Switching HD's from previous system to new system?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by hcour, Oct 1, 2005.

  1. hcour

    hcour Guest

    I'm considering upgrading my motherboard and processor. If I get the new system and install my hd from my old system, will it run ok? I'm running Win XP Pro.

  2. Schaefer


    It could be done but not for the novice hardware tinkerer. It is especially true if the new m/b is of different chipsets and design.

    At the very least Windows would ask you to re-register as it will detect new hardware components.

    Have fun :)
  3. agpilot


    Hello hcour ( Harold )

    Years ago I did that but never again with the hope that it will work smoothly. Motherboards need lots of drivers installed from the CD disk that comes with the board.. That fact alone means it will not be a smooth change since those drivers are missing at first power-on. Same with any video card changes etc etc.

    I got around this by getting a new HDD as "C" and making a "clean" install and plugging in the old C drive as the new "D" drive reinstalling the programs(in new C)and then copy personal data from old HDD to new HDD and use old HDD(nowD) as a backup.

    I hope this helps... and is a small payback for your many Wyckoff related posts here and on Yahoo forums..
    Best of luck in the upgrade... agpilot

    Edit: I forgot to mention that new HDDs could be a faster S.A.T.A. drive vs slightly slower old style ATA. New HDDs are relative low cost compared to how important they are... (hint)
  4. I went through this process last week. I purchased an entire new system, but wanted many of the files / programs from my old system. Simply, perform a fresh download / install onto the new system any programs wanted. Next move your old files onto a USB Flash Drive (I used a 1 gig Attache, but any will do the job). Remove the Flash drive from the old system and attach to the new system. Move the files from the Flash Drive into the correct program / file folder on the new system. Overwrite all files. You'll end up with a new system containing all files / programs used with your old system and at the same settings you had on your old machine.

    I used this process transferring from a very old Win98 machine onto a Win XP Pro machine. Some of the programs / files I transferred: Wealth-Lab Developer, Quotetracker, QCharts, XNews News Reader, Outlook, IE Favorites, numerous MP3 Files and a host of other programs. The only tricky part occurs when you want to transfer your Outlook settings. Address book, Accounts, and email rules require the export of three different files rather than transferring the entire program.

    The entire process went off without a hitch.

    Hope this helped.

    - Spydertrader
  5. As suggested, the best thing to do is to bite the bullet and get a better harddrive. Visit www.techbargains.com and you will find ones that are really cheap.

    Use the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard to make a copy of all of your data and settings to a separate directory on your current harddrive before upgrading. The Transfer wizard is under Accessories - System Tools.

    I would then set up the new harddrive as Drive 0 (the boot drive) and the old drive as Drive 1 (you do this buy plugging them into the right IDE cable port from the motherboard to the harddrive. The cable will be labeled. Hopefully, your motherboard uses Cable Select to assign harddrive priority). Leave everything as it is in the old harddrive.

    Next, split your new harddrive into at least 2 partitions. A big partition for all your current data and a small partition (30GB or so). Go ahead and do a completely clean install of your WinXP, Antivirus software, your spyware detector and other security software.

    Next download all updates to everthing you have installed above.

    Next copy all the drivers, your WinXP Pro licensed CD, install files for other programs you always need, etc. To that small partition on your harddrive (it should show up as a separate drive on your system - Drive D: perhaps).Keep each program in a separate and clearly labeled folder.

    Now, go ahead and install everything else you need on the main partition and then run the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard again and restore the settings from that old harddrive which should be designated as drive E: on your system.

    What you have done now is upgraded your harddrive to something bigger and more powerful, probably. You have created a partition that contains all of the install files you need in case you need to wipe your harddrive clean again and reinstall. You also have your old drive there to use as your backup drive once you have transfered everything from it and reformatted it. I would use Norton Ghost or some other program to make a backup on a weekly basis to your old drive in case things get ugly.

    This is long-winded, but it is the most convenient solution for dealing with data in the long term.

    Good luck.
  6. agpilot


    As suggested, the best thing to do is to bite the bullet and get a better harddrive. Visit www.techbargains.com and you will find ones that are really cheap.
    Harold: As posted twice...get a new HDD... If it's only a few $ difference... get another of the same brand you have.
    Hopefully it's a Seagate, Maxtor or Western Digital. These are very popular and good.. agpilot
  7. hcour

    hcour Guest

    Thanks for all the detailed info, guys.

    Btw, it's not a matter of buying a hd. I've got 3 of them as is. I think they pretty much give them away these days, don't they?

    No, this is an issue of pure laziness. I just went thru a fresh install on both my desktop and laptop in the last couple of months. I've got everything setup just like I want it and I realllllllly don't want to have to do it all over once again. But...

    Thanks again,
  8. I have via motherboards, which all use the same driver package . This makes switching HDs between PCs easy.
  9. hcour

    hcour Guest

    Hmmm. Got the following response on the TechGuy site. Some of you may be interested. Sounds promising:

    It really isn't necessary to install from scratch. Running a repair installation will redetect the hardware, install the correct hal.dll, and keep all your programs and files.

    All you do is boot from the CD. When it asks if you want to repair and to press "R", don't. Continue with the installation just like you were installing for the first time.

    You will then get a license agreement and it will ask you to press F8 to agree. Right after that screen, you will see a list of Windows installations that setup found. It will ask if you want to repair it. Read the directions on that page!!!

    Then, you will actually press "R" this time and XP will re-install.

    When done, you will be back to your familiar desktop with everything looking just like it did before. But all your Windows Updates are gone and you will need to get those again.

    If you have any problems booting from CD, set the CD to boot earlier then the hard drive in BIOS setup, or come back for more help.
  10. gnome


    That's a good tip for the "possible use later" file.

    FWIW... If you don't have a screen capture utility for WinXP, I recommend ScreenPrint32.
    #10     Oct 4, 2005