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Old hard drive, New system

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#1 xDWolfy


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Posted 04 January 2011 - 09:12 AM

Hi there. I was just looking to aska quick question. I've recently finished building a new gaming rig. it's a hell of a step up from my old one. the only thing is, I cheaped out and decided not to buy a hard drive (since I have 7200rpm 500GB Seagate one in my old pc, and that was adequate enough for my needs) and I was wondering if putting this old hard drive from my old pc into the new gaming rig, would completely wipe everything (cause of drastic hardware changes) - Is this true? I have around 285GB of stuff that isn't backed up (60GB of music, 100GB of films, and the rest is just assorted crap that I wouldn't mind losing, save for a few pictures...) and I don't have any storage media large enough to back it up. I'd just like to know if I'm safe in doing this. Thanks a lot.

Oh, P.S. A friend of mine says that all I would have to do is configure the BIOS to boot from HDD instead of an optical drive. Is this true? Thanks again

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#2 DJBPace07


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Posted 04 January 2011 - 09:09 PM

If it is just a data drive, it can simply be reconnected. If it is the drive with the operating system on it, it is more complicated, you have to remove the old OS before installing the new OS, you also don't want the installation process to format the drive prior to installing Windows because it will remove everything you want to save. You, obviously, cannot reuse the operating system if you replaced the motherboard due to drastic hardware changes.



#3 dc3


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Posted 05 January 2011 - 01:29 AM

When you take a hdd with a Windows OS installed on it that you have been using on one computer and then install it as a master in another computer you are asking for major problems. The excerpt below is from a Intel article which describes in detail what happens. The article also mentions a reference to an article by Microsoft, it can be seen here .

"Moving a hard drive with Windows* 2000 or Windows XP* already installed to a new motherboard without reinstalling the operating system is not recommended.

If a hard drive is moved to a new computer, the registry entries and drivers for the mass storage controller hardware on the new motherboard are not installed in Windows for the new computer you may not be able to start Windows. This is documented in Microsoft's knowledge base article. This is true even if you move the hard drive to a motherboard with the same chipset, as different hardware revisions can cause this issue as well.

Additionally, moving a hard drive to a new motherboard may not exhibit any errors until you install new IDE drivers. This is because each chipset uses a different Plug-n-Play (PNP) ID to identify it. If you move your motherboard, your registry will have multiple PNP IDs (for the old hardware as well as the new hardware). If there are multiple entries in the registry, Windows cannot determine which hardware to initialize and therefore fails with a STOP error."

Alternatively, the method below can be tried, but I would back up all of your important files to removable media like CDs, DVDs, Flash drives, or a second hdd.


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