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Thread: 1 hard drive 2 computers?

  1. #1
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    1 hard drive 2 computers?

    I have a hard drive (from my laptop) with windows xp on it. Could I use this same hard drive in my desktop, or would there be problems?

  2. #2
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    Re: 1 hard drive 2 computers?

    If you're just going to use it as a data disk, you will probably have no problems.

    EDIT: Does it contain Ubuntu as well, or only Windows XP?
    I don't know for Windows XP, but I know that you can do that with Ubuntu.

    If you want to boot Ubuntu in it you would have some minor problems, but nothing that can't be solved with a little tinkering.

    For one thing you would need to run sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg to make a new /etc/X11/xorg.conf file to get your operating system reconfigured for the different hardware. (Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, etc).
    That would take you a little time, maybe five or ten minutes the first time you boot.

    There will be a backup of you old settings made automatically for you in /etc/X11/ with a number given to it, but you could also make your own backup as well. Try to remember to do this before you run sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg,
    Code:
    sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf_laptop
    Then you would be able to boot in recovery mode when you put the hard drive back in your laptop and do,
    Code:
    sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf_desktop
    Code:
    sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf_laptop /etc/X11/xorg.conf
    That will mean you can restore the laptop's xserver settings before booting with the hard drive in the laptop, and restore the desktop's xserver settings when the hard drive is plugged into the desktop.

    Apart from than if there is already another hard disk or more in the desktop, you might just have to experiment with GRUB a little to get it to boot up for the first time, (presuming you want to boot it). The best way to experiment with GRUB is to use GRUB's Command Line Interface and then add the same commands to your /boot/grub/menu.lst file for future ease of booting.

    Regards, Herman
    Last edited by Herman; February 11th, 2008 at 06:03 AM.
    Ubuntu user since 2004 (Warty Warthog)

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon

    Re: 1 hard drive 2 computers?

    it would almost certainly not work and if it did windows would be very unstable. windows unlike linux does not detect and load modules/drivers at each boot but rather installs them on a more permanent basis, if you put the laptop drive in another system it will try to install drivers for that system possibly overwriting existing drivers and generally causing a big mess. Whats more windows will detect that its not running on the same hardware and you will be forced to re-activate it. All in all bad idea,

    If you plug in your laptop drive with xp on it but DONT use it as the boot disk (boot from another windows/linux partition) then everything should be ok.

    I interpretted "with windows xp' on it as meaning that you want to the desktop from that windows xp installation. Perhaps you could provide more info on the intended use?

  4. #4
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    Re: 1 hard drive 2 computers?

    Yeah and there would be legal reasons why you shouldn't do that with Windows XP too probably.
    Ubuntu user since 2004 (Warty Warthog)

  5. #5
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    Re: 1 hard drive 2 computers?

    Yes I wanted to use the same harddrive to boot both.
    I did not expect it to work, but thought i'd ask.

    Thankyou all for the replies.

  6. #6
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    Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

    Re: 1 hard drive 2 computers?

    I can't see why you wouldn't be able to, unless you're connecting two computers to the same drive at the same time.

    There are adapters that will let you plug a laptop hard drive into a normal PC's IDE cable. I own one.

    The trouble I could see is the whole Windows Genuine Advantage not giving you the Genuine Advantage. In other words, you'll get nagged that you're using a pirated version of XP.
    What do tone deaf singers, floppy drive music, and an old woman dreaming about mashed rodents have in common? They're all on my blog! CHECK IT OUT

  7. #7
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    Re: 1 hard drive 2 computers?

    However, you'll run into driver hell when the machine boots up and finds the chipset installed is for a laptop versus an aopen or other mobo. Not to mention the CPU scaling and power settings versus sound/video/other drivers and what-not. I'd bet a nickel you'll see a BSOD prior to the WinXP bootsplash...

    Registered Linux User #419773, Ubuntu User #8473 ("It Is What It Is")

    If you type rm -Rf / as root at command line you will get herpes... then die... (okay, it'll erase ALL your data)

  8. #8
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    Re: 1 hard drive 2 computers?

    I think I'd get to the boot splash, but not passed it. I'm not gonna try, though.

  9. #9
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    Re: 1 hard drive 2 computers?

    Although I haven't done it with WinXP, I've swapped hard drives in and out of various PCs and booted them up. It takes a while for Windows to detect all the new hardware.

    However, I know WinXP handles drivers differently, so it may behave differently. Might be something for me to try out one day.

    Quote Originally Posted by dca View Post
    However, you'll run into driver hell when the machine boots up and finds the chipset installed is for a laptop versus an aopen or other mobo. Not to mention the CPU scaling and power settings versus sound/video/other drivers and what-not. I'd bet a nickel you'll see a BSOD prior to the WinXP bootsplash...
    What do tone deaf singers, floppy drive music, and an old woman dreaming about mashed rodents have in common? They're all on my blog! CHECK IT OUT

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