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Dropping old hard drive into new laptop - any driver issues?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by willkayakforfood, Dec 12, 2011.

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  1. willkayakforfood

    willkayakforfood Thread Starter

    Dec 12, 2011

    My laptop just died (HP Pavilion dv2418nr), and from the bit of Googling I've done so far, I suspect a NVIDIA graphics/motherboard failure (apparently common with these dv2000 series laptops).

    I'm in the process of looking for a new laptop. In the meanwhile, I'd like to know if what I'm planning on doing will "simply work", or if there are unhappy issues I may have to deal with. I'd like to simply drop my hard drive into a new machine, and all will be well (all my programs and data running as they should, without the need for a new OS installation).

    I purchased that dv2418nr machine used, just a couple months ago. At the time, it had Windows 7, 64 bit installed, and all seemed to be well. Originally, it seems this machine came with Windows Vista installed. The first thing I did was to replace the hard drive with my own brand new drive (Seagate SATA 500 GB, 7200 rpm). Onto that drive, I installed a fresh copy of Windows 7, 64 bit. All was wonderful, until yesterday's dramatic demise of the computer (froze, and ever since, won't boot up at all).

    Just as a test, I put the old hard drive back into the machine, to see if it was a hard drive issue, but the same thing happens - no boot up. From this little test, I'm assuming that it's not a hard drive issue, so I'm assuming my new 500 GB hard drive is just fine.

    As mentioned above, I'd very much like to get a new laptop, and simply drop my hard drive into it, and be off and running.

    One thing that concerns me here: The drive in question has drivers installed that were used with the late laptop (including some Vista era drivers, as there weren't appropriate Windows 7 drivers available). As long as my new machine can accept this standard 2.5" SATA laptop drive, will the driver issue sort itself out as soon as the new machine detects this "alien" drive? Or am I looking at potential conflicts due to the "old" drivers already residing on the drive?

    Thanks for any help you might be able to offer!

    [Note: I did not install and run the recommended "TSG SysInfo" program here, because my question is not concerning the machine I'm using to type this message (this is an old Windows XP machine I'm borrowing until I can replace my laptop).]
  2. etaf

    etaf Moderator

    Oct 2, 2003
    First Name:
    only if all the hardware is the same and uses the same drivers and chipsets

    there will also be a license issue as the OEM wimndows 7 software should be linked with that machine -

    and if you do get it to work it will probably be unreliable
  3. willkayakforfood

    willkayakforfood Thread Starter

    Dec 12, 2011
    Please correct me if I'm wrong here, but doesn't a full installation of Windows 7 contain enough "generic" drivers to deal with just about any motherboard/BIOS it encounters? At least enough with which to get started?

    I seriously doubt this will be an issue. After all, the machine that just died - as mentioned in my original post - came with Windows Vista (OEM). By the time I purchased it used, the previous owner had already replaced the original Vista with his own copy of Windows 7 (and it was working just fine). When I got it, I installed both a brand new hard drive, and my very own brand new copy of Windows 7 (purchased directly from MS - no "OEM" stuff included), and until this crash yesterday, there was no issue with Windows licensing (my copy of Windows 7 was properly "activated")

    Considering my answers to the previous two questions, are you still convinced of this last statement? If so, could you please explain in greater detail?


    [Edit]: By the way - my next laptop will be brand new, and will be originally set up to run Windows 7 (unlike the laptop that just failed, which originally came with Vista installed).
  4. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned

    Dec 9, 2004
    The Windows 7 installation on that drive has the drivers for the old computer. It probably won't boot on the new computer. At a minimum, you'll have to boot into Safe Mode, remove all hardware from Device Manager, boot into normal mode, and install all hardware drivers for the new computer. Then you'll have to re-activate Windows 7.

    Some people claim it works. I've never tried it.
  5. willkayakforfood

    willkayakforfood Thread Starter

    Dec 12, 2011
    Thank you "etaf" and "DoubleHelix". I've done more research, and feel I've come up with a working plan...

    It seems clear that I can't just insert my old hard drive and expect everything to work. Thanks for insisting that I understand that.

    I'm still going to get a new computer - sooner rather than later - but if all goes according to my new plan, I may have a bit of extra time before I have to make that leap. This would give me time to save more money for a much better laptop than one I might feel forced to purchase right away. So here it is...

    The GPU "reflow" idea got me thinking. The Ebay reflow guys are in NY, and I'm on the west coast, so I had a look around at local laptop repair places, and spoke with someone who will take my machine apart and diagnose the problem (very good local reviews for this local shop). He won't charge for the diagnosis, and will then give me an estimate - including an opinion on whether or not it's even worth the bother.

    If he can give me a "fix" for now (reflow, re-ball, whatever), I can have something I really wanted anyway - a chance to create some critical program/data backups that require those particular programs to actually be running (not just sitting on a somehow accessed drive for grabbing data). Once that's done, I won't feel bad at all about having to start over with a clean OS installation on a new computer.

    Again - thanks for all your help. I'm feeling much better already!
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