Using a Laptop Hard Drive on Desktop Computer

by Paul | Last Updated: July 5, 2022

Multifaceted Feature of Storage Devices. A purchase that adequately satisfies its user is great and one that can also be used for another purpose is even better. It can be as simple as using a shoebox to store something or as complicated as using parts of a car to rebuild something else. Regardless, the mere fact the something can be repurposed saves money and it is fun.

Using a laptop hard drive on a desktop?

One of the great things about storage disks is that it can be repurposed. So, if it is currently being used as an internal disk, it can be switched to an external and vice versa. It also does not have specification that ties it to a specific computing system so it can be used for either a laptop or desktop. If you purchase a new laptop, you might decide to use the hard drive for your desktop.

Whatever reason you have for deciding to put the hard drive of a laptop on desktop does not matter, the point is, it is possible.

Putting a laptop hard drive can be a good idea


If the storage capacity is large, let’s say an 8TB disk and you currently use a smaller capacity on your desktop, this serves as an upgrade. A desktop is stationary, so it is usually befitting for tasks that do not require mobility.

For instance, desktops are a great option for gamers so if you already used SSD (solid-state drive) for playing games, you can add the hard drive for extra storage. This combination is a good and less expensive way to enjoy your PC.

SSDs in higher capacities are quite expensive so that combination is cost effective. This method is also applicable to designers and anyone that uses a PC for heavier activities. If you decide not to combine it with an SSD but another HDD, that is fine too. We are talking about a desktop here; the possibilities are numerous.

Just put all your files in one and use the other for your activities. On a desktop, you can have multiple drives and they will all run smoothly. Remember, it will not offer a boost just extra capacity.


Hard drives are designed to spin while the read/write process is on. This mechanical process has it disadvantages one been data loss and another being an easy to damage hardware.

When this happens, you can easily replace it with a drive from an old laptop or one you are no longer using. The only cost you might incur will be if you cannot change it yourself.

Putting a laptop hard drive can be a bad idea


A hard drive is not bad, but the design really has its flaws. The spinning disk consumes a lot of power which makes your system hot and as the activities you engage in require a lot of storage for processing, it will only run hotter.

The other aspect is the overall navigation of your system, you will experience slower boot time or start time, applications will launch slowly, and so on. There is also the small issue of the noise that emanates from your disk as it spins.


Transferring a hard drive from a laptop to a desktop means it has been used before. Given the previous paragraph, a used hard drive might have those issues and more.

Also, it is most likely fragmented and has been optimized several times. You also have to consider the fact that it might have had errors and will possibly give you a headache when it has been transferred to a desktop.


If the sole purpose or a major reason for this transfer is gaming, designing or any other demanding task, then this is not advisable. However, if it is for an increase in storage space or capacity then you are good to go. It is also great for basic computing functions.

How to Use a laptop hard drive on a desktop

Before you make the transfer, ensure you take these simple steps to maximise the use of the hard drive on your desktop.

  1. Defragment and optimise: As stated earlier, the design of a hard drive makes it susceptible to fragmentation which scatters pieces of data across the disk and sometimes duplicates them. You should use the windows option to scan the disk for any fragments and optimise accordingly.
  2. Scan for virus: a virus is like a pest that keeps destroying things and just like you will not want to carry a termite or rat into a new home, you certainly do not want to install a drive with virus into your desktop. A virus cannot destroy the disk, but it destroys any data put in it, so you should prevent this by doing a sweep. Any standard (trusted) Antivirus will do, for windows users, the windows security can get the job done. Scan it, eliminate any virus it finds, and you are good to go.
  3. Declutter: removing unnecessary files, apps, junk files, temp files, these are necessary or crucial steps for maximising your hard drive. You can use third party tools to remove them, but you should augment with a manual check. A manual check is important because a third party tool will efficiently remove unnecessary files and duplicate files but you know there are files that do not fall in any of these categories that you no longer need so just remove them.

The steps above should be taken whether you are transferring the hard drive from a functioning or non-functioning laptop. For laptops that are not functioning, take the hard drive and put it in an enclosure, then take all these steps before inserting it into your desktop.

Related Question

If I don’t want multiple drives in my desktop, what can I do with the hard drive?

You can turn it to an external hard drive and use it as an external storage device for your data. There is also the option of selling it, just remember to erase all your data.