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Transferring my old hard drive into a new computer

By Savage ยท 25 replies
Sep 13, 2005
  1. Hey everyone, I'm hoping you can help me out.

    I'm trying to transfer my "old" hard drive (it's only a couple of months old, bought for a computer that just went out completely) into my new, custom built computer. I had a brand new PC built by an online PC builder but with no hard drive specifically so that I could take out my old one and put it in my custom-built set-up. I mean, the hard drive is basically brand new, has Win. XP and all my files loaded and provides me with plenty of storage space for my needs, so I didn't see a need to buy a new one.

    However, the installation process (I'm following these installation instructions for moving a hard drive with Win. XP) isn't going well. I follow the instructions but it never gets to BIOS. It simply freezes at the initial boot screen.

    Someone please help me out here. How do I get my old hard drive to work in my new set up?
  2. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,382

    As far as I know, what you are trying to do is not possible. That hard drive you have with windows installed has all the drivers for your old computer in it. When you are trying to boot up the new computer, it is loading up drivers for hardware that does not exist.

    If I were a betting man, my money says you gotta do a fresh install from scratch my friend.
  3. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,070

    Your description is confusing; You say "it doesn't get to BIOS" ...." it freezes at the initial boot screen"
    What exactly does the initial boot screen look like?
  4. Savage

    Savage TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Damn, Don! Don't tell me that. Gimme' some good news, my man! Dang. I was afraid you might say that. But the guy on the link I posted said he pulled it off so I didn't think it would be that hard.

    Liquid, the initial screen I'm talking about just shows the name of the manufacturer of the motherboard. It doesn't even go beyond that to the memory test. And because of that, I can't get the computer to go into BIOS. It just freezes at the first screen.

    If I unhook the hard drive, of course, it works. I can get it into BIOS, use the CD and DVD drives, etc. when I do that.

    Come on! Someone gimme some good news! :unch:
  5. payo

    payo TS Rookie


    no problem if you doesn t get a blue screen your lucky xp wil reinstall all new component found. otherwise you have to reinstall windows from the cd (should be cd-rom first boot device in bios)
    on the installation
    select install win xp(don t select repair at this step wait next step) after select repair option you will not loose any data all software will work
  6. Savage

    Savage TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Payo, thanks, but that's already what I'm trying to do. I have BIOS set to boot from the Win. XP CD in the CD drive. I have the hard drive set as the master drive.

    The problem is that the computer freezes after I boot it with the hard drive hooked up. It does not boot Win. XP from the CD, even though I have BIOS set to do that. In fact, the CD drives don't even open. It's just stuck on the initital screen I described earlier.

    If I unhook the hard drive, it doesn't freeze up on me and everything works fine.
  7. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,382

    I won't repeat what I said before, in order to allow you to be in a state of well-being and peace. You don't want the bad news, it'll ruin your day.

    [but....you're screwed] :haha:
  8. payo

    payo TS Rookie


    the hard drive and cd-rom are on the same cable on the primary ide or they are alone ?

    wath you see on the screen when you power up the pc be sure the hd cable is connected correctly pin 1 is the one near of the power connection and the wire to show pin1 is colored red or blue
  9. Savage

    Savage TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Don, I refuse to let that computer make a :monkey: out of me.

    Payo, the hard drive is alone on IDE1. The CD drives are together on IDE2.

    I have no idea what "wath" means but I'm pretty sure my cables are in the right slots.
  10. payo

    payo TS Rookie

    Last Solution

    Clear The Cmos Of Your Motherboard Should Have A Jumper Near Of The Rom Chip Or The Battery ( You Will See 3 Pins Position For The Jumper Are 1-2 Or 2-3).if You Cannot Locate The Jumper
    Remove The Battery And Short + And - From The Socket Of The Bat With A Screwdriver If You Doesn T Want To Do That Remove The Battery For The Night And Try Again Tommorow Morning
  11. Savage

    Savage TS Rookie Topic Starter

    How do I clear the CMOS? By adjusting the motherboard jumper?

    The battery is the round silver thing about the size of a nickel, right?

    Because here's the thing. Right next to the battery (if that is the battery), there appears to be a three-prong jumper. It's vertical and it's positioned on the top and middle prongs. Is that what I'm looking for and if so, what do I change it to? Middle and bottom position?

    However, I look at the bottom left corner and notice that there appears to be a ten-prong jumper (five prongs on top, five prongs on bottom) of some kind. Does that have any significance to my current situation?

    By the way, payo, I really appreciate your help.
  12. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,382

    Hey man, I am chearing for you and will be keeping an eye on this thread to see if you are able to do it. I'd assume if your chipsets are similar (old board and new board) it could be possible. :grinthumb
  13. payo

    payo TS Rookie


    yes if the jumper is 1-2 you put 2-3 ,10 sec(clear cmos) after 1-2 if 2-3 you put at 1-2 10sec etc

    you can also try to put your hd in cs mode cable select
  14. tdeg

    tdeg TS Rookie Posts: 109

    Make sure the ribbon cable is hooked up the right way. Ie... on both ends the red stripe is at pin 1.

    Will the computer boot to bios if you don't have the HDD attached?

    You may also have gotten a dud machine.
  15. Savage

    Savage TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Payo, I need a little more detail than that please.

    Should the hard drive cables be connected when I do the adjustment?

    Should the computer be on or off?

    Whatever the setting is currently at, I switch it to the other setting for 10 seconds? Then do I switch it back to the original setting or keep it there?

    Then boot up?

    tdeg, I'll have to check but I don't recall seeing any red stripe. But yeah, it boots up fine if the hard drive isn't attached.
  16. payo

    payo TS Rookie


    Should the computer be on or off? off remove power cord

    Whatever the setting is currently at, I switch it to the other setting for 10 seconds? Then do I switch it back to the original setting or keep it there?

    switch back

    Then boot up? yes
  17. Savage

    Savage TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Alright, thanks. I'll give it a try when I get back from class and report back.

    Plus, I've got to find a pair of tweezers or something. That sucker is hard to reach.
  18. Jwdmgj101

    Jwdmgj101 TS Rookie

    old hard drive

    About a year ago I got a new barebones set up when I got the new case I just took the hard drive from my old computer, it was about a year old at the time. Put it in the new case hooked it up, the only issue I had was Windows XP needed to have the product key put I guess Windows did not recognize the new hardware, As soon as I put the product key in I was up and running.I not sure why I did not have to go though reseting everything. kinda strange
  19. Savage

    Savage TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I think it's working, boys, I think it's working...! Windows is loading....!!
  20. payo

    payo TS Rookie

    the other solution was to set correctly your bios before you put the hd ,but to much hard to explain because bios are different. payo from qc,canada
  21. Savage

    Savage TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes! It worked!!

    Thanks payo, I really appreciate it!

    My sound is nonexistant and my video a little strange, which I assume to be because I don't have the proper drivers for them, but that shouldnt' be a problem to fix.

    Hell yeah.
  22. chaz d.

    chaz d. TS Rookie Posts: 35


    Just to let you guys know, I have NO IDEA what they were talking about, and dont understand how they solved this problem? What was it that they were switching back and forth and testing for 10 seconds?
    If you guys didn't notice, Payo is not the most literate person you've ever met, I dont know how Savage was understanding him....
    Any of the TechSpot members care to break it down for me? I dont understand what they did...

    Chaz D.
  23. Savage

    Savage TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Chaz, you're right, payo is hard to understand at times.

    I simply found the three-prong motherboard jumper (it was right next to the battery like he said), switched it from 1-2 config. to 2-3 config for 10 seconds, then switched it back. It reset the CMOS.

    I also switched HD cables. Dunno if that helped any or not, though.
  24. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,634

    If your system was freezing on the "first screen", that would have absolutely ZERO to do with what is loaded on the hard drive itself (i.e. a Windows issue). This problem was fixed only by one of these two items:

    1) Reset the CMOS. Do so by using the CMOS Clear jumper. Which is usually located by the battery. While the system is OFF and power plug OUT, put the jumper on whichever 2 pins it isn't currently on, wait 10 seconds, and put it back.

    2) Swapping the IDE cable may have done the trick also. If a connector was loose, corrupt, 40-pin versus 80-pin etc... The BIOS would not be able to detect the drive and would halt the boot process.

    Those two things would have been my first suggestion. And usually IS the first things you do when a system has trouble so early in the boot process.

    Glad it's done, I missed this conversation.
  25. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,382

    AWESOME NEWS!!! I am glad that I was completely 100% wrong :knock: , and you got it working. :wave:
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