How do I transfer my existing HD with an OS to a new computer?

I want to transfer my existing HD with windows media center onto my new computer and use it there without wiping the drive of all the data. How do I do that? Also, The HD is from a dell. I also have the recovery disc dell sent me.
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  1. What is your new computer? If you're lucky, extremely lucky I'd say, you'll be able to just plug your hdd into your new computer and it'll boot and you'll just have to install drivers for your new hardware, maybe reactivate Windows. But, I'm not sure how well Media Center copes with this type of situation. You'll probably have to back up your data and reformat the machine with a fresh install of Media Center. Actually, I'm not sure if you can use your previous Dell licensed copy of Media Center on a different computer.
  2. What you want to do is probably not possible. In my experience with store bought computers and proprietary HDDs they won't boot to another MB because it has a different BIOS. Companies that build computers do this kind of thing intentionally to prevent what you want to do. I wouldn't trust an old HDD in a new computer anyway. What I do in this situation is to buy a new HDD and use the old one as a slave if it's an IDE or a second drive if it's a SATA. You'll have to install a new OS as your recovery disk probably won't work with a different HDD. When you have the new OS running with two HDDs you can then re-install your applications and migrate data from the old to the new HDD. I'm sure you don't like hearing all this but now you know why people prefer to build their own computers.

    well, i would need to save an extra 200 for a copy of vista and a HD.
  4. it works.....

    i've done it TWICE with the same HDD... you unplug the HDD from you old computer... plug it into the newly built computer.... boot from the windows CD... click repair... (look it up online there's a lot you can mess up if you do it wrong) and then WALAH!!! it works...

    as i said done it twice already... so it works without any issues
  5. Thogrom, he OP doesn't have a Windows CD, he has a Dell Recovery CD. That Dell recovery CD isn't gonna work if it doesn't detect a Dell motherboard. IF you had a retail Windows CD, it would work just fine to do a repair installation. At least that's how it used to work. If Dell has changed this and a Dell recovery CD will work on a non-Dell system, then I would be highly surprised.
  6. I have a burned version of professional i think that my cousins sent me to repair professional on my old pc.
  7. lol burned version. I'm pretty sure XP Pro can only do a repair installation on a XP Pro installation. Each version of Windows requires the same version CD to do a repair installation. You can boot from the CD and see if it detects your Media Center installation and offers the option of a repair installation.
  8. It might work if your Windows was a Retail copy, but its not its a Dell OEM which is locked to a Dell Bios. Dont try a restore or you may loose important stuff. Back your stuff up on your old computer using CD's/DvD's or buy a new hard drive and tranfer your files after you install a new Winows on it.

    Repairs with Retail versions are also hit and miss. I dont recommend it ever.
  9. Yup ^ a pro version wont repair a media center version. If you want media Center get your hands on a Vista Home premium or Ultimate disk.
  10. sometimes, i did the same thing and it was buggy, not sure how vista does all that. plus he bought from an oem. maybe, maybe not
  11. From my personal experience, sometimes you can just switch the HD and it works.

    When I bought my new PC (see spec in my profile), I just reused my old 36GB Raptor with my OS for my new OS. I plugged everything, put my Windows CD in the drive, started the whole thing and went to get a snack. When I came back, I didn't have Windows installation screen because I had forgot to set the CD as first boot device ... I had my old Windows XP fully booted asking me for drivers for the newly found hardware. Out of curiosity, I complied then rebooted. Everything worked, no weird error messages, nothing. I didn't benchmark or play games on it, but I was surprised to say the least.

    I do not recommend this as a transition method, nothing beats a good clean install for a new PC, but if you just went "**** I forgot to backup something" when your old PC is in pieces, then it can be a nice saver.
  12. How can I like have all my current data on the new drive but it is on a different OS? I want all the data and program stuff to be exactly the same as right now.
  13. sogangsta said:
    How can I like have all my current data on the new drive but it is on a different OS? I want all the data and program stuff to be exactly the same as right now.
    When you want to make sure everything is stable, you have to backup everything, reinstall everything and restore the data (you have to know where the stuff was and where it should be restored).
  14. I think ill have to keygen one of my games cause i lost the cd key for the original but i have the cd key for the expansion. Also, I would like to retain my files so I dont lose my levels on call of duty 4. I can buy an external HD to back up.
  15. I don't know where COD4 keeps the saved data, but I'm sure someone here or on the game's forum can help you about that.
  16. Do I backup my stuff to an external HD and then copy it to my drive or do I just attach both drives and copy the data into the other one which I dont know how to do..... Also, after I take out my HD can I put it back in my old pc and it will run smoothly?
  17. You can copy your data to an external or internal HD it's of no consequences (as long as you don't format it afterward accidentally ... been there, done that :P).

    I'm not sure what you mean after that. You could install a clean new system with its own HD, plug the old one in the new PC (while the system is OFF) copy the data you want to keep (not the whole thing or you will break your installation) and then put the HD back in the PC. Yes that can be done.

    But I repeat, you have to know where to find the data you want to keep and know where to restore it. There is no magical tool that will "know better than you do" what should be done. This can be a tedious job.
  18. I meant like after I'm finished copying and restoring my data, can I put that drive back in my old computer and use it normally?
  19. If you only copied data from the old HD to the new one and didn't delete anything vital, you should be able to plug the old HD in the old PC without problems.
  20. K, since im done can you take a quick look at my build?

    Thank for your help.
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