Install Old IDE Hard Drive in a Newer System?

My question is fairly simple. I thought that the FAQ thread at the top would do the trick but I think it is for an different application. Here we go:

So, one of my computers is in a sad state, it is running Pentium III clocked @850 MHz, with 512 MB of SD RAM and has XP installed and tons of files on its IDE Hard Drive.

I was rummaging through some of my old computers that I had picked up before, and then realized that I had a Pentium 4 machine sitting in my basement with its CPU @ 2.4 GHz with HT, so I thought I wanted to use that machine instead of the old P3 one. Problem is, I never have run into this situation before so I was wondering, is it possible just to take that IDE hard drive, and put it in the P4 system and tell the bios to boot from that drive, and I am running?

Or is there a more difficult way about this....if you could tell me how i would be great.

4 answers Last reply
More about install hard drive newer system
  1. You can try, most likely it will not work.
    You can install the drive, boot with your Windows disk, and try a repair install.
    In a nutshell, you cannot simply move a drive with a Windows installation on from PC to PC. Windows is setup with all the hardware drivers for the motherboard and system it was installed on. The new board will have a completely different set of drivers, and resources that will clash....most of the time it will simply crash about halfway through loading Windows....then you have more problems on your hands.
    If you try to put it back into the old PC after the inevitable crash, it likely won't boot on the old PC again either.
    Not saying it cannot be done, the repair installation works pretty well, but Windows may end up acting flakey, somethings may not work right....especially if the installation is old, and been running for a while.
    Best bet, get another drive, install Windows fresh, then add your current drive as a secondary drive, and move your data off of it.
  2. Hmmm....Problem is they are both Dell Optiplexes with only one drive bay. Can I:

    1. Back up my old IDE drive onto one of my networked computers.
    2. Install Windows XP onto the new(ish) P4 machine using existing HD.
    3. Transfer all of the back'd up data onto the hard drive of the new machine.

    Thanks for your nice long answer.
  3. Depends on what kind of backup you do. If you simply copy all your data you want to save, then of course you could copy it back later. But if you do a backup, using backup software, it won't restore back to a new Windows installation correctly.
    You will still have to reinstall all your programs to the new Windows installation.
    You cannot restore them from backup to new installation, it just won't work.
    Sorry, but there just is not an easy way to do this.
  4. Thanks so much. I booted the computer and found out I had installed XP before. I am going to go to the Pentium III machine, copy all of my documents and files over to another one of my machines. Take the P3 machine out, and replace it with the P4 one. Then I will move all of the files I copied to the other machine onto the P4 machine, and install all of the programs I need.

    Am I on the right track? Thanks.
Ask a new question

Read More

Hard Drives Storage