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transfer files from old hard drive?

This is a discussion on transfer files from old hard drive? within the Windows XP Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Dell has replaced my PC tower. The new one has a slot and connection for a second hard drive. I


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Old 11-08-2006, 05:11 PM   #1
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Dell has replaced my PC tower. The new one has a slot and connection for a second hard drive. I plan on taking my old HD and hooking it up to transfer my data to my new PC. I'm assuming the new PC will see it as a new drive. Am I right thinking I can simply do this. Is there anything I need to know before I start?

(I will have to replace the old HD to return the old PC to Dell)

Thanks

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Old 11-08-2006, 05:25 PM   #2
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As long as you're just looking to copy data, not programs or the OS, you should be fine. Just make sure that you have an IDE cable capable of supporting the 2nd hard drive (you could also hook it as a slave to the optical drive). Only thing that you may have to modify is the jumper pins on the hard drive and the IDE slot you are going to connect it to. You can't have both set on "master" or "slave" at the same time. You should be save setting them both as CS (cable select) and making sure your OS drive is first in line.

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Old 11-08-2006, 05:31 PM   #3
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Thanks. Just data, not programs.
The slave/master settings are on the cable themselves, is that right?
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Old 11-08-2006, 05:31 PM   #4
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I am sure somebody can correct me if I am wrong, but I do not believe you can just copy over your old hard drive and make everything work the way it used to, other than what was talked about above. There are programs out there that can help you do this like win image. I know I have used that in the past and it worked just fine. The program is shareware and can be downloaded at the following link: win image

(mods, if it is not ok for me to post shareware links please let me know. If it is wrong I appologize upfront, otherwise enjoy.)

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Old 11-08-2006, 05:33 PM   #5
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The slave settings are usually on the back of the hard drive. You should have small jumpers back there and the side of the drive should have the jumpers required for slave, master.

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Old 11-08-2006, 05:43 PM   #6
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I'm only transfering data. I will set up my new PC and then transfer things like docs, favorites, OE data etc...

My old PC's CD drive doesn't work, so I can't back up all my data to a CD. Tha't why I'm trying HD to HD. I'm not tranfering the whole HD.
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Old 11-08-2006, 06:24 PM   #7
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Every Dell I've ever worked on has all hard drives configured to "Cable Select", not Master or Slave. I think once I tried to do Master & Slave on a Dell and it wouldn't recognize the Slave drive.
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Old 11-09-2006, 11:04 AM   #8
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Thanks.
BTW: Is there any way that removing the HD could affect the data on it. If there is a danger of losing anything, I will find another way.
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Old 11-09-2006, 12:17 PM   #9
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Hard Drives are susceptable to damage from heat and violant shock (like dropping it on the floor). Simply removing or installing one will not hurt it. As you remove the old HD, make note of it's jumper position (master/slave/cable select) and duplicate that setting when you install the new one.

This operation is basically a "no brainer" and is a good 1st step toward learning to assume full control over your computer.


EDIT***

I should also note data transfer from HD to HD is also simple and reliable. Just make sure you are not trying to transfer PROGRAM files, as that will cripple the operation of the removed program(s) and/or the entire system.

Avoid: C:\Program Files\<anything in here>
C:\Windows\<anything in here>

Also (depending on your situations) it is a good idea to transfer data in directories or at least TO directories, in order to avoid a mish-mash clutter of data. Also, it might be a good idea to avoid trying to transfer certain Windows "special" folders, such as "My Pictures", "My Documents", etc...

Not sure if XP can handle that. It might be able to find them, once moved, but then it might not. Never tried that.

If you are managing a lot of data, I have recommendations for file utilities that I use and rely on.
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Old 11-09-2006, 01:54 PM   #10
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It should be a doddle. I've had to do it a couple of times when I've upgraded my hd. Simply set the jumper on the old drive to slave, or set jumpers on both drives to cable select, making sure the new drive is the one nearest the motherboard. Windows should recognise the old drive and assign it a drive letter. In explorer, create a new folder (or folders) on your new drive for your files if you haven't already got one, then select the folder (or folders - one at a time) on the old drive, click on edit/select all, then simply drag them to the new folder(s). I keep all the documents I want to move about in My Documents so I simply have to select the one folder. That way it moves eveything, including My Pictures, My Videos etc. As someone else said DONT move any system or program files.
Good luck,
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Old 11-09-2006, 03:46 PM   #11
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I appreciate the advice. You all have been very helpful.
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Old 11-09-2006, 03:50 PM   #12
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BTW, I use Free Commander as a file manager. it has a very useful two pain window that is great for moving files between drives.
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Old 11-10-2006, 03:55 PM   #13
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Hooked it to the optical cable (the new HD cable had a different plug). Took about 5 mins. Worked perfectly.
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!
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Old 11-10-2006, 10:35 PM   #14
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Well done.
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Old 11-10-2006, 11:46 PM   #15
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Glad to hear that things went well for you.

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Old 11-11-2006, 12:32 AM   #16
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Remember the feeling of accomplishment, this is the "reward" you work for when feeling overwhelmed by the next (inevitable) computer problem. This feeling is what keeps you going forward. Good Job.
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Old 11-11-2006, 06:27 AM   #17
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Thanks all your help.
I must also say that Dell support was great. They kept trying to fix this and after being kicked up to the manager level, they replaced the tower. I know they get a bad rap. But I for one am a very satisfied customer.

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