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Hard Drive Replacement

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by 9550, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. 9550

    9550 Private E-2

    Hi all

    lenovo z560

    this laptop is about 6-7 years old i guess. i was having some issues with the screen shutting off periodically and it has gotten worse and worse and now the screen rarely comes on. used to be if you jostled the laptop, the screen would come back on. i took it all apart, no loose wires or cables. i isolated it to the hard drive. it was pretty sensitive and if you pressed on it, the screen would turn off.

    so i want to replace the drive, but i also want to get the windows key from the drive so i can keep using windows without having to buy it again.

    i have a new laptop as well.

    whats the best plan? the drive is western digital wd500bevt-24a0rt0.
    i think they make usb adapters i can connect to the old drive and plug into my new laptop and read the old drive? (i would take the old drive out of old laptop first obv).
    or do i install new drive into old laptop and use the adapter with the old laptop somehow?

    i just want my old laptop running with a new drive with windows and not have to buy windows again. trying to figure out the best way to do that.


    thanks in advance
  2. Mimsy

    Mimsy Superior Imperial Queen of the MG Games Forum

    First off: If Windows came pre-installed on the laptop, it's licensed only for that laptop. Moving it to another computer is against the license terms, which makes it illegal in most countries. You should be able to reinstall it to your laptop fairly easily though. For versions older than Win10, look for a sticker with a Windows key printed on it. 10 stores the key on the laptop itself(not on the hard drive), which makes it very simple to reinstall.

    Either way, if the laptop came with Windows you can reinstall to the same computer without buying a new license.

    Easiest way to make the old laptop work again is to install put a new hard drive and install Windows to it.

    And yes, there are adapters that will let you connect the old drive to your new laptop via USB port. Here's a list of a few
  3. 9550

    9550 Private E-2

    i dont want to install the old windows on my new laptop, i want to end up with it on my old laptop with a new drive.
    i have the sticker with the windows key, but it worn so badly i cant read it. i believe there is software somewhere that will be able to detect the key?
    even if not, if i can copy the old drive and paste it to the new drive, should be good to go? (copy and paste is probably wrong terminology)
  4. Mimsy

    Mimsy Superior Imperial Queen of the MG Games Forum

    The terminology is a little bit wrong, but the idea is right. :)

    The term is "clone" and it does exactly what it sounds like - it puts an identical clone of your old hard drive on the new one. Of course, the problem with that is that all the problems you had on your old drive might end up on the new drive as well - data corruption, malware, et cetera.

    There is software out there that can detect the key for you. Unfortunately, since that software can be used to illegally obtaining Windows keys, so I'm not sure I can help you with that here. Better safe than sorry.

    Back to cloning, try Macrium Reflect. It's free and easy to use, and if it fails to clone for you, that's a very strong hint that your old drive may not be reliable enough for that anymore and a fresh install is your only chance.
  5. mdonah

    mdonah Major Geek Extraordinaire

    @9550 ,

    Which version of Windows are you running on your old laptop? You say you have an unreadable sticker so, I'm presuming XP, Vista or 7.
  6. 9550

    9550 Private E-2

    Windows 7 for sure. Can't recall exactly what model, like 'windows premium home' or something.
  7. mdonah

    mdonah Major Geek Extraordinaire

    OK, it's Windows 7 Home Premium. Computer manufacturers didn't install Pro or Ultimate unless you ordered from the manufacturer and paid a premium for the upgrade.

    You should be able to retrieve your Product Key using Magical Jelly Bean Key Finder. Make sure to mark the Key down somewhere.

    You may need to do a clean install of Windows 7. You can obtain an ISO to burn to DVD using Microsoft Windows ISO Download Tool.
    Choose the English, Home Premium and whichever architecture you're running EITHER 32-bit OR 64-bit.

    If after installation and entering the Product Key, you have problems with activation (because you're using an OEM Key for a RETAIL product) you MIGHT need to call Microsoft and speak to a representative explaining that you had to replace the hard drive and re-install Windows 7.

    If an OEM Windows 7 Home Premium DVD had been sent with the computer, there would be no problems with activation.
    the mekanic likes this.
  8. Stephen_c16

    Stephen_c16 Sergeant

  9. ownthree

    ownthree Private E-2

  10. mdonah

    mdonah Major Geek Extraordinaire


    Make sure to read the Comments after the instructions in ownthree's link. Depending on your computer's configuration, it may not work and if your display is going black, you won't be able to see anyway.

    As far as cloning the current drive, as Mimsy said, if there's any data corruption, it would carry over to the new drive.
    Stephen_c16 likes this.
  11. Stephen_c16

    Stephen_c16 Sergeant

    I am a belt and braces guy. Perhaps a waste of time but a learning process.
  12. 9550

    9550 Private E-2

    Thanks for the replies. Looks like I need an adapter, so I will start there.
  13. mdonah

    mdonah Major Geek Extraordinaire

    What adapter?
  14. the mekanic

    the mekanic Major Mekanical Geek

    Advantage: repairing/kill malware in an OS on a cloned SSD

    Better option, new install, and copy user files by root folder (Desktop, Documents, etc.)
  15. baklogic

    baklogic MajorGeek

    The manufacturers coa in the original disc will not work as a new setup, and only the outside coa can be used. If this is unreadable, then the only way without getting a new coa, is to clone the drive, using the caddy, and diskwizard is easiest way, as said by Steven_c16.
    I have used this method countless times.
    As for virus, or, corruption, or, bad sectors in the old drive, -I found that these are minimal problems- fight them if you get them.
    Run CHKDSK /F ON THE OLD DRIVE BEFORE COPYING- THIS HELPS . This can be done through windows on second pc/laptop.
    Obviously , if you could get a copy of the manufacturers setup discs, you will not need the coa,as it comes with the system files.
    Stephen_c16 likes this.
  16. baklogic

    baklogic MajorGeek

  17. the mekanic

    the mekanic Major Mekanical Geek

    If he obtains the proper key using JellyBean, a clean W7 SP1 .iso file, COA, and a DVD for the install would be sufficient. As far as I know, Lenovo used SLP keys for activation with a OEM disc just like most any other manufacturer. I'd definitely keep the old drive on hand in case JellyBean finds one of those instead of the faded key. If you can make some characters out despite the fading, definitely compare the two.

    Also it bears mentioning that a clean SP1 image can have issues with updating. Like taking forever to perform absolutely zero updates kind of issues. There are workarounds if it happens. I keep some older images on hand here:

  18. baklogic

    baklogic MajorGeek

    The SLP key will not activate, on another sp1 disc, unless you use a 'tool' to activate it- I have found that on all that I tried. (the mechanic)

    And I agree the updating can be pain on a clean sp1 install.
  19. the mekanic

    the mekanic Major Mekanical Geek

    Exactly. That's why you save the old drive baklogic. SLP only works with OEM.
  20. baklogic

    baklogic MajorGeek

    Agreed - The SLP 'tool' does overcome it, but , Microsoft's licencing is so wrong, when you consider the pc/laptop comes with the operating system installed, so technically, a phone call should give a licence to the system, even if from the manufacturer, but it will not. From what I have gathered over the years, the SLP key is the same for individual manufacturers. This is where the later embedded key is a good thing, with Windows 8.1 and Windows 10- no trouble reinstalling.
  21. 9550

    9550 Private E-2

    To connect old drive to laptop so I can copy it hopefully. Did I not understand something correctly?
  22. mdonah

    mdonah Major Geek Extraordinaire

    OK, you either meant enclosure or cloning kit to connect the old drive via USB to your laptop.
  23. baklogic

    baklogic MajorGeek

  24. 9550

    9550 Private E-2

    does an enclosure or cloning kit do something better/different than these adapters?
    im not trying to be smart, just seems like the adapters were what i would need (and some software which i thought i could get here perhaps).
    googled, looks like a cloning kit is the adapter and software as a package?
    enclosure is just a case for the drive, right?
  25. 9550

    9550 Private E-2

    before i started this thread, i had already spoken to level 1 tech support. girl said i could get replacement windows for like $55 because im out of warranty. i told her windows didnt break and i already paid for it why should i have to pay again and if they sent the cds with the laptop, i would be all set. she talks about they have the one key restore feature. i asked her if that would work with a new drive, she said maybe. 'maybe' makes no sense to me since i assume widows would have been on a partition on the hard drive (im pretty sure i dont have 2 hard drives).
    i think if i pushed it i could talk them into helping me out but if i can get it done with an adapter and some freeware, thats easy enough.

    i just remembered i have an image of the drive on an external drive which i created with their one key recovery feature. maybe that can help me out somehow?
  26. the mekanic

    the mekanic Major Mekanical Geek

    As far as a partition and cloning software, I like AOMEI. Just personal preference.

    As far as key recovery I've had a paid version of Recover Keys for years. It's never failed to pull the real key instead of the assembly line SLP key which would only work with Lenovo recovery discs unless you cracked it with a "tool" which isn't exactly legal.

    I still have my old Apricorn DriveWire tool, as well as the latest USB adapter which uses USB voltage to power the drive and transfer data. No external power required like the old tool which works with older EIDE drives which I really haven't worked on in years.

    As I stated above, if you recover the key via Magic Jelly Bean, compare it any characters you can make out on the faded key/COA label.

    Technically it is the responsibility of the end user to create a set of recovery DVDs when the machine is booted out of the box for the first time. Manufacturers stopped supplying recovery DVDs with a new PC at least ten years ago.
  27. baklogic

    baklogic MajorGeek

    If you have an image on an external drive- use it.
    If you , otherwise wish to copy your hard drive, I know there are several cloning kits, but usually they need a hard drive the same size as the original. I had a disc with my copying kit that would do that like this one....
    - I , instead, use disk wizard, as the new drive doe not have to be the same size as the original- it can copy and fit th old to th new, and it is free version that will do that. I have used it often, and had no problems- I put a copy of a 2tb hard drive on to a 1.5gb hard drive- and a 55gb hard drive on to a 250gb hard drive-all worked o.k.
    The Aomei backup/restore is very good, but I gather it was running into problems with Windows 10.
    Windows is on the first partition- then there is a second partition holding the recovery, which includes an image of your windows system.
    As the mechanic says, If you can 'pull 'the coa from the system, and it seems the same as on the outer worn one, you could be lucky- personally, I have never been that lucky- it was always different.
  28. 9550

    9550 Private E-2

    The image was created using lenovo one key recovery software, not the windows utility. Does that make a difference?
  29. baklogic

    baklogic MajorGeek

  30. 9550

    9550 Private E-2

    hey all
    since i had already bought a new laptop, my hard drive issue went on the back burner.
    so, update:
    i took the hard drive out of the z560 and put it in my work laptop, toshiba something or other. it fired up fine.
    so now i know the hard drive wasnt the issue. this means something is either loose or broken on my z560. aside from that, i can access my hard drive, so what should i do with it other than get my personal files off it and saved someplace?
    i should be able to recover my windows key now no problem right?
    anything else i should/could do? make a recovery disc?
    right now i think the z560 is going in the garbage unless you guys think theres some cost effective solution.
    should i scavenge anything off it before i ditch it? it has 3gb ram (which isnt much i guess), and im not even sure if those cards are universal...
    thanks for the help and any advice
  31. mdonah

    mdonah Major Geek Extraordinaire

    The Key you're trying to recover will only be for the Z560. It won't work on the new laptop.
    MaxTurner likes this.
  32. the mekanic

    the mekanic Major Mekanical Geek

    There may be no W7 drivers to support the new PC's hardware. Hence, no install. There is the possibility of running VMware and using the W7 key with a clean image, though technically the key is for your old machine.

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