View Full Version : what would happen......

02-05-2008, 10:29 PM
if i took my old hard drive with windows already installed/old files and progs and set it up with my new hard drive (which already has windows) how will the computer know which windows to run... also, will the old hd show up as drive D: and then i just click on it to get the files i want from it??? thanks alot guys hope this made sense

02-05-2008, 10:37 PM
As long as you set it up to be a slave, it will work fine and you can access the files on it as long as it is a compatible version of Windows... If it is NTFS and the current drive it FAT32, you will have more problem accessing it...

If you set it up as a primary drive, you will probably not be able to complete a boot because it won't have a compatible Registry... So, basically, don't do that...

Paul Komski
02-06-2008, 03:46 AM
If it is NTFS and the current drive it FAT32, you will have more problem accessing it... The same misunderstanding was recently posted before (http://www.pcguide.com/vb/showthread.php?t=60859) and is incorrect or at best incomplete. It is the operating system running on the booted-up partition and not the format of the partition that makes other partitions problematic (or not) to access. WinXP running on a FAT partition will have no problems accessing NTFS partitions. Even WinNT running on FAT16 can access NTFS natively. The DOS based versions of Windows (Win3x/9x/ME) can only themselves run on FAT and without special drivers or software cannot natively read NTFS partitions.

how will the computer know which windows to runWith two hard drives in a system it is normal for the boot process to only boot (or attempt to boot) one of them. The one that it will preferentially attempt to start-up will be the one set as the priority in the BIOS setup - regardless of whether it is "a master or a slave".

will the old hd show up as drive D:The way drive letters are assigned depends on the operating system that starts up and on the actual way that both drives have been partitioned (primary v logical and so on). If you have two drives both with only one partition and the drive is added as a slave then it would normally appear as D (with a loaded win9x installation) or follow the last existing drive letter (with a loaded winXP installation). In the latter case if D had been a CD-drive it would jump to E under Win9x but would stay as D under WinXP with the newly added slave appearing as E.

If you want to be able to return the potential slave back to its original case without problems ensure you don't allow the system to even attempt to boot to it. If you are unsure of the BIOS settings then suggest you only attach it in an external enclosure or with a USB converter cable.

If you want to migrate a foreign drive into a different PC there are a number of considerations including the hardware and software and windows activation - but it is technically feasible most of the time.