Swapping a hard drive into another computer

KGhaleonKGhaleon Member Posts: 1,346 ■■■■□□□□□□
I was doing some tech work on a pair of computers today and found that one hard drive wasn't booting. I hooked it up as a slave on another computer and decided to look it over and run some scans...but noticed it wasn't showing up or being detected. After fiddling with it for a while...I made it a Master and tried again, only to get some errors reporting a bad disk drive.

I consulted someone above me, and he threw a fit when I told him that I set the disk up as a master drive. He says that taking a drive out of another computer and just hooking it up as the master in another would corrupt or damage the disk due to the change in hardware.

I got it working later after swapping out some IDE cables and playing with the RAM, but is what he said true? I've never had problems when it came to setting a drive up as a master in another system.

Present goals: MCAS, MCSA, 70-680


  • TrailerisfTrailerisf Member Posts: 455
    Never had any problems with a drive after I'd done that by accident.
    But then again, I've also never drowned after swimming within half an hour of eating.

    Doesn't mean its a great idea.
    On the road to Cisco. Will I hunt it, or will it hunt me?
  • RussSRussS Member Posts: 2,068 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Booting to a disk from a computer with a different HAL will usually cause it to halt due to hardware driver errors. The best way to see if there is anything salvagable is to boot the computer and then connect the suspect drive to the machine using a USB drive caddy.
    FIM website of the year 2007
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Admin Posts: 12,876 Admin
    Simply changing an EIDE hard drive from a master in one machine to a slave in another will not cause any damage to the drive. This is a standard way of diagnosing possible problems with a drive's controller board. Also, forensics people do this all the time when they put a drive into a special computer to make an image copy of the drive for analysis.

    As RussS points out, changing a slave drive to a master and booting the drive in a different machine may cause boot failures if the OS and drivers installed on the drive are incompatible with the hardware of the new machine. However, this should not result in any damage to the drive itself, unless the hardware in the new machine is defective.
  • And the guy you consulted was above you? hah! You gotta climb that ladder! climb! climb!
  • Ricka182Ricka182 Member Posts: 3,359
    And the guy you consulted was above you? hah! You gotta climb that ladder! climb! climb!

    Yeah, he should have known this, it's a pretty basic theory, or fact even. I do it all the time, with no problems.......
    i remain, he who remains to be....
  • JiggsawwJiggsaww Member Posts: 195
    guys news flash..........d men that are normally above us well the ones that are above most people are usually idiots........i do it all d time with no damage 2 drive wat so ever........
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