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Transplanting Hard Drive w/Vista Into Another Identical Laptop


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Lmotive's Avatar
Lmotive Lmotive is offline
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10-Aug-2011, 07:49 PM #1
Transplanting Hard Drive w/Vista Into Another Identical Laptop
I have a Compaq 6910P laptop and the video (screen, internal video circuitry or both) are failing. I just purchased another identical laptop, with the same chipset, processor speed and RAM memory (4 gb), with the idea to transplant the hard drive into it, so I have a usable computer. What unpleasant surprises are in store, if any?
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11-Aug-2011, 05:30 PM #2
Some of the other components may be different (different make or different model number) so be prepared for several driver errors when Windows loads. You see, even though the two laptops are "identical", HP will not necessarily have used identical components for everything because they source their parts from different suppliers from one month to the next in order to guarantee constant supply. However, driver problems are easily remedied.

Your real problem will be this: If the failed laptop was supplied with Windows pre-installed, it is illegal to use that copy on a different computer. In essence, when a laptop "dies", the copy of Windows that was factory installed on it also dies at the same time. It cannot legally be transferred to another machine.
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11-Aug-2011, 05:48 PM #3
Actually, the computer originally came with XP, but I changed a failing hard drive and ghosted the drive. HP also sent me the Vista CDs that I was supposed to have received, (but never did) and I upgraded the operating system. Nevertheless, one is ok to change the software to another machine, as long as you don't use two copies of the software simultaneously. As regards the operating system, will it not function at all? I can't imagine MS trying to force people to buy another copy of their operating system if their computer fails.
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12-Aug-2011, 09:27 AM #4
You can replace a defective motherboard with the exact same one. This is from the Microsoft OEM Licensing FAQ:

Quote:
If the motherboard is replaced because it is defective, you do not need to acquire a new operating system license for the PC as long as the replacement motherboard is the same make/model or the same manufacturer's replacement/equivalent, as defined by the manufacturer's warranty.
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12-Aug-2011, 09:53 AM #5
Yes, I figured this situation would qualify, as the replacement comes in the form of a hopefully non-defective motherboard and peripherals. Parenthetically, this will be my last HP, as I've had a lot of problems with this computer with the keyboard, hard drive and now the video portion. The laptop I bought previous to this one, an HP Pavilion ZV 6000 didn't hold up either, with overheating, charging system, battery and numerous other small problems. I can't be the only one with these problems.

In any case, the question still remains - any advice, as to how to prepare for the event of transplanting the hard drive? Should I delete drivers before I shut down a final time in the old computer? Should I reinstall the operating system in hard drive, once it's installed in the new computer? Should I do a factory default restore on the entire driver set, once the hard drive is reinstalled in the replacement laptop?
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13-Aug-2011, 07:53 AM #6
It depends on what you are trying to achieve. If the intent is to move the hard drive from a bad computer to a good one that is exactly the same, just move the hard drive and it should work without having to do anything special.

On the other hand, if you suspect something might be slightly different (e.g. the HP support site shows WIFI drivers for both Boadcom and Intel adapters). them you should delete the drivers for the hardware that is different before shutting down the old computer.
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14-Aug-2011, 01:22 PM #7
Yes, my intent is to move the hard drive from a bad computer to a good one, that is exactly the same, which is why I bought the replacement computer. It seems that the video card and RAM (4 GB) are the same, although I can't determine if any of the other chipsets are identical to my old (present) laptop.

It's functional as a desktop computer, because I am using it right now to respond to your post, but I have to use an external monitor. Other than the non-functional video function using the LCD screen, which shows two broad vertically-oriented bands, with very fine horizontal lines and a narrow black band down the middle, it works just fine.

I am mystified as to what the issue is with this laptop, whether it's the video portion of the motherboard, a driver(s) - (I did a "restore" of the drivers from Vista CDs that HP issued - which brought the laptop back to some level of functionality, without the BSOD), or it's the screen itself.

However, I need this for business and I'm going to Europe on some business and I can't be without the hard drive and its data, so I figured getting an identical computer, w/o the video problems was probably an expeditious solution.

I should point out, parenthetically, that this issue began to emerge BEFORE the computer's warranty ran out, but HP refused to honor it and recognize a past "trouble-ticket" or functional equivalent for the dates I called in to seek resolution.

I'm sure you can understand that HP will be off the vendor list, henceforth. This was a major bad faith event.
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17-Aug-2011, 02:29 AM #8
Well, I just received my "new" identical laptop (Compaq 6910p) yesterday and installed the hard drive from my current misbehaving video laptop and everything works perfectly.

In fact, this replacement seems to work much faster. I transplanted the hard drive from the "new" computer into the old one and the video problem persisted, so it can't be anything but hardware.

What video component goes bad in this computer? Is it a separate video component or is the video portion integrated into the motherboard?
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