as ive been in iraq

So while Ive been out in this country, I bought a 500GB internal HDD with an external case to hold it in for random movies, music, and tv shows.

Back in the states Ive been planning to build a new system. Now i would like to put this HDD that Ive got from out here in there. I havent come across that as being a problem or anything. The question that I have is can I make my OS boot off of this hard drive without losing any of the media thats on it currently? Can I load a new OS on a hard drive that already has data on it without losing the data? Im not reformatting it to put it in the new computer, im just goin to do my first boot from the OS disk and the next one ill choose to do it from this hard drive.

I tried to ask some people in my shop, but for some reason they get all confused. I dont know if its how im explaining it or they just dont know.
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  1. Yes, you can - you can format the drive as part of the Win2K / WinXP install, but you don't have to if it's already formatted.
  2. Welcome home !
  3. so whats it like in iraq these days?
  4. Ok, this is a bit confused, but I'll try an answer from what I understand. You have a hard disc and you want to put an os onto it without loosing any data on it.

    Buy a copy of Partition Magic and install that on the disc. Make a partition that is separate from the data that is present. About 20 gig would be fine for size. This will then present a clean (empty) partition.

    Install the os onto that partition. When booting up the first time, go into the BIOS and select this new partition with the os on it an the first drive (Primary Master) to read. That will direct the computer to look there for loading instructions.

    This should accomplish what you're trying to do, if I'm understanding your request properly.
  5. Welcome back!

    Quote:

    Buy a copy of Partition Magic and install that on the disc. Make a partition that is separate from the data that is present. About 20 gig would be fine for size. This will then present a clean (empty) partition.

    ...

    This should accomplish what you're trying to do, if I'm understanding your request properly.


    This will definitely work, and would be a safe way of doing it. I don't know if it is necessary, I believe you should be able to just install your OS, as long as the disk is formated in a compatable file system.

    I have 're-installed' many an OS on an existing partition without a loss of data. Just don't reformat the drive. If you are installing windows, they are pretty good about warning of data loss. But sailor's method would be safer.

    The other option would be to back up the data to another location, at good idea even with Partition Magic. If Partition Magic screws up, then you could still loose your data.
  6. Quote:
    Can I load a new OS on a hard drive that already has data on it without losing the data?


    Yes.
  7. Another option is to just pick up a cheap HDD to run your OS off of. You can find cheap ones on eBay or just a 40GB or something from newegg.com or tigerdirect.com. Your 500GB drive's data would probably be safer without the OS on the disc anyway! I picked up a 40 gig 7200rpm 8mb cache drive on ebay for $9.34 shipped :P Maybe you can get as lucky as I did.
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