Swapping hard drive from one laptop to another

I have two laptops. One is a pitiful 6gb hard drive and the other is 40. I want the larger drive in the better of the laptops so I swaped drives. But as you would have it in the computer world, nothing is that simple and when I boot my 40gb hard drive, the laptop gives me and blue screen with something to the effect of we have shut you down to protect your files and then the option to start windows normally or in various stages of safe mode. When I choose either, it just keeps rebooting and getting the same error again. What am I doing wrong? Does it have something to do with the hard drive swap?

This is because on 40 gb disc there is operative system configured for a different machine, so windows cannot start. To swap discs is not sufficient: you must formate and reinstall all.

as allready noted when Windows installs it lays down the HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) that is specific to the hardware on the machine windows is being installed on. that is why that drive wont boot on the other machine.

you could try doing a repair install of windows and get it to work on that machine but reformat and reinstall is the best option to avoid any problems.

Thank you so much for the information. I had no idea, but that is why you guys are the experts. So if I understand correctly, if I place my Windows XP cd and boot of it, I should be able to format from disk?

Yes. Starting computer with XP installation disc on should allow you to reformat disc (or repair an existing installation). If you don’t have important data on this disc, then I suggest you to reformat: is safer.

If you have important data on this disc, reinstall on old computer, make backups, and then reformat on new computer.

Thanks very much for the advice geno888, I will try this tonight, hopefully it will be uneventfull. Thanks to the CD Freaks community for your fast responses. This place rocks.

You’re welcome.

I also received many helps from this forum

If a person has two laptops that are the same make and model can the hard drives be interchanged without formatting them?

Possibly. Only one way to find out.

Find the exact model of your laptop. Look up support on the manufacturer’s website and download all the drivers you need. Re-install the operating system from a retail copy of Windows (laptops are invariably based on OEM copies of Windows locking you out of a manual reinstall unless there’s a hidden restore partition or a bunch of restore CDs) Then install all the drivers. It still won’t get your laptop back to square one because some software won’t be featured on the support website. At least however you can get your laptop hardware to work as it should despite the lack of twenty-thousand icons in your system tray :wink:

You can do this if you boot up into safe mode and install the original drivers for that laptop. Ideally, if you have the space, partition the drive and do a fresh install using the OS from the host laptop and transfer over all of the appropriate files and folders. Install your programs and you have a fresh install. Then you can format the secondary partition with the old OS.