How To Use Your Current Hard Disk Drive On Another Computer

Yes, that’s absolutely possible. Using this method may help you to save time installing Windows operating system and transferring licenses to a new computer.

Is there a catch with this trick? Unfortunately, there is a catch. This trick will probably work on half the computers so you have a 50 per cent chance that this will work.

Here is why it may not work. Today all Windows work on HAL (hardware abstraction Layers). There are two: ACPI and AHCI. The computer we going to use our hard drive must have the same HAL ACPI or AHCI.

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ACPI based pc

This also may not work if there is some specific hardware on the computer but there is a workaround.

For the first try, we will do no preparation just power the laptop down and take the hard disk drive out. Now we will place it to the caddy and power the laptop on. This works often works on the first try.

Although, it can sometimes crash, even if both computers have the same HAL. If this happens, we will prepare the Windows installation.

Click the Windows button.

My old laptop Dell Latitude E6400
Start run

Type Run hit Enter and in the opened window type Sysprep.


This will open a new window. Find program Sysprep and run it.

System preparation tool

This will open a tab where you may click OK. The system will start to prepare and will reboot or shut down depending on what you have chosen.

Laptop hard disk drive

Now we will move the drive to another laptop and press the power-on button.

It will start from the usual Windows 10 setup.

Windows 10 setup

It also will ask you to make a new username and password. Make a new user account; even though your account is still there, you still have to make a new one. It will not allow you to use here your old account. You may delete the new account afterwards.

Just a moment

Now you can log in to your old account and delete the new one you just created.

Logging in
Removing user account windows 10

If the laptop still crashes then we can put the hard disk drive to an old machine and ask the system to Generalize. Do all the steps from above but when running Sysprep tick the checkbox to make it Generalized.

Sysprep generalize


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