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    Possible dumb computer question

    Cant think why not but was wondering if i bought a second hand PC can i just take out the hard drive from my older one and pop in the new machine?

    Obviously, all programs and downloads are on the drive so is it as simple as just doing this or is there some reason that would not be as easy?

    Thanks for any help

    14 Comments

    This is what they do with laptops at my work as all computers are the same so i would say its fine but i'm no computer expert.

    Not as simple as that. May have some conflicts with drivers if its a totally different spec of computer.

    It would work. but you may get problems with drivers, like motherboard, graphics, sound, wifi

    Also a problem with MS licences but you should be able to use the licence from the original PC you are moving to.

    Should work, i did same thing pretty much with my wifes recently(only transfered hard drive and dvd drive). Just make sure your new motherboard has the correct slots for your HD, as my wifes old one had 2 IDE drives and the new motherboard only had 1 IDE slot, which gave me some issues getting them both connected and i had to play around with the jumpers(make the drive primary/secondary etc) on the back to get them to work.

    Unless the motherboards are identical, it's unlikely to work. If you have the original Windows installation disk you should be able to boot up from that and do a Windows repair which should mean that you won't lose anything.

    Just be sure to back up everything you don't want to lose BEFORE taking the hard drive out of the old PC.

    Original Poster

    Hmmm....thanks for all help

    Just to clarify - if i put the old hard drive in the new machine is there any chance that info on that drive could be wiped or would it just not boot up properly?

    I have a second HD with no windows on, just a back up drive so could possibly pop that in and load windows to that one and then perhaps pop the other drive in as second drive (ok with setting jumpers) ?

    richardcotton

    Just to clarify - if i put the old hard drive in the new machine is there … Just to clarify - if i put the old hard drive in the new machine is there any chance that info on that drive could be wiped or would it just not boot up properly?


    No, no need to worry about that. Worst case scenario is that it won't boot. You can just take it out and put it back in the old computer if that is the case.

    richardcotton

    I have a second HD with no windows on, just a back up drive so could … I have a second HD with no windows on, just a back up drive so could possibly pop that in and load windows to that one and then perhaps pop the other drive in as second drive (ok with setting jumpers) ?


    If you have partitioned the drive so there's some space for Windows then yes you could do that.

    Banned

    richardcotton;7078540

    Hmmm....thanks for all helpJust to clarify - if i put the old hard drive … Hmmm....thanks for all helpJust to clarify - if i put the old hard drive in the new machine is there any chance that info on that drive could be wiped or would it just not boot up properly?I have a second HD with no windows on, just a back up drive so could possibly pop that in and load windows to that one and then perhaps pop the other drive in as second drive (ok with setting jumpers) ?


    thats your best bet as you'll have a clean install too

    some data will need backing up properly (e.g outlook data will need exporting to a PST file etc) as you wont be able to just copy it across

    it will depend on the chipsets of the 2 pcs. if they are the same chipset then it will work. if they are different it may work (you'll have to install the drivers once it boots) or it could fail to boot. whatever happens you'd need to re-activate windows as it will detect the massive hardware change

    Your best bet is to a clean install on a new hard drive and put you old one in as a secondary so you can access all your files and folders. you will need to install your programs again.

    Original Poster

    Thanks for all your help guys and gals!

    bhavesh01;7079104

    Your best bet is to a clean install on a new hard drive and put you old … Your best bet is to a clean install on a new hard drive and put you old one in as a secondary so you can access all your files and folders. you will need to install your programs again.



    +1

    If you use the existing drive you will have to run the windows install in repair mode, contact MS to authorise the swap (easiest to tell them the MOBO has died) and reinstall drivers - at least.

    Using the new drive will at least give your system a good tidy up, as reinstalling your OS and apps anew will give your system a good 'spring clean' by getting rid of a lot of the accumulated guff that builds up over time.

    You're getting answers to two questions here. If you buy a second hand machine with it's own drive and operating system and put your drive in beside that it will work fine and will appear as another drive and may be accessible from the file in the OS already on the machine (depending on which format it is and which OS it is).

    If you replace the hard drive in the new PC then it will try and boot up your copy of windows, this probably won't work or at best it'll be prone to problems.
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