Swapping hardrives

I have 2 identical laptops. Both are HP Compaqs. On one a couple of the keys have started popping off. On the other one the harddrive is messed up. Can I take the hardrive from the one with the messed up keys and just put it straight into the other one?


Is that a yes? lol

Yes, this is a “yes” :smiley:


Wouldn’t it be a lot easier to swap the keyboards?

BTW, if you swap the Hard drives at SOME point the computer is
probably going to ask you to “reauthenticate” the operating system
because of “hardware changes”.

this SHOULD go smoothly, but if you can avoid seeing that SCARY message, you should…

the keyboard on most notebook computers (particularly on HP-Compaq models)
is easy to remove, because typically they “hide” one of the RAM modules under the keyboard.


AD, The OP stated “I have 2 identical laptops”. It would not require the OP to “reauthenticate” the operating system
because of “hardware changes”. So swapping the HDD would be by far the easiest way to go.

Wanna bet?

The OS install “knows” the MoBo serial number.

Ive seen that message enough times when swapping clone drives (corporate license) into many identical HP Compaq nc6220 after the PoS OEM Hitachi drives inevitably failed…

identical notebooks work if you are fortunate enough to ride herd on a flock of Dell notebooks (never had a dell seem to care where the OS installed on a drive came from) but the HP/Compaqs usually ask
the Fujitsu, gateway and toshiba can be really “bitchy” about it.

AD, All I work on are notebooks and in 7 years never had a HP/ Compaq, that were identical, ever require re-authentication when swapping the HDD from one to another. So if you like you can pay me via paypal…lol
Maybe the OP will post how the swap went.

This is a little off topic but I once had to “reauthenticate” the operating system on Vista HP because I ran a system wide Takeown & grant permissions . I hadn’t made any hardware changes.

[QUOTE=~Jethro~;2550399]AD, All I work on are notebooks and in 7 years never had a HP/ Compaq, that were identical, ever require re-authentication when swapping the HDD from one to another. So if you like you can pay me via paypal…lol
Maybe the OP will post how the swap went.[/QUOTE]

I’ve even taken the drive out of a working nc6220 installed a clone had to “reauthenticate” then reinstalled the original drive from the laptop it came out of and had to reauthenticate it again!

Possibly the embedded corporate security has an effect on this…

Not that they’ve ever refused to accept the CoA number off the case, it’s just the tedious additional task of reading the tiny numbers with my tired eyes and going through what is always an annoying extra step…

What’s really silly is if I do an install on a virgin drive with the corporate copy OS install disc (XP-sp3) it never asks for the CoA during the install…
but if I swap the drive to another notebook about 40% of the time it asks me to reauthenticate… Weird?

but all this discussion doesn’t escape the fact that it’s a lot less effort to swap a keyboard on most notebooks than it is to change out the HDD
though neither job is particularly strenuous to someone who does it more often than they put gas in their car…

Frankly I’ve changed out keyboards on a couple notebooks without even shutting the notebook off…

When someone comes to you in obvious panic with unsaved work because several keys suddenly became “unresponsive”…

But then again on the HP’s I’ve been managing the keyboard is held in with T-10 screws, while the HDD caddy is held in with especially tiny phillips screws… and I can never find my #00 phillips, but my T-10 (and T8) are always in my pocket.

What’s really bizzare is needing to re-authenticate the tablet edition OS on a Fujitsu when just about ANY change is made… (once when upgrading RAM) Like the tablet edition OS for a Fujitsu tablet would work in anything else anyway… frankly it’s like putting a sign on the runways at JFK stating that the runways are not for use by anyone riding a horse or unicycle

but I never said they will have a problem I only said they could have a problem… but swapping the keyboard? No problem…


AD, my replies were for the OP about swapping retail/OEM versions of the HDD in 2 identical laptops. Anything thing else is up for debate, and yes corporate/volume version of the OS are another can of worms. My comments were only about HP/Compaq laptops not any other brand. Focus, focus, focus…lol

I AM focused

The nc6220 Notebooks I’ve seen that “problem” with requiring “re-activation” IS an HP-Compaq notebook.

I don’t know what specific model notebook they are dealing with, but…

I’m just saying that while it might not be a problem, you might not even see a request to reactivate, that there is no hard and fast rule. and you might

On other examples of the nc6220 notebooks that had previously thrown a “please reactivate” DIDN’T later on when the HDD was upgraded.

The phrase “Dice have no memory” seems an appropriate phrase to insert here.

But if you DO get a reactivation request AND you do enter the CoA and for some reason
it doesn’t “like” whichever CoA you use you can’t take that original drive and put it back
in the original laptop because the reactivation writes to the drive and you then have a
drive that will reactivate in even the original notebook…

Then you’d have an actual “problem”

Thus my suggestion that they’d be better off swapping out the broken keyboard.

Not that they will “have a problem”, but that they [I]might[/I].

I’m a firm believer in following the path of least resistance.