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10-29-2009

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HDD swap

2012-12-08, 0:47 AM

Hello everyone,

 

My x61's mobo just died. I thought about buying another mobo, but I am considering buying a used X200 or x201, but I was wondering if I could just pop my old hdd, from the x61, which still has all my files and settings, in the "new" computer, without installing anything. My common sense tells me that it is probably not possible (since we are talking about two different models te begin with), but I thought I would ask before I went ahead and reformatted the hdd. All input is welcome. 

 

Robert

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3630 Posts

12-22-2008

Canada

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Re: HDD swap

2012-12-08, 1:22 AM

You probably can. Before you do, go to Lenovo's support site and find the device driver matrix for whatever model of system to buy. Download the Ethernet driver and copy it to a USB stick. You probably won't need it, but just in case.

 

Now install the old HDD in the new ThinkPad. Boot it up and verify that you can access the Internet. If you can't then install the Ethernet driver from USB. 

 

Go back to Lenovo support and download ThinkVantage System Update. Install it and run it to pick up any new/different device drivers and ThinkVantage utilities for your new system. If you keep getting errors from specific devices, uninstall their drivers and rerun TVSU to reinstall them.

 

Because of the major change in hardware you may need to reactivate your Windows 7. Normally you can do this over the phone using Microsoft's interactive voice system. Use the key off the bottom of the x61. It won't take more than 5 minutes.


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09-10-2012

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Re: HDD swap

2012-12-08, 1:46 AM

I disagree. The two computers will be different enough that it may not even boot.

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Re: HDD swap

2012-12-08, 2:32 AM

Interesting. My thoughts were similar to those of ceb, but now that hausman mentions this process of having the drivers ready in a flash drive, I might give that a try. I still think it's a long shot, but I can try. Unless someone tells me that it's definitely not possible or that they have done something similar...

 

There are two factors driving my question. One is that I just don't want to go trhough all the hassle of reinstalling everything, as attractive as it is to have a completely clean install. And the other is that I am a curious. 

 

In any event, thank you both for your responses. Any other opinion is welcome. Best

 

Robert

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21115 Posts

12-20-2008

Australia, Melbourne

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Re: HDD swap

2012-12-08, 2:53 AM
if it is Win 7 and Vista, this X61 -> X200 will work, but you would need to reactivate the OS and reinstall some drivers.

But if it is XP then this would throw a BSOD, as i have done it already in my X61 -> X200.
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Jin Li

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12912 Posts

06-06-2011

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Re: HDD swap

2012-12-08, 9:48 AM
I agree with ceb, just inserting an old HDD to the new laptop will not work. There is a very big chance to hang laptop or even get a BSOD. It depends of not only OS version but laptop' CPU/chipset architecture. Who knows what will happen when new chipset drivers will overwrite the old one?



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3630 Posts

12-22-2008

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Re: HDD swap

2012-12-08, 15:50 PM

While I acknowledge that I haven't swapped HDDs between an X61 and X2nn, I have done other "intergenerational" swaps in the manner I described. Yes, you'll get messages from incompatible device drivers. But Windows can usually find suitable drivers to at least get the system booted. Then run TVSU to download and install new drivers and utilities for the hardware that differs.

 

If for some reason the system won't boot or BSODs before you can complete TVSU, you're no worse off than before. Your applications and data are still on the old HDD. It's highly unlikely that this process will damage them.

 

That said, if you have the appropriate recovery media, Windows install media, applications install files, backed up configuration settings, data, etc. and have the time to do a clean install, then by all means do a clean install. It's the better alternative. But in my experience you're going to spend the better part of a day doing it and then more time reconfiguring apps. My suggestion was simply intended to get the "new" X2nn up and running faster and easier,


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58 Posts

10-29-2009

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Re: HDD swap

2012-12-08, 20:25 PM
I thank you for all the replies. The X61 had a 320 gb wd scorpio black, with Win7 ultimate. My thinking is exactly the same, that a clean install is much better. Moreover, I suspected that being two different chipsets /mobos, I might be asking for trouble if I just swapped the hdd straight into the "new" x2**. The reason I asked is because I was just wondering if I could avoid all the work of reinstalling everything from scratch. That being said, a clean install might make for a nice weekend project. A related question: it seems like ssds prices have dropped low enough that I might consider getting a new one and using the scorpio black as backup with an enclosure. I don't need the absolute fastest drive, just one that is reliable and fast enough. I was thinking that maybe Intel or Kingston, just in terms of reputation, might be the way to go. I know that PNY and OCZ make some nice drives as well. Any recommendations/advice on this? Again, many thanks, and all input is welcome. Best. Robert
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X240
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Re: HDD swap

2012-12-08, 20:56 PM

Clean installs are always preferable to updating existing drives. I only suggested reusing the current HDD in order to save time. But if you have a weekend to spare... ;)

 

As for SSDs, Intel, Crucial and Samsung are all well-regarded on this forum. The other makes will also probably work just fine. The performance boost from HDD to SSD is so large that the differences among SSDs seems almost trivial by comparison.  If you can find a good deal, go for it. After all whatever X2nn you choose will also be a generation or two old so absolute best SSD performance is moot. You should also get RAM up to 8GB in order to maximize the performance of the SSD and Windows by minimizing paging activity.

 

But that's all just one person's biased opinion.


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58 Posts

10-29-2009

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Re: HDD swap

2013-01-05, 22:41 PM

I finally got the X200 and did a clean install of Windows 8 Pro. I must say that the Thinkpad is great. It feels almost as fast, if not more so, than my X230. I know that if put them to an actual test, the X230 is significantly faster, but the x200 is still a great little machine. While Win 8 is actually pretty fast (faster than Win 7, it seems) and it uses fewer resources, it is patently obvious that the OS was designed with touch screens in mind. A bit annoying that there is no start button (although there are small patches for this).

 

In any event, I thank you for the input. I am now back to trying to resolve my X230 audio issue (very, very frustrating, by the way). Happy new year to everyone. 

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