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Upgrading Computer - How To Copy Files?

5044 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Pseudocyber
Note that I am a novice when it comes to computer technology...

Here's my problem - I am buying a new computer since my old one (Dell Dimension 300MHz with Pentium II) is fast becoming outdated. Ideally, I'd like to copy my old hard drive over to the new computer to save all files and settings, but at the very least I'd like to at least be able to copy some selected files and programs over.

My problem is that my old computer has the ancient Windows 95 PLUS the kicker is that the CD ROM drive is busted. To get a technician to fix it and install a burner would cost me several hundred dollars I'm sure (and I can't do it myself).

So I looked into buying an external hard drive, but the problem is these all need software installed via CD-ROM, which I obviously can't do. So then I figure'd I'd look into buying an external CD RW drive but the problem with this is that the CD RW's today require Win 98 or higher and most also require USB 2.0 (which Win 95 and my old computer can't support). Plus these two methods even if I could use them would cost me a few hundred bucks just for the equipment.

So my question is, without spending hundreds of dollars, is there another way I can copy my hard drive and/or at least certain files over to my new computer? Any advice is appreciated. Thanks
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What OS is on the new PC???

If it is a Windows OS then you could just copy it over (hard drive to hard drive).

You could take the hard drive out of your old PC and set it up in your new PC as a slave. To do this you will need to set the jumpers on the back of the hard drive. Set the hard drive in your new PC as master and the hard drive in your old pc as slave (default should be cable select). Connect the IDE cable and power cable and away you go.

You should be able to see both drives (should be c: and d:). Go to the files you want and copy them over to your new hard drive.

Hope this helps.
Drifter's suggestion is what I was going to suggest. I second.
Looks like I came to the right place. The new PC will have Windows XP, so it sounds like this could work. At the risk of sounding like a complete moron though, can somebody explain more specifically how to:
...set the jumpers on the back of the hard drive. Set the hard drive in your new PC as master and the hard drive in your old pc as slave (default should be cable select). Connect the IDE cable and power cable and away you go.
(I'm not even sure what jumpers are or how to go about setting a hard drive as a master or slave or even what an IDE cable is):confused:

Thanks for all the help!
IDE describes the kind of hard drive (vs. SCSI). I forget what it stands for ... :rolleyes:

IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) is a standard electronic interface used between a computer motherboard's data paths or bus and the computer's disk storage devices. The IDE interface is based on the IBM PC Industry Standard Architecture (ISA) 16-bit bus standard, but it is also used in computers that use other bus standards. Most computers sold today use an enhanced version of IDE called Enhanced Integrated Drive Electronics (EIDE). In today's computers, the IDE controller is often built into the motherboard.

If you look at the back of a hard disk drive, it will probably have a row of pins on the back. The pins, depending on how they are jumpered will tell the Hard Disk (HD) if it is a master, a slave, or to leave it up to the cable position to determine (Cable Select).

Usually, if the Hard disk doesn't have a jumper then it is a master. Or sometimes, the jumper might be turned sideways so it jumps 2 pins in the same "column" and not 2 from different rows (this depends on how you interpret it - but usually the rows will be long with one on top and one on bottom.)

A jumper makes an electrical connection between the two pins and identifies to the HD what it is with an electrical signal.

An IDE interface (what the HD connects to - usually on the mother board) can handle 2 devices - one master and one slave.

Usually, most mother boards will have 2 interfaces allowing you to theoretically connect 4 IDE devices. A "plain jane" system would have one master HD and one master CD.

Hopefully, your HD will be marked and/or have a label.
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