Data transfer onto new hard drive.

Hi, i'm going to be building a new PC and i'm just wondering if I can put a new harddrive in my current PC, put files that i want on it, then put it in my new PC.

Would I need to install win7 on that harddrive before i move the files or is there a different way i can do this?

EDIT: Current OS is WinXP, will be moving to Win7, will things that I want to transfer (Steam Games) work or will I have to redownload them completely because of a new OS.
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  1. Absolutely, you have to reinstall every program or any game
  2. Best answer
    You can back up steam game data via steam client and then transfer those files to new PC and restore them there.
    I do this so i don't have to redownload 1000s of GB :D
    But for the rest, you will have to reinstall so make sure you have all your licenses backed up via Belarc Advisor.
  3. It depends on the files you want to copy. Pictures, videos and documents will be fine, but files related to programs, such as Microsoft Office or Steam, can't be done. The reason is because programs contain registry keys, which the new hard drive won't have.

    You can consider using CloneZilla to image the current drive and restore it to the new one. The only downside is that the image may take up a significant amount of disk space. As the drive will be cloned, you'll also be taking problems with you, so error messages or drive fragmentation will remain.
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