How to set up old hard drive as primary

By susanaj
Feb 14, 2009
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  1. I have two hard drives. Both have Win XP and both are NTFS file system. The one that has all my info on it is out of my old Dell Dimension. Here's the trouble. My old computer will recognize both hard drives is the Bios no matter how I connect them. If I connect my old hard drive as primary and the Dell drive as slave I can see both in Win XP. If I connect the Dell drive as master it will detect both in Bios but will only go to screen that says Windows will start in 30 sec. but freezes after the 30 sec.

    Any advice? I need the Dell hard drive for the info on it.
  2. jdillman1502

    jdillman1502 TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 232

    You probably can't boot from the old drive in the new pc because when it was loaded on very different hardware. Usually this results in a blue screen when trying to boot. Why do you just boot off of the new drive and copy the stuff from the old drive onto the new one?
  3. susanaj

    susanaj Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 21

    My info does not show up on the Dell drive with it as the slave drive
  4. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    The main drive has to be installed first, then the other drive can be installed as the second drive... If you are trying to connect in reverse with the new drive as the first drive, Windows will likely continue to give you trouble.
    But why not put one drive in an external USB enclosure and copy all the needed files to the one you want to use.
  5. susanaj

    susanaj Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 21

    How do I do that?
  6. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    connect the old drive as a secondary device. The easiest is to do a usb to ide connection.

    You cannot use it as a primary because it is configured for another system.
  7. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,428   +281

    Can you see other files on the drive though? If so, just navigate to drive:\docs and settings\your user name and try to open it. If you get access denied you need to take ownership of the directory. There is actually a better link somewhere on these forums on how to do that, but I couldn't find it in a quick search.
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