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My laptop went kaput. I want to take my laptop's HDD and boot the OS (Windows 7) in a different computer through a USB adapter. Possible?

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Can you clarify what you mean by "run"? Do you mean access the files on it? Or do you mean boot from it? – David Schwartz Aug 27 '12 at 7:45
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Yes, just get a cheap USB external enclosure that's appropriate for your hard drive type. (IDE or SATA)

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How can I tell between IDE and SATA? Is it a very noticeable hardware difference? – drum Aug 27 '12 at 3:43
Check the documentation for your laptop or look at the hard drive. If it has two flat connectors (one for power, one for data), it's SATA. If it has one wide connector with two rows of pins sticking out, it's IDE. – David Schwartz Aug 27 '12 at 3:45
Thank you David Schwartz. – drum Aug 27 '12 at 3:46
I meant booting the OS. I've clarified the question as well. – drum Aug 27 '12 at 17:06
You may need to go into the BIOS on the computer you intend to use to change the boot order. It may not by default boot from the USB drive. – dangowans Aug 27 '12 at 20:08

Won't always work though. If windows notices too big of a change in hardware, it won't load up the proper drivers and it will fall. As well, make sure the new laptop supports USB booting

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Is there anyway to fix the driver problem? – drum Aug 27 '12 at 3:59
It's a very long manual process, and depends on the old system and the new one. Due to the tine it would take to do it, it's usually not worthit – Canadian Luke Aug 27 '12 at 4:14
Windows won't boot from USB anyway. – kinokijuf Aug 27 '12 at 5:37
@kinokijuf There are ways to – Canadian Luke Aug 27 '12 at 5:58
@Luke there aren’t. Windows resets the USB ports during the boot sequence, which would mean losing access to the boot device. – kinokijuf Aug 27 '12 at 12:03

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