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Question from Marcel: I accidentally sat on my laptop and broke the screen and who knows what else inside (it doesn’t do anything when I turn it on).
I removed the 1TB hard drive from the damaged laptop and it appears to be ok. Well, at least it doesn’t appear to be bent or broken in any way.
Can I install this hard drive from the laptop in my desktop computer to give me an additional 1TB of storage?
The hard drive that’s in the desktop is a 1TB drive too, but it’s getting pretty full.
Rick’s answer: Marcel, the answer to your question is a definite “probably”.
The reason I had to hedge my answer by saying “probably” is because without knowing the brand and model of your desktop computer there’s just no way to know for sure if the laptop drive can be installed in it.
Most desktop computers have at least one empty drive bay, at least one unused SATA data connection and one unused SATA power connection, all of which will be required for you to install a second drive inside your desktop PC’s case.
If there’s indeed an open drive bay it’s pretty much assured that there will also be unused SATA data and SATA power connections to go along with it.
If the open drive bay is a 2.5 inch bay then the laptop’s hard drive should slide right in.
However, if the open bay is a 3.5 inch bay (which is likely in a desktop PC) you’ll need a 3.5″ to 2.5″ drive adapter bracket like this one.
If you end up needing an adapter bracket just install the laptop drive inside the bracket and then install the bracket in an empty 3.5 inch drive bay. Connect the SATA data and power cables and you’ll be all set.
However, if there is no open drive bay inside the computer’s case you’ll need to connect the laptop drive as an external USB hard drive.
Luckily, this is very easy to do. Simply insert the bare drive into an inexpensive external USB hard drive enclosure and plug it into an open USB port on your desktop machine.
You’ll then be able to use the spare laptop hard drive exactly the same way you use any other external USB hard drive.
And by the way, this is an excellent option for storing and accessing the photos and other important files that you had stored on the laptop before you accidentally damaged it. After all, they’re already on there!
I hope this helps, Marcel. Good luck!