Old Hard Drives in New Computer??

By spidey9879 ยท 5 replies
Jul 19, 2007
  1. I am in the process of building a new computer. I have two hard drives from my previous dell, one is a 160gb running win xp and the other a new one I just purchased running win vista. My question is, can I move both of these hard drives into my new computer without formatting them?? I realize my dual boot may not be hot-swappable into a new machine, but do I have any options?? I have a lot of files, pictures, etc that I can't access right now on both of these hard drives, and I don't want to lose that data if I don't need to..If anyone could help me, I would greatly appreciate it...thanks!!
  2. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    Basically, you cannot just pop a drive that has an operating system into another comp and boot it.

    Some times you might, but that involves more luck than anything else - same motherboard chipset, same components, etc.

    You can 'slave' a drive and read the data from an existing operating system (I have never done it with a Sata drive but it must be possible).
  3. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    it will not boot as active drive unless repaired
    don't know how vista gets repaired
    but XP you have to have the install disc and add the chipset drivers for new machine hardware
    you still may end up with crippled system
    I would make it slave and take ownership of drives
    get the data off of them then reformat to do what you want
    there are a few migrating tools out there
    good luck
  4. zipperman

    zipperman TS Rookie Posts: 1,179   +7

    Yes you can

    Once you have installed your OS on a new HD as drive C: and booted to
    Windows,you can connect the others (best 1 at a time) and copy the files to the new one if thats what you mean.
    You should have partitioned the new one for this data,like did.
    1 for Music and 1 for Movies.
    It doesn't matter if they have an OS on them if you set the bios to
    boot from the new one.It will have its name to select as boot drive.
    All this worked for me.
  5. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 923   +11

    zipperman, read his request again u told him he could do what CCT, and Samstoned had told him to do. neither gave any kind of an answere like the question he had asked, well CCT actually gave the answere.
  6. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    not clear enough
    no you don't have to format
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