Connecting old hard drive to laptop

sylvia, Mar 23, 9:45pm
Have bought a new laptop and would like to be able to access documents on my old computer. Before I try it and maybe stuff something up, is it possible to attach my old hard drive to the laptop and use the laptop just as a screen to view and print my old documents? Thinking this would be a simple way out for me as I don't need things often. Thanks.

trade_menow, Mar 23, 9:50pm
thats assuming the drive is SATA . OP check your drive before buying any external cases but in general #2 is correct


sylvia, Mar 23, 11:59pm
Not too savvy here, thanks for your replies and I take from them that I need this device as an intermediary between the old computer and the laptop? And how do I tell if it's IDE or SATA (and what are these?

ctnz, Mar 24, 12:00am
I have torn a few old laptop HD's out and put them in enclosures, they make good loaner drives.

trade_menow, Mar 24, 12:24am
Sata is slim slot type connection ide is a row of pins for a clear view google ide / sata connections

cafc2012, Mar 24, 1:13am
Yeah pretty much. A hard drive enclosure turns your internal HD into an external one, by providing it its own power supply, and the interface to allow you to plug it into a USB port on your laptop (or any computer with a USB port).

IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) and SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) describe how the device (like your hard drive) connect to your computers motherboard. Identifying them is pretty straight forward, look at the cables running from the hard drive to the motherboard - if it is a wide, ribbon like cable about 5cm across it is an IDE, otherwise it is an SATA

trade_menow, Mar 24, 2:23am
#9 yah that will work but it provides no extra protection to the drive at least in a case it has some . But if u want to risk damaging a hdd go right ahead

sylvia, Mar 24, 6:03am
Thanks everyone for your input. From YouTube videos I think I might have to enlist some help so will let our local computer shop set me up I think!

schizoid, Mar 24, 6:40am
really? if anything watching a video should show you how absolutely simple this is. but hey, its your money. (soon to be someone else')

cookee_nz, Mar 24, 10:18am
Sylvia, I suggest you take your old HDD to your computer shop and ask them to copy just the documents, photos etc onto a USB flash drive. It will be cheaper, faster, smaller. You 'could' use your old HDD as a backup drive if you want in which case it will need to go into an external case but it may still have your old system windows and program files on there which are not needed now and just taking space so really the drive should be cleaned up or preferably reformatted anyway for best results.

sylvia, Mar 25, 6:13am
Thanks for that suggestion cookee. I have got My Passport which has a back up of the old computer on it which I thought I would be able to access the docs from but can't get them off that onto the laptop so will have a chat to the computer guys here. Thanks again.

skin1235, Mar 26, 5:59am
why has no one offered to plug a cat5 between the two, or a cat5 from the pc to the modem and wireless the lappy to the modem, simply click the network wizard and they can talk to each other forever, probably has all the hardware on the desk in front of the poster already

skin1235, Mar 26, 6:02am
I'll ask the question sylvia, your old computer was running XP?, Vista?, Win7?

and did it plug into the modem with a cable?

does your laptop use a cable to access the modem or does it access wireless

oh and what windows version is the laptop running

skin1235, Mar 26, 6:06am
cos I could imagine the entire issue would be sorted in about 6 click of the mouse, you can sit on the laptop, read or edit the docs on the other computer from your laptop screen, copy them to your laptop or print them as you wish

no harder than logging into tm, you could have a home network set up between the two computers, no enclosures needed, no dismantling bits, simply set the home network up and use it

newbie5, Mar 26, 7:27am
No skin1235 thats too easy it must be done the hard and expensive way or it is no good

skin1235, Mar 26, 7:31am
ya gotta wonder eh, whats to bet she had a desktop with cable to modem (vista?), now has a lappy with wireless, win7/8

control panel, network wizard, home network, click, restart both, create sharing on both, job done

sylvia, Mar 26, 8:25am
skin1235 wrote:
I'll ask the question sylvia, your old computer was running XP?, Vista?, Win7? 'Vista'

and did it plug into the modem with a cable? 'Yep'

does your laptop use a cable to access the modem or does it access wireless 'Wireless'

oh and what windows version is the laptop running. 'Windows 8.1'

skin1235, Mar 26, 8:41am
then go to control panel on each and run the network wizard to set up a home network

run it on both, when it asks if you need a disk to take to the other computer click NO, you will need to give each computer a network name ( ie Vista for the old one and win8 for the new one - or some name you can easily identify to that particular machine, and you need to suggest a workgroup for each, the default for vista was workgroup, the default for w8 was different, it makes it much easier if they both have the same workgroup - suggest when the time comes to set the group just call it home) once that is done on both the lappy and the old vista, shut them both down and restart them, go to explorer on each and right click on drive C and select sharing, share the directory and allow files and printers on both, if you have other drives ( not cd/dvd ) share them too, the computers will both ask to shut down before the network can be used, allow them to shut down and restart

if you then go to explorer, my network places, you will see the other computer there, click on it and you will then be able to open any files you see - you have created a home network

skin1235, Mar 26, 8:43am
if there is a problem come back, win8 can be a bit picky, vista wasn't so hard to play with

this may mean that you can use the win8 lappy and easily connect to the vista machine, but it may not be quite so easy to pick up the win8 machine from the vista machine

skin1235, Mar 26, 10:24am
if at first you don't succeed . come back and ask, there maybe a step I've missed, someone here will be able to sort it for you, I probably won't be back on until Saturday, theres plenty here that can help though, and we enjoy doing it

sylvia, Mar 26, 9:16pm
I really appreciate all your help and your instructions look clear. I will get one of the cables you suggest and work through. Wish me luck and thanks again.

sylvia, Mar 26, 10:15pm
sylvia wrote:
I really appreciate all your help and your instructions look clear. I will get one of the cables you suggest and work through. Wish me luck and thanks again.[/quote
I'm assuming I do need the cable?

skin1235, Mar 27, 6:14am
shouldn't need to buy one, the vista machine had a cable to the modem, thats the only cable required and if still plugged in is in the right place, , the modem would have had another cable connecting it to the phone jack, the win8 machine connects to the modem via wireless - therefore both machines are connected to the modem ( and can actually both be online at the same time ), your home network adds a connection between the two machines using the technology in the modem

sylvia, Apr 15, 10:21am
Ok, thanks.

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