Diagnosing HD - HD won't load hardware on seperate computer

I am trying to determine why my 2nd computer is having performance difficulties. I am assuming it is because the mb and cpu are old, but I wanted to rule out the HD first. When moving the HD to my main computer, it won't allow my mouse or keyboard to work, and I am assuming this is because of the hardware list created and seeing as it doesn't match my main computer, it wont work. What confuses me though, I can access the HD on the main computer if I make the HD a slave to my regular HD.

Is this normal, or make any sense?
Also, is there a way that I could make the 2nd HD work on my main computer, without being a slave? If there is a way, I wouldn't want to lose any data and be able to revert the 2nd HD to the way it is now once I am done.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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More about diagnosing load hardware seperate computer
  1. You can test the hard drive while it's installed as a second drive (ie not running Windows from it) with SeaTools for Windows: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/forum-13-322.html

    If the test shows any problems, buy a new drive as soon as possible, copy data on to it from the bad drive, then throw the bad drive away.
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