Moving an old hard drive to an XP System

Posted on 2006-05-04
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
Greetings all. I recently purchased a used PC from work: XP Pro, 866MHz, 256MRam, 19G HD, Network Card, 17" Monitor. Total cost $35

This PC is for my son who will use it for games and homework primarily. His old PC is a dual-boot system with W98SE and W2000, running at 400 MHz. I would hate for him to lose all his stuff so I would like to move the drive from his old PC to the newer one. I really don't care about the operating systems on the old drive but would like him to be able to access all his games and work on the old drive. Because of the size of the new system drive (19G), he could use the added storage space.

Will I run into any problems moving the drive?
What hardware/software changes will I have to make?
What is the proper sequence to do everything?

I am hoping that once it is moved, I can copy everything he really wants to the new system, then re-format the old drive and use it fully.

What is the best way to re-format the slave drive once it is working so that it can be used fully?

I am probably forgetting something so I will answer any questions as they are asked. Please help and thanks to everyone.

Question by:flubbster

    Accepted Solution

    I've had good with the Disk Management Utility.  Control Panel / Administrative Tools / Computer Management / Disk Management.  Just select the drive, file system and format away!  Be sure to check the jumper settings on the old drive.  If it was the boot drive in the old computer, you'll probably need to change the jupers to make it a slave drive.  If the drive is not marked for jumper settings, you can find most hard drive setting on the net.
    LVL 9

    Assisted Solution

    Remove the old drive from the old PC (Drive B)
    Open up the new PC and connect the old drive (B) onto the ribbon cable in the new PC. Make sure you check the jumpers on the old drive to either AutoSelect or Slave.

    Boot up and you should see both drives. You can now transfer all the data etc onto the new drive. You will need to reinstall the games as they will write info to the registry etc which just won't be there on the new drive.

    I would personnaly move everything off to the new drive, then reformat the old drive. If you don't need the old PC you can always leave the old drive in the new PC for added storage space.

    Use Disk Manager to reformat the drive.
    Right click on My Computer, select Manage. In dialog select Disk Management and you will see you physical drives. Should show as Drive 0 (new) and Drive 1 (old)
    Right click on Drive 1 (old) and select Format Drive. This will remove all data.

    Job done.

    Hope this helps
    LVL 30

    Author Comment

    Thanks for the info. I will hopefully be doing this over the weekend and will report back.

    There is one other thing I forgot to ask about that I hope one of you can also answer. The system I will be working on also has a CD-ROM. I have a new DVD/CD-RW that I also want to install in the system. It has two open bays so they will both fit. I had originally planned on replacing the CD-ROM with the new one, but was advised that I should keep the original so that I can copy from the player and write to the new one for faster copies. Anyway, I am not sure about something....

    I have been reading up on installing hardware and it sounds like both units (hard drive and CD-ROM) are probably running on one IDE Channel.

     When I install the second hard drive and the new DVD/CD-RW, will I need to get another 40 pin cable?

    Will I be plugging them into a different IDE connector?

    Are the CD-ROM and the DVD/CD-RW also configured as master/slave?

    Do I need to do anything in BIOS?

    I am probably forgetting to ask something important. IF you can think of anything else that I should do or should know, please explain it.

    LVL 33

    Expert Comment

    >> will I need to get another 40 pin cable <<  Yes. And you will probably need to make sure it is an 80 wire/40 pin cable.

    That being said, a couple of thing to consider:
    1. Is the new DVD and HD atleast ATA-66? You might have a problem if the DVD is ATA-33 and the HD is ATA-66 or higher. ATA-33 does not usually like 80/40 cables.

    2. The drives that you will do the most copying between should be on different channels for best results. But you must also take into account the ATA speeds of all the drives for pairing on the same channels.

    3. It usually does not matter how you plug HD's and Optical drives into the cables (Master - Slave), the OS's will give them the correct letters.
    But best pratice is :
    HD as Master on Primary IDE cable. and make sure the DVD does or does not prefer the Master setting. If it does, make it master on the secondary IDE cable.

    Featured Post

    IT, Stop Being Called Into Every Meeting

    Highfive is so simple that setting up every meeting room takes just minutes and every employee will be able to start or join a call from any room with ease. Never be called into a meeting just to get it started again. This is how video conferencing should work!

    Join & Write a Comment

    We all have limited time to study long and complicated information about RAID theories, but you may be interested as to how RAID 5 works. We made it simple for you by providing the shortest and easiest explanation ever.   First we need to remind …
    Problem description :  Some external hard disks / USB flash drives do not show actual space as mentioned in the factory settings. This is a common problem when you use an 8 GB USB drive to make it bootable to install a firmware/ driver on a serv…
    This tutorial will walk an individual through the process of installing the necessary services and then configuring a Windows Server 2012 system as an iSCSI target. To install the necessary roles, go to Server Manager, and select Add Roles and Featu…
    This Micro Tutorial will teach you how to reformat your flash drive. Sometimes your flash drive may have issues carrying files so this will completely restore it to manufacturing settings. Make sure to backup all files before reformatting. This w…

    755 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    24 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now