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I'm trying to install Windows 8 for a friend who has recently bricked a laptop hard drive. The new one is OEM so there is no OS - I need to be able to stick it in to my tower and load the new OS on it.

Both bricked and replacement laptop hard drives are SATA and connect to my mobo just like any other. After I post this I'm going to check the BIOS and see if it shows up, but so far I don't have it showing up in Disk Management.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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closed as too localized by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Diogo, Sirex, Randolph West, 8088 Sep 24 '12 at 6:15

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Why don't you just put the hard drive in the laptop and install Windows 8 via USB or DVD? (providing it shows up in the laptop) – cutrightjm Sep 23 '12 at 2:44
If it doesn't see the drive in the drive in the BIOS before the OS is installed, it likely won't see it after the OS is installed. As far as the BIOS is concerned, what is on the disk is unimportant. If your BIOS fails to see any drives, it is not likely the drive that is the problem, but the controller or the cable. I'm also not sure how Windows 8 will handle being installed on one chipset and then migrated to another for use - it is possible you might see some issues there. – MaQleod Sep 23 '12 at 4:44
These are all true things. What I ended up doing is exactly what @ekaj suggested - I don't know why I didn't remember that. The bootable USB thing was a very impressive feature I read about Windows 8. – Sean Allred Sep 23 '12 at 17:58
You should make a good answer and post it here. – zero2cx Sep 23 '12 at 18:13
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I would look around for something like this. These SATA-to-USB 2.0 hard drive converter/enclosures are available in 2.5" size to fit your drive.

If your BIOS can boot from USB, you could even designate it as the primary drive, if that would be helpful.

I have rescued a few laptop hard drives with these enclosures.

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But why wouldn't my BIOS recognize the drive as-is? Is there something fundamentally different about 2.5" drives versus 3.5"? – Sean Allred Sep 23 '12 at 17:59
IDK about your BIOS settings. The 3.5" inch size is for desktop size drives. You would choose the 2.5" (laptop) size enclosure. – zero2cx Sep 23 '12 at 18:04
But I don't really care about enclosing it unless that would be the only way for my BIOS to recognize it. Is there anything different about SATA for 2.5" vs. 3.5"? While that'd be weird, it'd explain why I can't recognize the drive. – Sean Allred Sep 23 '12 at 20:32
This is only a workaround solution. The real problem is the BIOS issue, of course. And I don't know how to make the BIOS recognize your SATA drive. – zero2cx Sep 24 '12 at 2:56
The thing is I have two other SATA drives in there right now, and they work fine (3.5") – Sean Allred Sep 24 '12 at 4:40

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