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Transferring hard disk from one laptop to another

Michael Murphy
Taking a hard disk drive from one Dell Inspiron and inserting it in another Dell Inspiron

I don't think this can work, but might there be a way around it? Taking the hard disk from a Dell Inspiron 15,  5000 and inserting it in a Dell Inspiron 15 3000. The connections do not suit. I just want to be sure there is no way around this.
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It might work depending on the hardware, I have done this successfully and windows reconfigured itself to tor the new hardware
BUT if your drive is password locked (disk password from bio setting)
this will not work, you would have to remove the password before moving it to the other PC, in many cases even if you know the password in case it has one (when it also has admin password together with disk password) , will not work if you change it to another PC.
be aware that you may need to reactivate your windows license after the change, as well as any other software that depends on the hardware to protect its license

Sata connectors should be the sameHD 5000HD 3000 same connectors
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software Engineer

Frequently, Dell laptops require an adapter to go from the internal connector to the SATA connector.  Several different units have been used.  If your drive appears to have anything other than a SATA connector, pull gently on the connector and the adapter should come loose (see arana's picture above).

Some Dells carry their OEM Windows licenses in the BIOS.  This works when installing Windows from scratch but I'm not sure it would work when putting a drive with Windows already on it into a significantly different system.  Per arana's comment supra, you might have to enter a Windows key.  If the version of Windows on the drive is not the version of Windows the target system shipped with (e.g., W7 vs W10, Windows Home vs Windows Pro) a key will almost surely be required.

In most cases I've found it more prudent to back up any important files, erase the drive, and reload from scratch on the target system.  Then the system drive has only what it needs and can use, without a lot of leftover drivers and such that might cause problems.


I would have preferred to award equal points to both experts but this appears not to be allowed. Thanks for really comprehensive answers. Luckily there was no password on either laptop.
Kesavan JeganarayananIT Consultant


Just remove the hard disk only, leave the connector. 

15 3000

15 5000