How to Connect a Laptop Hard Drive to a Desktop via USB & Motherboard

Laptop and desktop computers are regarded as the brainiest master of current times. Both of these factors provided platforms for the development of the sector.

Although the physical components work similarly, the size and other characteristics differ from easing the user to severe limits.

The hard drives in laptops can be divided into 3 IDE, SATA, and solid-state drives (SSD and SSHD).

Although these discs are generally found in this generation, desktop motherboards are mainly a problem. 

It is only feasible to connect it when the motherboard supports and provides an option for connecting the disk drive. 

There are chances that a laptop can seriously damage and must recover hard drive data.


Former PS2 or add-on support motherboards for connecting other hardware components are inappropriate for laptop disk drives. 

They do not take laptop disk drives and support a maximum data transmission rate of 100 Mbps only. 

The motherboard should be compatible with IDE and SATA to connect laptop hard discs at a minimum. 

SATA and SSD Laptop hard drives connect on motherboards with IDE compatibility alone is a complex operation.

Techniques involved: 

The connections and adapters are nothing more than the standard buses and synchronous devices for connecting laptop HDD to motherboards. There are two ways to know How to Connect Laptop Hard Drive to a Desktop.

  1. With the motherboard directly
  2. Using USB devices

The connectors and adapters used to rely on it. Assume if you don’t have USB support on the motherboard, you can use IDE to IDE, SATA to IDE, and SSD to connect IDE ports. If the board supports USB, the connection is not complex, and the cabinet and wiring need not be opened.

How to Connect a Laptop Hard Drive to a Desktop Without Adapter

How to Connect a Laptop Hard Drive to a Desktop via USB

The laptop disk drive is essentially identical to the hard drive on the desktop. The only significant difference is its size. 3.5-inch drives are utilized for desktop system units, while laptop producers employ 2.5-inch drives to conserve space.

And since the laptop HDD is significantly smaller than the desktop drive, it cannot be secured and locked correctly inside the desktop drive casing.

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A unique mounting bracket needs to be purchased for 2.5-inch drives to put a laptop hard drive into the desktop system. 

This bracket must be inserted and secured instead of a 3.5-inch disk drive. After that, you have to attach the bracket to your 2.5-inch drive.

Here’s the Step by Step guide on How to Connect a Laptop Hard Drive to a Desktop

Turn off the PC before starting and unplug power cables from the plug points since ductile components may be damaged.

  • Remove the laptop hard disc
  • Find the type of hard disc on your label
  • Check for specifications for the PC motherboard
  • Purchase the necessary connection or adapter
  • Connect the hard disc correctly to the PC adapter and motherboard
  • Check the connected BIOS hard disc

Change the hard drive jumpers or change the priority of the first boot device to mount the computer hard disc as an unbootable storage device.

(Jumper – minute mechanical HDD component indicating the primary or secondary motherboard) 

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The data access and recovery speed are determined by the desktop motherboard and processor speed. The hard drive is a secondary storage device, and the complete control is on the desktop PC. The main disadvantages of using USB over direct motherboard connection are:

  • Drives booted through USB are not quickly booted and need to update the BIOS settings manually
  • The true drive speed is not achieved due to the slow and unstable synchronization procedure

How to Connect Laptop Hard Drive to Desktop via USB

You can connect your laptop hard drive to your desktop computer using a USB adapter, so you don’t have to disassemble the system. There are several ways to do it, but we’ll tell you the primary three in this article.

USING ADAPTER (Buy on Amazon)

You can acquire special adapters to connect a 2.5-inch hard drive to a USB port in any computer store. These adapters always have satellite connectors and power connectors.

Please remember that If you have a USB 3.0 port on your computer, it is better to buy an adapter using this protocol so that the hard drive works more quickly when connected outside.


In this approach, you do not use an adapter but an entire case to connect your laptop drive to the desktop computer. You will find SATA and power plugs in this case.

It is the case with a hard drive, and you only have to utilize the USB connector to connect it to the computer. Using a removable case not only allows you to connect to the computer the hard drive but also safeguards it against damage when it falls inadvertently.

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Please remember that You have to select a case made for 2.5-inch hard discs because you can get cases for full-length 3.5-inch computer drives in a computer store.


You may also purchase docking systems that connect numerous 2.5 or 3.5-inch discs simultaneously.

Some docking systems allow connecting multiple hard discs of different sizes simultaneously. Here are the easiest ways to connect a laptop hard drive to a desktop. If you have to deal with this exceptionally often, a specific docking station is better.

If the laptop drive is permanently installed within the system unit, it is easier to disassemble the casing and connect the drive to the drive so that one of the USB ports is not occupied.

FAQs ― How to Connect a Laptop Hard Drive to a Desktop

  1. Can I connect laptop SATA hard drive to desktop?

    You can connect 2.5″ laptop-SATA-HDDs straight to your desktop PC without any risk – there's no need for a USB workaround to slow down the transfer.

  2. Will a 2.5 HDD work with a desktop?

    Yeah, You can. It operates similarly, and the only difference is 2.5 “HDDs are a little slower because they are smaller and fit into a laptop. They are also a bit more expensive, but they perform the same as the 3.5 “In typical desktops, HDDs are found.

  3. Is laptop hard drive same as desktop?

    The difference is only in size – laptop discs are 2.5 inches long (often called only 2.5′′ discs instead of laptop discs, as they may also be used within desktops), whereas desktop discs are 3.5 inches.

  4. Is it safe to use laptop HDD in desktop?

    Yes, they have the same interface as SATA and even the same size as when 3.5 and 2.5 HDDs are IDE (PATA). If the storage were accessible in a 2.5 HDD at a comparatively high price of 3.5′′, it would be more trustworthy.

  5. Is there a difference between SSD for laptop and desktop?

    You might state that there's no difference between an SSD laptop and an SSD laptop – very often, they're the same thing. One thing to remember is that when you refer to an SSD as a 2.5′′, it is enclosed in a box that matches the size of an HDD.

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