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Best way to transfer data from old HDD from old PC to new HDD in new PC?

I need to get everything on my old PC onto my new one, and I learned the hard way that you cannot attach an HDD from one PC to another's SATA ports and expect to be able to transfer files. The only two ways I can think of are as follows:

1. Buy external hard drive, transfer data from old PC to external hard drive via USB, attach external hard drive to new PC via USB and transfer the data.

2. Use Windows Easy Transfer (not ideal because they're both desktops, but if it works well I wouldn't be totally opposed to using it).

I'm pretty sure I'm making the right choice with option 1 but I just want to make sure... If anyone can confirm that getting an external hard drive is the way to go it would be much appreciated!
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  1. Best answer
    It'll be cheaper to buy an HDD dock or external enclosure to put your old hard drive in and then connect the dock/external enclosure to your new PC. That way the old HDD will be recognized on the new computer and you can drag files off that way.
  2. Actually, there are a couple of ways this could be done. The fastest way is to pick up a crossover ethernet cable and plug them into each computer. That will link both computers and will display them as being drives. Then you can just copy/paste your files over.

    Another way is... and this is how I pretty much do it now... just use your router. Most homes already have one. If you have both computers connected to it.. you can (simply and fast method) just put all the files/folders of the data you want to copy over into one big giant folder on the old computer... then exit out one level and Right-Click that folder and select Properties.. then go to SHARING... then click on Share button... and for the group just select EVERYONE... now that folder is shared on the network. Next you can boot up the new computer and go to Network... and search for the other computer there and you should see the shared folder you just created... and copy over all your files.

    Another method... more expensive and slower... is to just buy a USB Flash Drive... 8GB-32GB (bigger the better) and just slowly copy over that way.
  3. ThatVietGuy said:
    It'll be cheaper to buy an HDD dock or external enclosure to put your old hard drive in and then connect the dock/external enclosure to your new PC. That way the old HDD will be recognized on the new computer and you can drag files off that way.


    Interesting! Any recommendations for HDD docks?
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