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I was just wondering what's the difference when connecting a desktop and laptop hard drive to a computer, as I know from attempts, you connect them both internally no problem but if you were to use a external-USB connector, only the laptop drives connect.

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closed as not a real question by Canadian Luke, Dave M, 8088, Simon Sheehan, TFM Jan 24 '13 at 22:07

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3 Answers

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There are minor differences based on the "target audience". A laptop-targeted drive is apt to be smaller, lighter, more rugged, and, in some cases, able to power off the USB port. ("Desktop" drives pretty much universally require separate power.)

In addition, both the drivers and the backup app that come with the laptop drive may (or may not) be better suited to the situation of regularly disconnecting and reconnecting the drive, while the desktop unit "expects" to be plugged in and left alone in most cases.

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That's what I thought by the results I've been getting, thanks for confirming. –  user88311 Jan 24 '13 at 20:29
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Laptop drives can be (sometimes) powered via USB. Desktop drives need more power, so if you are trying to power a desktop drive via USB, it will not work.

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I'm not quite sure I understand your question. The difference between a Desktop and a laptop internal hard drive is simply the size (Though with Solid States they are the same size).

If you are talking about an external hard drive connected via USB then there is absolutely no difference at all. In fact they don't really make external hard drives that are "Specifically" for one or the other. A hard drive is a hard drive is a hard drive. As long as you are running the same operating systems on both machines and they are both formatted with the same filesystem such as NTFS or FAT32, than it will work the same.

Upon connected the hard drive via USB your system should automatically detect the drive and install the drivers for it. If you have the Auto Run feature disabled then just simply open Windows Explorer by right clicking on My Computer or type it into the search bar of your start menu. Or you can press the WinKey + E. It should pop up there as an additional drive where you can access the files.

Does this answer your question or am I way off on as to what you are asking?

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I was more or less confirming what I thought and what I thought and you said are the same, but I seem to have this issue, when ever I connect any of my desktop drives via a USB connector, the connector shows signs of use (the lights to indicate it's working) but the desktop drives don't register, but I can connect any external/lpatop drive no problem, it's not the drives as I've tried 5 different drives with it but I don't think it's the adapter either since if it was having a issue, it would arrise with all drives, not just the few desktop drives I have. –  user88311 Jan 24 '13 at 19:59
    
@user88311 - Do you have power adapters plugged into these desktop drives? –  Daniel R Hicks Jan 24 '13 at 20:28
    
Open Disk Management with the hard drive connected and tell me if it list the drive there. Here is instructions on how to access disk management. pcsupport.about.com/od/windows7/ht/… –  Kentgrav Jan 24 '13 at 20:35
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