Can I put my old (bootable) hard disks in the new computer to get files off?

The computer (motherboard) I'm currently using seems likely to die soon (and since I got it in 2009 I need to upgrade anyway) quite possibly before I can clone the hard disks. If I got a new computer could I just put the 2 hard disks in the new PC? I'd boot from a new hard disk in the new computer but have the 2 old drives in there as well. Then it would be a lot easier to access files and reinstall everything.

The 2 drives I have of course are bootable HDs, 1 is Win7, one is WinXP. Would this cause a problem even if you always made it boot from the new hard disk and just had the others sitting in there rather than actually trying to boot from them? Since they were from a different computer?

I assume they wouldn't boot in the new computer if it's a different motherboard [?]
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More about put bootable hard disks computer files
  1. If SATA HDDs, you can connect them and access the files. If SATA set to IDE in BIOS, you might also be able to boot from the Win 7 one.
    If connecting the drives to SATA 3 ports, use SATA 3 cables (the ones that came with the motherboard)..
  2. Best answer
    A good way to do this is with a USB SATA dock or cable.

    Start your PC normally, and then connect the old drive. It will appear as just another drive letter, and you'll have no confusion about which drive it's trying to boot from.

    And having one of those docks around is good for connecting and testing random drives you come across, without opening your case all the time.
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