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I put my laptop hard drive into my desktop as a second drive, how do I make it a bootable drive? Answered

Desktop OS=Vista Home Basic, laptop drive= Vista Home Premium. Laptop drive is a SATA so it hooked right up, it is showing up in the Computer window and I can access the files on it. I want to be able to run the programs on it so need to be able to boot it up.


You can install programs on a second hard drive, bootable or not, so they should work. Have you actually tried running any of them? If they won't run check the add/remove window in the control panel and see if any of them how up. If they do, click on them and choose the repair option, you may be able to reconfigure the installs so that they will run.


5 years ago

A bunch of issues come to mind.

First, do you intend to use this drive to boot the notebook again or is this a permanent drive assignment?

If you boot the desktop with the notebook hard drive the notebook's Windows system will have to reconfigure and install all the device drivers for the desktop. It is possible that it will not be able to boot as some of the device drivers could cause conflicts. If this happens it could render the system unbootable and you would need to reinstall Windows or at least do a windows repair. Also Windows will almost for sure require you to reactivate it since you are trying to run it in, what to it, is a new computer. If after all of this you put the drive back in the notebook and then boot from it, Windows will once again have to reconfigure itself and will once again require activation. So with a Windows based system this is not a good idea.

If you want to run the programs on the notebook drive then you should install them on the desktop. Some programs do not have to be installed and can run just fine on an external drive or even a USB pen drive but this is the exception and not the norm.

If you want to sync up the data from a program installed on 2 different systems then the best thing to do is establish a network drive that both machines can access and put a backup of the data on that. Then you will not have to move the hard drive but can get to it over your network.

BY the way, if after all of the above you still want to boot from the drive, its very simple. The drive is already bootable since it has a Windows system installed on it. All you need to do is designate to the BIOS what drive to boot from. Some BIOS allow you to specify what drive to boot from if you hit a function key that triggers it to ask you. Some BIOS you will need to enter into the boot configuration and specify what order to use (what drive to boot on first).