I have a really old laptop and the HDD is about to fall completely. My friend gave me an old laptop which don't work (but the HDD is completely functional) to me to salvage parts to fix mine. I want to know how can I come the contents of my HDD to the one in my friends computer in a way that doesn't mess with the installed OS (Windows 10).

  • did you try Google. There are countless articles on how to do this – Keltari Jun 3 '18 at 0:40
  • @Keltari I did a quick search and a lot of what I found was confusing me. I was hoping for a clearer answer here. – WestWindsDemon Jun 3 '18 at 3:33
  • What bits specifically are confusing you? – bertieb Jun 4 '18 at 11:47
  • I though I needed specialized hardware, and technical knowledge to get this done. The results I got we mentioning a lot of unfamiliar terms. – WestWindsDemon Jun 4 '18 at 16:49

Open laptop, take out the HDD, connect HDD to some other computer, for example your friend's computer. Connect new HDD to same computer.

If possible under Windows, make sure Windows doesn't mount the hard disk (because that may cause writes). Use some program to copy the hard disk block by block, Google for which programs you can use. (Under Linux/MacOS, dd is sufficient).

  • For some reason I was thinking it was going to be more complicated than that. Would you recommend any programs specifically? – WestWindsDemon Jun 3 '18 at 13:45
  • I don't do HDD data extraction or recovery under Windows, I always do it under Linux, because it's simpler to guarantee this way that the OS doesn't mount it and potentially starts to write (meta-)data. So I can't recommend any software for Windows, sorry. If you are going to encounter read errors ("about to fail completely" isn't very precise), and your intent is to salvage as much data as possible, then yes, it's going to be more complicated. A lot, actually. If the approach is "let's get as much data off as possible, but if the data is gone, it's gone" it will be easier. – dirkt Jun 3 '18 at 18:05
  • The thing is that I don't have the Windows 10 installer and I don't know where to get my key, because it upgraded from Windows 8. I want to evade having to re-install the OS. – WestWindsDemon Jun 3 '18 at 20:00
  • I know the info I can retrieve later. Ideally I would repair my friends computer since it's more modern than mine (mine 2013 vs his 2016); but that's a whole nother topic. – WestWindsDemon Jun 3 '18 at 20:21
  • I'm not saying you have to do this under Linux, I'm sure it will also work under Windows. And you certainly don't have to reinstall any OS. But just like you, I'd have to google for programs to do this under Windows - which is why I can't give any recommendations. (And if you want to try under Linux, it's easy to boot from USB, e.g. SystemRescueCD, your HD can stay as it is. But if you've never used Linux, I don't recommend it - find some Windows program instead). – dirkt Jun 3 '18 at 20:42

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.