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Swapping my "old" hard-drive in to recover files?

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#1 Kiraush


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Posted 27 May 2018 - 07:20 AM

I have a hard-drive from the computer I had before I built my new one, was simply curious if there might be anything else I need to do aside from just chucking it into my new computer (in place of the new one) and setting it as my main boot drive to grab some documents I had saved on it?


Tried a moment ago and it didn't want to boot, I imagine it has to do with drivers but honestly unsure as i haven't looked way too deeply into it.


Currently I'm running Windows 10, and if memory serves, the old one was running Windows 7 which could be an issue.


Any ideas as to why it wont just let me throw it in and boot up? Never had a problem doing this before we previous computers, but I have tended to stick to the same OS which is why that's my best guess so far.

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#2 Platypus


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Posted 27 May 2018 - 07:23 AM

No, you can't expect a Windows installation to boot on a different computer to the one it was installed on. The drive will need to be connected as a second drive (either to an internal port, or using a USB adapter), and the documents copied to wherever you'd like them to be stored.

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#3 JohnC_21


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Posted 27 May 2018 - 07:31 AM

Never had a problem doing this before we previous computers, but I have tended to stick to the same OS which is why that's my best guess so far.

I'm surprised you were able to do it with different hardware. Your drivers from one computer, especially your HDD controllers, would not be compatible on a computer with different hardware.


Your new computer is probably UEFI. If your older computer had a Legacy BIOS then the HDD has a MBR partition table which will not boot on a computer with UEFI firmware unless Legacy Mode was enabled. I don't know if your new build has SecureBoot available but if enabled that would also prevent any previous OS from booting. As Platypus posted you could attach the drive as a secondary and boot from Windows 10 to pull data files. 


For a USB adapter I use one of these for SATA and the older IDE drives. You may be able to find one locally.



Edited by JohnC_21, 27 May 2018 - 07:42 AM.

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