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Solved Laptops work with no HD?


Please note that I posted this in W10 forums by mistake...........

If I disconnect the HD from my PC it does not start.

But my wife's old Compaq Laptop, provided is powered on mains it works OK with the HD removed.

And the 3 partiotions I made originally on the HD are still visible & contain all the files.

The properties of its C:/ main partition show 145GBs.

How does it work without the HD where presumably I installed Win 8.1 & all the other programs & files.

And the same with my old Acer notebook.

My Computer

System One

  • OS


Old Guys Rule!
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Perhaps the laptops that work actually have 2 HDDs or maybe 1 HDD and 1 SSD. Regardless, a computer can't work without some sort of boot device which is generally an HDD.

In the very early days of PCs, IBM computers had BASIC in ROM so if it couldn't find an OS to boot, it would load BASIC and you could write and run BASIC programs without an OS.

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    W10 Pro (desktop), W10 (laptop), W10 Pro (tablet), W10 (laptop)
    Computer type
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Home built i7-8700K, Toshiba Satellite S55-A Laptop, MS Surface Pro 3, Dell Inspiron 15 5000
    3.7Ghz Core i7-8700K, 2.4Ghz Core i7-3630QM, 1.9Ghz Core i5 4300U, 2.8Ghz Core i5 6200U
    ASUS TUF Z370-Pro Gaming, Toshiba, MS, Dell
    16G, 12G, 4G, 8G
    Graphics Card(s)
    AMD Radeon RX580, Intel HD Graphics 4000
    Sound Card
    ATI High Definition Audio (Built-in to mobo)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell S2817Q 28", 15.6"
    Screen Resolution
    3840x2160, 1366x768 (laptop)
    Hard Drives
    500GB ssd boot drive with 2 & 10TB Data on Desktop, 512GB ssd for laptop, 128GB SSD tablet, 500GB ssd laptop
    Corsair CX 750M
    Antec 100
    Coolermaster CM 212+
    IBM Model M - used continuously since 1986
    Microsoft IntelliMouse
    Internet Speed
    120Mbps/6Mbps down/up
    MSE on desktop, Defender on laptop
    Other Info
    Retired after working in the tech industry for 41 years. First 10 years as a Technician, the rest as a programmer/software engineer. After 1 year of retirement, I was bored so went back to work as a Robotic Process Automation Consultant.

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