Backup Computer?


I have a Dell XPS 8700 that I’ve used for years. If it goes belly up I’m led to believe that everything I’ve got on my HD will be useless because my HD won’t work in another computer even if it’s another XPS 8700. If the motherboard is the main component in the computer, does that mean I can’t replace it and still be able to use my HD? I’m not talking about a corrupted HD, I’m talking about a broken computer. What do you have to do to a computer or a HD to make them compatible?


nothing. you wont be able to plug the hard drive into another computer, and load up windows (well, you might, with issues, but thats a much bigger and more complex conversation) but you could plug the drive into another computer and get the files off it no problem, assuming the drive is not faulty.


Can you tell us who told you this? Your system isn’t really unique, and that hard drive should be able to basically be dropped in any Intel-powered PC made in the last 5 years without any trouble. If the drive has Windows 8 or Windows 10, it will probably boot right up, even if you dropped it into an HP or custom built PC.

There are two scenarios I can think of where your hard drive would be locked to a single machine: if the drive is encrypted with a TPM or if it’s soldered to the motherboard (Some Apple computers and some tablet PCs do this). Neither one of those situations applies here.

The first issue can be mitigated by getting the encryption recovery key. With Bitlocker, you can get there by right-clicking on the drive in File Explorer. Obviously, a soldered-in SSD can’t be moved.

In any case, you should always have backups. I’d suggest picking up a couple of external hard drives and getting a copy of the free Macrium Reflect. Make an image backup to each drive, then rotate your backups periodically. You don’t need to do an image backup every time - you can just copy off changed document files. However, you should probably do an image backup \if you make major changes, like an OS upgrade or one of the big semi-annual Windows upgrades.


It’s an XPS 8700, no TPM, but possibly an SSD, though would be standard SATA


No, the 8700 does not have a TPM, and unless he added one after the fact, it doesn’t have an SSD, either.

I just like to give general answers to questions like this, as this site gets a lot of traffic, not just the one person asking the question.


What I didn’t include in my topic was that I have another XPS 8700 because as soon as I said this on other forums the response was,‘It can’t be done’. It came with a HD. I tried running each HD in opposite computers and neither one would boot, as in “No Boot Device Detected” although the message appeared differently on each computer. I used F1,F2 and F12 to see what was going on. I found that in my #2 XPS that the #1 Sata was set at CD/DVD. There were 3 things listed and none were HD and I couldn’t find any way to move or change anything anyway. I think the BIOS said the #2 XPS was booting from a HD though the Sata 1 was CD/DVD and Sata 2 was HD but I couldn’t find a way to switch them. I’ve got 3 backup HDs for my main #1 XPS but if the machine fails, they’re useless. I’ve run this topic on 2 other forums and no one has come up with a solution and nearly all have said it can’t be done. Your data, pictures, music, all accumulated over years, lost because you can’t load your HD or your backup HD’s in another computer? I also tried several video solutions from YouTube but none worked for my situation or I was doing it wrong. This is a real pain in the okole. To go from one machine to the other I have disconnect from one and reconnect to the other multiple times and find that nothing so far works. What I haven’t tried yet is running my Drivers and Utilities DVD from my #1 XPS in my #2 XPS to see what that will do.


you have lost nothing.

As i said earlier -

you can though add it as a second drive and get to the files no probs.


um I have done that soooooo am I magic?


no, the other computer being an identical model is the one situation its likely to work, though not always.

Though this does not preclude you being magic. try to levitate some stuff. video the attempt, for, err, research purposes.


I mean it was 2 dells but it was slow also ok I will :wink: