How to connect 2.5 IDE hard drive to PC

posted in: Data recovery | 117

2.5To connect a laptop hard drive to a desktop computer you have to use a Laptop IDE Hard Drive Adapter. You can easily find this adapter on the Internet for $10-$15. This adapter is very handy if you want to scan a laptop hard drive for viruses and spyware using antivirus software installed on a desktop PC, transfer data from a laptop hard drive to a desktop computer or create a ghost image from one hard drive to another. I also use this adapter if a laptop hard drive has failed and I have to recover data from it.

When you connect a laptop IDE adapter, a desktop IDE cable and a laptop hard drive to each other, make sure to connect pin 1 on the hard drive, pin 1 on the desktop IDE cable to pin 1 on the adapter. On a desktop IDE cable the side painted in red goes to pin 1.

Laptop IDE Adapter Pin Layout

On a laptop hard drive there are 2 groups of pins. One group has 43 pins and the other has 4 pins. The pin 1 is located on the side closer to the group of 4 pins.

Laptop Hard Drive Pin Layout

After you’ve assembled everything together, connect the IDE cable to a desktop PC. Connect it to a free IDE connector on the system board. When you start the computer, you should see the laptop drive in BIOS and in Windows. You can treat this drive as a regular hard drive.

Laptop IDE Adapter Connected


In the next post I explain how to access data using an external USB enclosure.

117 Responses

  1. @ jalascoo,
    It’s not very clear what you did with the laptop hard drive.
    Did you install OS on the laptop hard drive while it was connected to your PC? If that’s what you did, most likely it’s not going to work in the laptop. You have to install OS on the laptop.

    Here’s what you can do:
    1. First of all, test the laptop hard drive. Connect it as a slave to your PC. After that install HDTune software (free for personal use) and test the laptop hard drive.
    Select the drive you want to test (laptop drive), click on Error Scan tab and Start the test (do not check Quick Scan).
    2. If the hard drive fail test, replace it.
    3. If the hard drive pass test, install it into the laptop and reinstall OS.

  2. jalascoo

    I have a laptop which failed to boot up. So I hooked up its hard drive on a desktop pc to reimage. Yet I found after I moved back the hard drive to laptop, I is not booting up. I know the drivers like NIC,Video, Audio etc are different. So I removed all the desktop NIC and Video driver before moving back the hard drive to the laptop.

    Any idea what else I need to modify so that the laptop can boot up?


  3. cj2600

    @ compaq presario,

    Laptop is not rebooting.on screen message showing that Press to resume, to setup.but none of key does not work from keypad.disply freeze

    I would test the laptop hard drive and memory first. It’s possible one of them failing.

  4. compaq presrio

    Laptop is not rebooting.on screen message showing that Press to resume, to setup.but none of key does not work from keypad.disply freeze

  5. I received one of these IDE laptop to PC adapter, but I cannot tell which way the power leads go (the red and black wires connect both ways). How can I tell which wire goes to which pin? I am afraid if they are switched I will fry the drive. Thanks.

  6. I like PC games too much especially truck driving games. but my laptop does not support most of the games. is there any changes i can do to the laptop just to play them? if which site will be helpfull?

  7. cj2600

    @ kuks,

    what cn i do,i left my laptop behind my car trunk
    and found it all wet,when i removed the laptop out
    of the bag,water was just droping down,its like the
    rain where entering the trunk,nw what first step should i take?

    1. Remove the battery.
    2. Do not turn it on.
    3. Disassemble the laptop to inspect the damage.

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