

If relevant, I'm talking mainly a) audio files and B) program files for certain music production softwares.


Would I then be able to backup files from my SSD laptop onto an external HDD hard drive?

Kind regards
No, most programs will not work unless they are stand alone(portable), user files will be OK.
 
Apr 2, 2020
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No, most programs will not work unless they are stand alone(portable), user files will be OK.
OK. I think my wording was unclear.
I don't want to transfer the program itself.. I will install the program onto the new laptop.

I want to know if I can use the files from FL Studio software (.flp) on my new hard drive? Does it matter if the files were originally on an hdd laptop?
 

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