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Hard-Drive Question

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Despres, Nov 22, 2020.

  1. Despres

    Despres Tele-Holic

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    Keeping this fairly short: I have one laptop with a hard drive that is toast. I pulled that drive out and replaced it with an old one I had lying around to make sure the machine would start with the other drive - it did, but was painfully slow with the old drive.

    SO... I am thinking I will just buy a new hard drive to pop in this machine, which is otherwise a decent laptop.

    My question for those who know these things is, how do I install windows on the new drive? The computer will not boot with the original drive in it, so I can't clone that: I have other machines running the same version of windows, can I use one of those to create a thumb-drive installation? Assuming that is possible, do I then run into licensing issues? I think I have the technology to get all this done, I'm just not sure how to get started.
     
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  2. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

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    You will need the recovery software or copy of it or the right OEM Windows for the software key that should be somewhere on the computer. If you don't have that stuff seek it from the manufacturer. That latter will vary in difficulty depending on the grade of system and its age. If all else fails you should be able to buy a retail/OEM type copy of Windows.

    Again back to the age, grade or quality of the system, make sure you know what it's worth, your time's worth etc... if you have to spend much money or time. If you don't have a good option to reinstall Windows you can choose an easy to use Linux distribution. If the drive makes any noise or an be "seen" SpinRite recovery might get it back.

    Be careful about reformatting the old drive in case you have some recovery options.

    Good luck.
     
  3. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It's all about Drivers being able to work together.
    Easier said than done.
     
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  4. telleutelleme

    telleutelleme Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    If you have your original license key from the laptop (Windows 7 or 10) you can download and install a copy of windows 10. Bring it in on the other machine, build a install version on DVD or USB and then install it on your new hard drive. Get an SSD as your new drive, the performance will be noticeable.
     
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  5. Despres

    Despres Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for the responses. I was, remarkably, able to put my hands on the packing list from when I bought it and the windows 8 recovery discs, so I obviously bought this one at that brief window of history when they were selling PCs with Windows 8, knowing that they would be upgraded to 10 almost immediately.

    It's a decent machine, I actually have a newer one that is superior in every quantifiable measure, but I do prefer working on this one, and recently added a desktop since I haven't been travelling much this year for some reason. It would be worth it to me to buy a new hard drive to keep this as a spare, but probably not worth doing much beyond that. I might mess around with it a bit more - hard drives aren't that much since most of my files are on the cloud I don't need much local storage. The drive that failed is a 256 SSD which isn't full and I know I don't need at least half the stuff on there.
     
  6. telleutelleme

    telleutelleme Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    First thing, get a USB hard drive docking station or case. Put your existing SSD drive in it and plug into one of your other machines. See if you can see any files. If you can you can use the downloaded Win10 bootable file to do a repair or fresh install. Copy your old files off first. If it cannot be read then time for a new drive. You can still install windows 10 free with a key from your windows 8 machine. Probably on the box or COA sticker on the back of the laptop. Having a docking station (<$25) or USB case (even cheaper) is worthwhile having for these type of situations. Good luck.
     
  7. Despres

    Despres Tele-Holic

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    Funny - your post triggered a memory that I do, indeed have a USB Case somewhere - I dug it up and tried the SSD from the computer in question, and it does not register, while the other two old hard drives I have around registered right away. I've ordered a new SSD drive and will trust that I can figure out a way to get the Windows license applied to the re-install. I can see the computer by serial number when I log into Microsoft so it shouldn't be too hard.

    This will give me something to do while the turkey cooks Thursday.

    Thanks for your help!
     
  8. gabeNC

    gabeNC TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

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    +1 on the ssd. This is how I get more milage out of older laptops. The bottleneck of a 5400 RPM drive is terrible.
     
  9. lmjmitchell

    lmjmitchell Tele-Meister

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    If all else fails, you can download Windows 10 and use it indefinitely without registering it.

    There are a few minor things that they turn off until you register it, but nothing major.

    This is what I do when I setup virtual Windows machines at home.
     
  10. telleutelleme

    telleutelleme Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    https://www.zdnet.com/article/heres-how-you-can-still-get-a-free-windows-10-upgrade/

    Good luck.
     
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