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Thread: Putting my Hard Drive into another Computer

  1. #1
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    Putting my Hard Drive into another Computer

    Hello, I am new today. My Dell 2400 died today and I put the hard drive from there into another computer and it will not go into Windows.

    Please help. What happens is that it gives me a choice, "safe mode" "start windows normally" etc and it stops there. When I replace the first HDD it starts up again OK so I am thinking that the Bios must be set up OK.

    The hard drive from the Dell I put in (with all my valuable files) is a Western Digital WD800 80Gb (set to Cable Select) replacing a Hitachi Deskstar 80Gb in an old updated computer with an AMD Duron and Windows XP. I tried changing the jumper to Master, but to no avail.

    I am a simple man, please keep it simple and thanks to all in advance.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by George Handel
    Hello, I am new today. My Dell 2400 died today and I put the hard drive from there into another computer and it will not go into Windows.
    That is by design. XP will not boot, except on the original configuration it was installed to (or very similar). XP reads the initial hardware when it is installed and then 'remembers' it.

    What you can do is slave the drive from the dead machine to the working machine.

    Place the jumper on that drive on Slave and hook it up to the same cable as the working drive. Then boot into Windows and copy the files over.
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  3. #3
    You will have to reinstall windows on it to make it boot from it or just pull the jumper out of it and make it a slave to pull all of the data from it!

  4. #4
    Mjc Beat me to it by 10 seconds

  5. #5
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    Two replies in ten seconds, Thanks. Does this mean that I have to have both drives on? Also that I can copy my files but not the programmes as well? If so I should have cloned the disc shouldn't I, but have I got this right?

  6. #6
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    Yes, you can copy the files, but not the programs.

    No, cloning wouldn't have worked either, since it would be being restored on a different machine.
    AV, Anti-Trojan List;Browser and Email client List;Popup Killer List;Portable Apps
    “When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.” - Thomas Paine
    Remember: Amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titantic."

  7. #7
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    What I would do is place the old drive in an external drive enclosure. Connect via USB or firewire and copy the data from the old drive to the new drive.

    Format the old drive.

    Use the old drive as a backup.
    No two moments are alike and a person who thinks that any two moments are alike has never lived.

    A.J. Heschel

  8. #8
    Why would she be able to copy the files via USB but not internally?

  9. #9
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    You can copy it either way, unless you plan to leave the drive inside as a second drive, the external route makes an elegant backup device.
    No two moments are alike and a person who thinks that any two moments are alike has never lived.

    A.J. Heschel

  10. #10
    so my way could work?

  11. #11
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    Right...slave it as another internal drive or put it in an enclosure.

    I'm just not used to enclosures being a cheap option...I should be, but old habits are hard to break.
    AV, Anti-Trojan List;Browser and Email client List;Popup Killer List;Portable Apps
    “When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.” - Thomas Paine
    Remember: Amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titantic."

  12. #12
    I have 3 computers so i can put a HDD in another one if i am havin major problems and fix it from there!

  13. #13
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    Drive enclosures are cheap. You can get them from $15.00 to $40.00. The model I get depends on the application. If you use the drive for a daily backup, I get a more expensive model with a fan and it runs 24X7. If it's for more occasional backup, I get a cheaper model w/o a fan.

    The nice thing about external is you can use them to backup more than one PC.

    It's the only way I have my clients backup.
    No two moments are alike and a person who thinks that any two moments are alike has never lived.

    A.J. Heschel

  14. #14
    Your clients? Do you own a business, or are you talking about on here?

  15. #15
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    All new business systems sold by Classic Software, Inc, include an 80GB external hard drive backup using Second Copy

    Yes I have a business..
    No two moments are alike and a person who thinks that any two moments are alike has never lived.

    A.J. Heschel

  16. #16
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    THe only time taking a hard drive out of a PC and putting it to another worked is when I had to take my old PC's hard drive, (Dell XPS T450), and stuffed it in my other old PC (XPS T550). The PC's have minor differences, and use the same mobo, so that;s the only reason why it worked. In your case, make the newer hard drive a slave like CS said.
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  17. #17
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    I have swapped a drive running WinXP from one mobo to another one on a number of occasions but it was always necessary to boot to the WinXP installation CD and run a repair installation to get things going again. The installation's product key was needed and reactivation was also required but all the original programs worked just fine.

    Reactivating a Dell on a non-Dell mobo could well be the problem area and MS may not allow it. If on the other hand you purchase your own WinXP CD you should be able to get running again without the need to reinstall everything from scratch.
    Take nice care of yourselves - Paul - ♪ -
    Help to start using BiNG. Some stuff about Boot CDs & Data Recovery Basics & Back-up using Knoppix.

  18. #18
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    I use a little Maxtor One Touch III 60 GB external hard drive. All of my program files are on 2 DVD's.
    Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati (aka PV)

  19. #19
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    Thanks everyone, is there really no way that I can put a hard drive into another computer and make it work?

    It's not much to ask is it and very disappointing?

    I have just seen Paul Komsy's posting at 12.25. Paul I do not quite understand, would you mind enlarging on this, it seems a way to do it. Thank you. Yours sincerley George.

  20. #20
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    A repair installation is the way to go in my humble opinion and it is something I have done a number of times. See http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm for some specifics on how to do this.

    Basically you need to have a "proper" WinXP installation CD and the Dell may or may not be appropriate - hence you may need to purchase one. Obtain the same version Home or Pro that was installed previously. The repair installation sets up all the hardware de novo - and, barring accidents, doesn't touch your data or your programs.

    Since Dell is a proprietary OEM and since their product key is tied to their hardware you will almost certainly need to recactivate the repair installation with a new WinXP Product Key that is licensed to you to use wherever you like - though there is nothing to lose by attempting to activate using the Dell Product key on the new hardware - its just that MS may not OK it.

    You could make an image file of your system onto DVDs or other appropriate media using BiNG (in my sig) or Ghost or similar and then you could still get back to your current situation if everything goes ends up.
    Take nice care of yourselves - Paul - ♪ -
    Help to start using BiNG. Some stuff about Boot CDs & Data Recovery Basics & Back-up using Knoppix.

  21. #21
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    Thank you Paul and also for the link in your 9.25 posting. I am going to give it a try.

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