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Switching a 64 bit hard drive to a 32 bit lap top

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
March 9, 2012 5:28:20 PM

here is the deal, I had a less than one year old Dell inspiron 64 bit windows 7 machine, 500 gig hd. My son spilled water on it and fried the motherboard, but had it checked and the hard drive is fine. I was wondering if I could install the hard drive from the Dell into an older Acer we have. It would fit Ive tried that but would it run? Here are the stats for the Acer. Model aspire 5515, total amount of ram 3.00, 32 bit operating system, # of processing cores 1, 64 bit capable Yes, AMD 64, ATI Radion x1200. Let me know if you need any other info..
March 9, 2012 5:52:51 PM

You'll need to reinstall Windows. All the drivers and other support files on the drive were tailored to the computer you pulled it out of, and they are not valid in the new laptop.

Aside from that, a hard drive is a hard drive is a hard drive. Any computer will support any drive, so long as it has the necessary connectors.
a c 248 D Laptop
March 9, 2012 9:29:36 PM

Hi :) 

As you know it WILL fit...

As already said you will need to totally reinstall Windows and it may well NOT activate, so you will probably need to BUY another Windows with legal number...

All the best Brett :) 
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March 9, 2012 10:15:58 PM

so I get to the system recovery tool and the only real option I see is Dell DataSafe Restore and Emergency Backup. The rest are System Restore, System Image Rec, Startup Repair, Windows Mem Diag, and Command Promt. I tried the Dell DataSafe thing and it gave me 2 options restore computer and preserve my new or changed files, and Select other System Backup and more options. More options gives me either a Backup files option or Restore my Computer. Ive tried all of them and nothing seems to be working. I acts like it is, says wait while restoring, bla bla bla, then it does the partition thing, than says restoring, then restart, and windows trys to start but goes blue at the top and trys to start over again, over and over. When I go into safe mode to try it starts loading and all the files are still 32 bit so I know it hasnt changed anything. Any advise?
March 9, 2012 10:32:48 PM

You need a real Windows 7 x64 (probably Home Premium) install disk or ISO. Although unless you get a license for the OS you can't activate it using the license for your old system as it is tied to the hardware that was spilled on. Otherwise you could install Windows 8 consumer preview on it legally to obtain your data.
March 9, 2012 10:50:31 PM

You'll need to format the hard drive and reinstall windows. The OEM version of windows is only for the notebook it was installed on and is not to be moved to another unit. Any dealer that does that could be, and have been sued by Microsoft. You can buy a DL version of Windows burn a ISO copy and install that way.
March 10, 2012 12:43:30 AM

so basically I need to get my hands on a windows 7 64 bit disk, and not a windows 7 64 bit update disk. Just install it on the other laptop, but wont that erase everything on the hard drive? I would like to get that info off there....
a c 248 D Laptop
March 10, 2012 1:10:29 AM

Hi :) 

Yes it WILL format and erase EVERYTHING...

All the best Brett :) 
March 10, 2012 1:36:19 AM

Have you tried installing the Dell HDD into the old Acer as a slave for the purpose of pulling off your personal data (pics, etc)? Install it as a slave drive and make sure the BIOS is NOT going to boot off of is temporary drive. If the old Acer can recognize the format of the drive you are good to go otherwise you will have to temporarily install it in a compatable computer to retrieve your data.

In any case, you can NOT use the operating system from the Dell PC to "upgrade" an old PC to Win7. That license is tied to your old dead MB
March 10, 2012 2:50:31 AM

so as not to sound stupid, what would I need to connect the new drive to the old laptop? a hard drive adaptor or is there something else? Im guessing making like an external drive? Im ok with computers but this isnt one of those things Ive done before..
March 12, 2012 2:23:29 PM

Ok all this weekend I bought a windows 7 upgrade that came with the 32 bit and 64 bit versions but I cant get the 64 bit to load up. is there anyway to do that and if so how, or am I stuck with just using the 32 bit and not be able to use the other hard drive?
April 2, 2012 10:40:50 PM

You can't just replace the newer 64 bit drive in your older 32 bit system, for many reasons, including all of the above.

However, depending on the connectors inside your older case, you might just be able to add the newer drive.

Is it a sata drive? If so, another little red cable will do the trick (just look in there and see how the existing drive is hooked up, then order a duplicate cable from some place like Mono-price [dot] com.)

If it's a pata drive, you may already have a connector on the existing cable you can use. Just make sure you aren't using one of the connectors close to the end of the cable. Find a spare power cable inside your case (4 pin molex) and that should work as well. Again, look inside to see how it should be hooked up.

Also, there are external cases that can be purchased that will allow you to use that drive as an external (storage, spare?) drive. You can then simply plug it in to one of your USB ports and it will show up in your file manager as another drive.