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Hi. I have an HP 15-d035dx laptop that came with Windows 8.1. I eventually replaced the Win 8.1 with Mint 17.2. The problem is the HP 15 is showing various problems, some I may not be able to handle, and I have a lot of files on the 750GB HDD I want to keep, but when I remove the HDD and install it into other laptops, it's not recognized by any of them. Also I installed a HDD with Mint on it from another laptop into the HP 15 and IT wasn't recognized by the HP 15. I've never come across this problem before, and I haven't been able to find the answer by Googling it. The HP 15 is a low-end laptop that may be on its last legs, and if it dies, I'll salvage what I can from it. Is there some kind of firmware that's causing the HDD not to be recognized by other computers? I know that Windows on a HDD can only be used in the computer it was installed on, but this one has Mint installed on it yet other computers always show "No bootable disk detected". Any help will be greatly appreciated. -Ed
Plugging hard disk drives with installed operating systems into other computers and then trying to boot off them is not guaranteed to be an easy task. However, I imagine that there are those on here who can guide you through the process.
Personally, if it's just your data files that you want to get off the old disk, and you're unable/unwilling to boot the original laptop and do it from there, I would use a SATA IDE to USB adapter (they're very cheap) and copy the data you want using that onto the disk on the new machine.
If you are willing/able to boot up the HP laptop, then just copy the required data files to an external device and then on to the new laptop.
Of course, both of those will mean initially installing Mint on the new laptop but that should be easy enough.
Just copy the files you need to an external drive. You need backups no matter what. You can use rsync, cp, or any of several commands to do that, including tar to make a compressed archive if necessary. Make a backup now, on at least one separate drive, preferably more than one, for data you need. All drives die eventually, and if you have no backup you're guilty of gross negligence.
The HP 15 is no more than 3 years old, so the HDD would be the same age. From what I've read, the life span of HDD's with normal use is 5-7 years on average, and I don't use the HP 15 very often, because it's proved to be a lemon ever since I bought it new. There's nothing wrong with the hard drive itself from what I can tell, and I'd like to use it in another laptop or at least as an external drive if the HP 15 gives up the ghost, but it simply won't boot up in any other of my laptops. I have 5 PC laptops, the HP 15, an HP Compaq Presario, an HP G56, a Dell Latitude D820 and a Dell Latitude E5410, and other than the HP 15, I have no trouble interchanging their HDD's. I run Linux in all of them. My question is, can an HDD be "locked" with firmware so that it can only be used in one computer and not others? If so, how would I go about unlocking it? Otherwise, why don't my other laptops recognize the HP 15's HDD? Again, thanks for any help you might be able to provide.
Do you have any desktop machines you can plug the drive into as a secondary drive without replacing the boot disk? To see if it's recognizable and mountable once you get inside the OS? You can also try a SATA->USB adapter like hydrurga suggested to do the same. Is there anything special about the drive? Maybe it's one of those SSD/HDD hybrids that requires special firmware or a new BIOS to recognize?
Location: Somewhere inside 9.9 million sq. km. Canada
Distribution: Slackware 14.1, 14.2
Most systems shipped with Win 8 are UEFI. I have no idea what the other PC's you mention are, UEFI or BIOS.
UEFI systems boot differently than BIOS systems. So, if you put a disk set up for UEFI in a BIOS system, it will not boot, without you doing some work on it. It would take a lot of work, and is probably not worth the effort.
To answer your question.
My question is, can an HDD be "locked" with firmware so that it can only be used in one computer and not others?
I have never seen anything like this in my years of servicing laptops.
Camorri, it appears you hit upon the answer. All of my laptops except the HP 15 have the old BIOS system, which makes them incompatible with the HP 15 UEFI-based HDD. This of course also explains why all the HDD's of the other machines were all interchangeable except with the HP 15. Many thanks to you and also hydrurga, sgosnell and suicidaleggroll for taking the time to help! Now I can concentrate on my next problem: my Dell Latitude E5410 laptop goes black-screen within a few minutes after I boot it up. I already know it's a graphics problem, but I need to find out if it's a physical and/or drivers problem. It's an integrated graphics card so it can't be removed and replaced. I'm running Mint 17.3 in it. I bought it almost 3 months ago, refurbished, and this problem cropped up just a few days ago. It's about 6 years old but business-grade and runs very well otherwise. Do any of you know of a good diagnostic tool that could give me the answer? Again, many thanks for your help! Cheers, Ed
Last edited by WheelingfeelingEd; 06-23-2016 at 02:52 PM.
Yes, when I boot it up, I usually get the logon screen and the desktop appears. It will usually run for a few minutes before the screen goes black. I just booted it up, and no logon screen. It's a black screen with this: BusyBox v1.22.1 (Ubuntu 1:1.22.0-15ubuntu1) built-in shell (ash) Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands. (initramfs). After I entered "help", there's a long list of commands. I don't know what to do from here.
I hooked up the TV to the laptop and the screen was black, same as the computer screen. Now, when I boot it up, only the Linux Mint logo appears very briefly and then the screen goes black. Looks like the graphics card is dying. Integrated graphics card so it can't be replaced, and I don't have the money for a new motherboard. I usually have good luck buying refurbished laptops, but I guess this one is a lemon. Right now I'm using a Dell Latitude D820 that's over 10 years old and it's still running very well. Only paid $95 for it a year ago. Anyway thanks for all your help.
When you lose video after a while it's usually due to overheating. You can boot it up on a hard surface and aim a fan at it, or put it in front or on top of an air conditioning vent. See if the video lasts longer. If so, there is something interfering with the cooling system. Many HP laptops have failed due to overheating. The heat sink is too small, the thermal paste is average, and the paste to cpu connection breaks down after a few years.
This is so common on HP laptops that there are flat-rate shops that do nothing else. Usually you can put a copper shim between the cpu core and the heat sink, with Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste on both sides of the shim, blow the dust out of the heat-sink vents, and the problems go away.
But that is not a beginner fix. I hope this helps. The copper shims are 10x10x2mm, available on ebay.com, also Arctic Silver on ebay.
Thanks for your suggestions AwesomeMachine, but I keep the A/C on all day long and I have a cooling pad on my computer desk that keeps my laptops sufficiently cool. It's the graphics card that's dying from that incurable disease called old age. LOL