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Is my hard drive compatible with my new system?

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  • Storage
  • Hard Drives
  • Compatibility
Last response: in Storage
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May 5, 2014 3:46:03 PM

Hello, I am geting a new gaming PC and I just wanted to make sure my Hard Drive I have now with all my Steam Games, music, photos etc. will work with my new PC. My PC I have now is modern so it isn't using any old tech. Does it even matter or do all hard drives work with all computers?

More about : hard drive compatible system

May 5, 2014 3:49:50 PM

if your old hard drive is a SATA model then it will work. As long as it's not over, say, 6+ years old you should be fine

However, if your current hard drive contains your OS then you cannot simply plug it in to a new computer and have everything work fine - you need to install things like drivers. Also, some software is hardware-bound like MS Office and sometimes even Windows itself, so if you plug an old HDD into a new computer it may not allow you to do anything at all.
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a c 104 G Storage
May 5, 2014 3:52:24 PM

There's a good chance it will not work because the OS is married to the old MB. Save all of your important data and try a sysprep of your HD.

To do this, go to C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep\sysprep.exe, check 'generalize', select 'OOBE' on drop down menu, and 'Shut down'.

When your new PC boots off of your old HDD, you'll get the 'out of box experience' screen, asking you to create new user account. Just call it anything and after that's done, you can log off and switch to your main user account.

Once you're logged in with your main account, you can safely proceed with deleting the newly made account in Control Panel > User Accounts applet

To clarify what sysprep does, it basicly gets rid of all platform specific data such as drivers and configuration files.

You will have to load all the new MB drivers.
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May 5, 2014 10:00:55 PM

Entomber said:
if your old hard drive is a SATA model then it will work. As long as it's not over, say, 6+ years old you should be fine

However, if your current hard drive contains your OS then you cannot simply plug it in to a new computer and have everything work fine - you need to install things like drivers. Also, some software is hardware-bound like MS Office and sometimes even Windows itself, so if you plug an old HDD into a new computer it may not allow you to do anything at all.

My HD came with a stock PC so does that mean the OS is on the HD? I am getting Windows 8.1 OEM for my new PC and how will I know what drivers to get?
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a c 104 G Storage
May 6, 2014 8:05:44 AM

Best to get the latest drivers from the MB manufacturer web site. You should look and see if your MB even supports windows 8 before you do anything.
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May 6, 2014 3:47:35 PM

spooky2th said:
Best to get the latest drivers from the MB manufacturer web site. You should look and see if your MB even supports windows 8 before you do anything.


I found this with some drivers but this is my first PC I'm actually building part for part so is this all the drivers I need on this page? I'm also pretty sure it supports Windows 8.
http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=...
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May 6, 2014 3:59:38 PM

If this is your model of motherboard, then all of the drivers on that page are for your motherboard only. A GPU has a different driver, but I don't think you'll need to download any drivers other than those for your motherboard and GPU.
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May 6, 2014 6:31:06 PM

spooky2th said:
If you are in the US, get the drivers from here, the US Gigabyte site.

http://www.gigabyte.us/products/product-page.aspx?pid=4...

Might have better speeds there.

Can go to: http://www.gigabyte.us

And search in the top right for your MB. There are drivers for Win 8 and 8.1 so you should be OK.



Alright, good to hear. So about my HD, when I boot my system for the first time and it asks how I want to configure Windows, Would I just set it up as if it were a brand new HD or will that wipe it and delete all of my stuff?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsyxM_j3Y4U
This is the video I will be using to assemble my PC. Towards the end, he shows how to boot it up and install Windows. Should I follow his instructions exactly despite him having a brand new HD in his system is what I'm asking.
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May 6, 2014 8:09:38 PM

spooky2th said:
There's a good chance it will not work because the OS is married to the old MB. Save all of your important data and try a sysprep of your HD.

To do this, go to C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep\sysprep.exe, check 'generalize', select 'OOBE' on drop down menu, and 'Shut down'.

When your new PC boots off of your old HDD, you'll get the 'out of box experience' screen, asking you to create new user account. Just call it anything and after that's done, you can log off and switch to your main user account.

Once you're logged in with your main account, you can safely proceed with deleting the newly made account in Control Panel > User Accounts applet

To clarify what sysprep does, it basicly gets rid of all platform specific data such as drivers and configuration files.

You will have to load all the new MB drivers.


If you don't want to install Windows completely and wipe everything off your existing HDD you could try this, jcup.
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a c 104 G Storage
May 6, 2014 8:25:50 PM


***Alright, good to hear. So about my HD, when I boot my system for the first time and it asks how I want to configure Windows, Would I just set it up as if it were a brand new HD or will that wipe it and delete all of my stuff?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsyxM_j3Y4U
This is the video I will be using to assemble my PC. Towards the end, he shows how to boot it up and install Windows. Should I follow his instructions exactly despite him having a brand new HD in his system is what I'm asking.***


Assemble your comp then boot into BIOS, set optimized defaults then set it up, the memory and whatever else needs to be set up, save and exit. If you syspreped the HDD, just boot up and follow the instructions above.

If not windows install will delete all and format the drive and install windows. Save the stuff that you do not want to lose. on another hdd, USB drive or DVD disks before installing windows. You should probably save everything even if you sysprep the HDD just in case something goes wrong.
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May 6, 2014 8:37:28 PM

spooky2th said:

***Alright, good to hear. So about my HD, when I boot my system for the first time and it asks how I want to configure Windows, Would I just set it up as if it were a brand new HD or will that wipe it and delete all of my stuff?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsyxM_j3Y4U
This is the video I will be using to assemble my PC. Towards the end, he shows how to boot it up and install Windows. Should I follow his instructions exactly despite him having a brand new HD in his system is what I'm asking.***


Assemble your comp then boot into BIOS, set optimized defaults then set it up, the memory and whatever else needs to be set up, save and exit. If you syspreped the HDD, just boot up and follow the instructions above.

If not windows install will delete all and format the drive and install windows. Save the stuff that you do not want to lose. on another hdd, USB drive or DVD disks before installing windows. You should probably save everything even if you sysprep the HDD just in case something goes wrong.

Alright so follow you directions on how to sysprep on my current PC, move all of my games, music etc. to an external HDD, and boot my new PC from the "out of the box" screen like you stated. Now should I complete your sysprep instructions just before I switch my HDD over to my new MoBo?
I have a 500GB Seagate external storage device. Should I just move everything on my HDD to that before I switch over just to be safe?
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a c 104 G Storage
May 6, 2014 8:46:15 PM

Yes, after you have saved everything, sysprep the HDD then move it to the new MB. Assemble the system and boot into BIOS like I said above and set it up starting with setting optimized defaults, then the memory and etc. Then boot up and you should get that new out of box (first boot) experience. Then you will need to load windows. Probably should get the LAN driver so you will have it to get on-line. Might be a good idea to have all the drivers already downloaded and ready to install.
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May 6, 2014 9:18:46 PM

spooky2th said:
Yes, after you have saved everything, sysprep the HDD then move it to the new MB. Assemble the system and boot into BIOS like I said above and set it up starting with setting optimized defaults, then the memory and etc. Then boot up and you should get that new out of box (first boot) experience. Then you will need to load windows. Probably should get the LAN driver so you will have it to get on-line. Might be a good idea to have all the drivers already downloaded and ready to install.


Any idea how to completely transfer everything from my HDD to the external hard drive?
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a c 104 G Storage
May 7, 2014 7:37:59 AM

You could try to clone the hdd to the external drive and make a boot drive out of the external drive. Probably need to just copy your documents, music, pictures, video and contacts folders to the external drive. Copy and paste.
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May 7, 2014 3:15:45 PM

spooky2th said:
You could try to clone the hdd to the external drive and make a boot drive out of the external drive. Probably need to just copy your documents, music, pictures, video and contacts folders to the external drive. Copy and paste.


Do I even have to do this as long as I sysprep it? That should stop it from wiping the hard drive right? Also what do you mean when you say save my data before sysprepping it? Isn't everything already saved?
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a c 104 G Storage
May 7, 2014 5:06:41 PM

You should always save your data just in case, when ever you make a major change or move like you're about to do. Better to be safe than sorry.
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May 7, 2014 5:17:29 PM

spooky2th said:
You should always save your data just in case, when ever you make a major change or move like you're about to do. Better to be safe than sorry.


By save do you mean copy onto another HDD?
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a c 104 G Storage
May 7, 2014 5:22:34 PM

Another hdd or whatever else you might want to use. Some people use DVD or BlueRay RW disks or USB drives. External hdds are good too.
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May 8, 2014 2:03:44 PM

spooky2th said:
Another hdd or whatever else you might want to use. Some people use DVD or BlueRay RW disks or USB drives. External hdds are good too.


Okay, thanks for all of the help!
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