New subscriber Mark Buck wrote to ask about how he could use a hard drive from an failed laptop:
I have a laptop that the system board is fried. I was if I could take the hard drive out of it. And put it in a different laptop.
I wrote back to Mark to tell him that the question was a good one because it had a lot of possible issues.
Assuming his drive is ok, he may be able to use the hard drive in another laptop. it depends on the drive requirements of the other laptop.
Notebook-sized hard drives (2.5-inch) have come in multiple thicknesses. Originally, they were 12 thick. Now, 9mm thickness is the norm. That gives a potential for a thickness problem, if the drive is say 12mm thick while the notebook wants 9mm. In the other direction, a 9mm drive will fit a 12mm drive caddy just fine.
Speed of the notebook drive versus cooling is another issue. I put a 7200 RPM notebook drive in my old Dell Inspiron 5000 back in about 2002. In 2004, in the middle of a presentation at our local computer club, the heat from the drive combined with the heat from the wireless PC-card I was demonstrating at the time (wireless was new back then, and not built into my notebook from the year 2000) burned out the PC-card controller on the motherboard.
Another potential issue is SATA versus IDE/ATA/PATA. In about 2006, notebooks started using the SATA (Serial ATA) interface for hard drives. Before that, they used what is now known as PATA (Parallel ATA), but was then simply known as ATA.
PATA and SATA are not interchangeable. Although you can get adapters for use in desktop computers, that’s not feasible for a notebook.
If the drive won’t work in his other hard drive, there’s still an alternative available. He can use it as a portable hard drive. All he needs is a case made for 2.5″ drives — as long as he makes sure to get the one with the interface type of the drivfe, SATA or PATA.