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Moving Hard Drives and Data Between Laptops?

Hello,

I am getting a Dell Inspiron 15 i7559-5012GRY soon. I currently own a Toshiba Satellite S55T-A5161.

From my understanding, the Dell has an extra slot for a hard drive to be added (an M.2 card slot). Is it possible for me to remove the HDD (Serial ATA) from my old laptop and put it into that extra slot in my new one for the purpose of switching over files really quickly? I would then remove the HDD and put it back in its original computer.

I'm confident in my ability to physically undo the screws and take out a hard drive, but my concerns are with what might happen if I take out my old laptop's hard drive. I presume both laptops would be shut off, but can I just take it out and put it back later with no repercussions? And is that method even a good idea for getting a ton of files onto my new computer?

Thanks.
10 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about moving hard drives data laptops
  1. In my experience I have done that and it has worked fine. The only thing that you really need is the same or bigger size of Space in the new drive than the old.
  2. If this is a secondary drive, should be no problem.
    If you were expecting to boot from this drive....problem.
  3. USAFRet said:
    If this is a secondary drive, should be no problem.
    If you were expecting to boot from this drive....problem.


    Definitely not trying to boot from the old drive. If both of the drives would have an operating system on them, how do I make sure the correct one is used when I start the new laptop?

    Also, upon additional research, it would appear that an M.2 port is completely different from a port for a 2.5 inch drive, so my old drive may not even go in. In that case, what would be the best way to transfer files, if I want to do it quickly?
  4. Best answer
    Clay_Ton_1 said:
    USAFRet said:
    If this is a secondary drive, should be no problem.
    If you were expecting to boot from this drive....problem.


    Definitely not trying to boot from the old drive. If both of the drives would have an operating system on them, how do I make sure the correct one is used when I start the new laptop?

    Also, upon additional research, it would appear that an M.2 port is completely different from a port for a 2.5 inch drive, so my old drive may not even go in. In that case, what would be the best way to transfer files, if I want to do it quickly?


    Yes, the m.2 port is completely different. A regular SATA drive will not work.

    The easiest way to copy data?
    Shared folders, both systems booted up and connected to the same router.

    Or, and external USB drive. Plug it in the old, copy what you need
    Plug it in the new, and copy that stuff onto the new system.
  5. USAFRet said:
    Clay_Ton_1 said:
    USAFRet said:
    If this is a secondary drive, should be no problem.
    If you were expecting to boot from this drive....problem.


    Definitely not trying to boot from the old drive. If both of the drives would have an operating system on them, how do I make sure the correct one is used when I start the new laptop?

    Also, upon additional research, it would appear that an M.2 port is completely different from a port for a 2.5 inch drive, so my old drive may not even go in. In that case, what would be the best way to transfer files, if I want to do it quickly?


    Yes, the m.2 port is completely different. A regular SATA drive will not work.

    The easiest way to copy data?
    Shared folders, both systems booted up and connected to the same router.

    Or, and external USB drive. Plug it in the old, copy what you need
    Plug it in the new, and copy that stuff onto the new system.


    Thanks. I don't have an external drive or flash drive nearly large enough, but I can use the network option. I've heard that an ethernet cable between the two computers can also work. Does anyone know anything about how that works?
  6. Clay_Ton_1 said:


    Thanks. I don't have an external drive or flash drive nearly large enough, but I can use the network option. I've heard that an ethernet cable between the two computers can also work. Does anyone know anything about how that works?


    Much, much easier to connect them to the same router. Either wired or WiFi.

    What 'files' are you planning on transferring over?
    How much data?
  7. USAFRet said:
    Clay_Ton_1 said:


    Thanks. I don't have an external drive or flash drive nearly large enough, but I can use the network option. I've heard that an ethernet cable between the two computers can also work. Does anyone know anything about how that works?


    Much, much easier to connect them to the same router. Either wired or WiFi.

    What 'files' are you planning on transferring over?
    How much data?


    The files of greatest size are movies and games that aren't connected to anything like Steam where I could just re-download them. Overall, I've got over 150 gigs of stuff like that. I also have a handful of other documents, but the size of the games and movies is enough to make me think twice about trying to just download them all over WiFi. The biggest external drive I own is a 4GB flash drive, and I'm not trying to buy something else for a one-time use. I'm looking at more info on stuff like Windows HomeGroups right now, but I'd be open to a faster option.
  8. Cat5e cables, both connected to the same router.
    Shared folder, copy/paste.

    Note...already installed non_Stream games probably can't be copied like this.
  9. USAFRet said:
    Cat5e cables, both connected to the same router.
    Shared folder, copy/paste.

    Note...already installed non_Stream games probably can't be copied like this.


    Thanks for the help.
  10. you may have already gone ahead with this but here is an alternative. i understand you do not want to invest in an external hard drive - however, for less than $10 you could get an external hard drive enclosure - put the hard drive from your old computer in it - start your new computer - plug the enclosure's usb into the new computer - let it find the hard drive - copy the files - shut down the computer - remove the hard drive from the enclosure and put it back in your old computer - job done!

    note that the enclosure would not be a total waste of $10 because i'm sure at some point you'd come across a hard drive to put it in it more or less permanently and then you'd have an external hard drive for backing up etc.
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