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Can you swap Hard drives between computers

J.R. Sitman
J.R. Sitman asked
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I'm having speed problems with my personal Dell computer.  I've done tons of testing and can't find the cause.  Yes I've used Process Explorer.  The issue I'm having is the mouse will just hang for 2-5 seconds, which makes it impossible to click on stuff until it frees up.  Very frustrating.
What I'd like to test is to place my HD into a new Dell computer at work.  The question is will the work computer boot up?  They are both 32bit and both are Windows 7.
I want to see if it is just my computer is old and I should up grade.
The screen shots are home and work processors just in case anyone has an opinion if my home computer is aging.


jrprocessor.png
work-computer.png
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Most Valuable Expert 2015
Commented:
As long as you stay with a DELL like in your situation it should work. But the drivers needed will be different so you'll have to install the correct drivers (or wait and allow reboots a couple of times while the OS finds and installs those drivers). If you were using the HD between different manufacturers you'd probably get bluescreens because the OS is activated for a different manufacturer.

But on the whole I don't think you can use that to solve or find your problem.
Neil RussellTechnical Development Lead
Commented:
It should boot, windows 7 is very good at that kind of thing. BUT you will have to re-activate windows for certain as the hardware changes will be spotted.
The symptoms you describe are often indicative of a pending hard disk failure OR of an active antivirus scan in progross. Do have a new drive you could image the old one onto and try that?
Your home computer have really good specs [Core2Duo 3.0, 8GB Ram(Win 7 32bits supports maximum 4) i think the problem your having could be due to Virus or maybe faulty HDD ]

You can try connecting the home HDD to the Work computer, but in keep in mind that your HOME computer is more powerful that your Work Computer.
J.R. SitmanIT Director

Author

Commented:
These posts are very helpful.  The home HD is only a few months old.  I do have Norton 360 but when watching Process Explorer I never see any activity related to Norton.  IE does frequently use 17-20%, but the mouse hangs even whe IE isn't running.  I can't find a pattern for the cause.  Since my processor is better, I'm considering reinstalling 7 and installing the programs I use over several days to see if that might help.  Your opinions would be appreciated.
Yes,

Reinstalling everything is what i would do, and it doesnt matter that your HDD is only a few months, i have had the bad luck that a HDD fails within a week of being purchased.

Anyway, i would suggest to go ahead and reformat and reinstall and see if that fixes the problem,

Have you run a full deep scan of the Antivirus?

Commented:
HI there, about your problem there are a couple of things you can do. First try if you havent already to defragment your hdd, next if that doesnt work try to check your drive for errors. If the check disk finds any bad sectors I would recommend to do a full backup of your data.
First off why do you have 8Gb of ram installed on a 32-bit os(not even half of it is being used)? I have sen more than $gb of ram cause issues on 32-bit os's, technically it shouldn't but it does. Try removing half the ram and see if that helps. IMHO my next step would be to permanently remove norton. They may have finally cut downs its cpu usage, but from what I have seen seen it still uses to much ram and hdd time. Running diagnostics on the hdd isn't a bad idea either, a failing drive would cause the issue.
Robert RComputer Service Technician

Commented:
As you can see in your post that only 3 gb of ram of the 8 you have installed is recognized, you need to install a 64 bit version of windows 7 and your problems will probably go away. A 32 bit operating system only recognizes only up to  3 gb as shown in your post. As mentioned previously by Jamie that having more ram than what the operating system can recognize can be asking for problems. it is also a  waste of ram since windows will only use 3 gb of the ram in a windows 32 bit operating system.
J.R. SitmanIT Director

Author

Commented:
I've drifted off of my original question and I know the Expert Moderators don't like that.  I'm going to award points for the orignal question and post a new one   it will be "How do I trouble shoot speed problems"  I would appreciate it if you could watch for it.  
To answer your memory question that was a brain fart on my part.  I forgot 32 bit can't handle more than 4.  I will remove it
@jamietoner what Anti-Virus do you recommend?
@Carplyh I will try your steps after removing the memory.

Watch for my post.
Hello,

I know it was directed to me, but i recommend Eset Smart Securty as an Antivurs.
Most Valuable Expert 2015

Commented:
I'm not jamie, but my favourite antivirus is the free Panda Cloud tool. It uses the least resources of any such tool I've seen, and I haven't had any issues with it yet. Another supposedly good one is m$'s security essentials, which is also free.
Sorry i mean:

"I know it wasn't directed to me"
J.R. SitmanIT Director

Author

Commented:
don't apologise, all opinions are welcome and appreciated.  Interesting that I've not heard of either.  I'm always leary of the "Free" stuff.

My new post is there.
J.R. SitmanIT Director

Author

Commented:
Thanks to all
Most Valuable Expert 2015

Commented:
I only use free stuff (at least when it is for private use). There is no reason why it shouldn't work, and all of those which I've used have beaten anything from Symantec by lengths (that's a company I stay as far away as possible from).
I currently have been using microsofts securty essentials as my anti virus. I back it up with malwarebytes.