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"Old" HDD in new build

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March 2, 2008 4:40:22 AM

This is a stupid question but I'm kind of in a pickle here. I ordered all the parts for a new computer except for a hard drive, because my old PC has a fairly new one already that I was planning on switching over. My old PC died and I thought it was the power supply, so I plugged in the new PSU to it, planning to back up what I needed and then wipe the drive. However... the new PSU didn't fair any better, so I must have misinterpreted the problem. Now I can't back up or wipe the drive, at least not from my old PC.

So now I have an all new computer except for the HDD. My options, as I see it, are 1) buy a new HDD and use it as the master (which would be a waste; I'll never fill mine up) or 2) pay a tech to back up and wipe the drive for me (which is only slightly less expensive than buying a completely new drive!).

So here's my stupid question: What would happen if I just put the used HDD into the new computer? It's a 320GB drive with only about 40GBs filled; could I install the OS to it so that the PC will run, then back up the drive, wipe it and re-install the OS and drivers?

If it makes a difference, the drive in question was a slave drive previously, so it has no OS on it. Obviously my knowledge on this subject is pretty limited, but if there's any way to save myself $100 for something I don't need, I'm eager to try it. Sorry if this kind of thing has been covered somewhere, but I didn't see it. Thanks for any advice.

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March 2, 2008 4:54:08 AM

Buy a new drive, install it, use the old drive as a backup.
HD's arn't expensive and can save you a lot of grief when (and I do mean "when" not "if") something goes wrong.
March 2, 2008 5:01:07 AM

MrLinux said:
Buy a new drive, install it, use the old drive as a backup.
HD's arn't expensive and can save you a lot of grief when (and I do mean "when" not "if") something goes wrong.

Right... but it's a budget computer, and I don't need another drive :??: 
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March 2, 2008 5:21:08 AM

Another option is to run a Linux live CD, such as Ubuntu, and access the drive that way. The OS will run off the CD so you can get the files off the drive without wiping it.
March 2, 2008 5:35:16 AM

With the linux live cd idea, boot in to manage files, delete everything you dont want, then resize the partition as small as it goes. Install windows on a new partition filling the drive. When in windows transfer the files over to new partition, resize new partition to fit drive. Lot of work.

My favorite option is go to a friend or neighbors house, plug drive in - in place of cd drive, transfer files to his system, go home, install, then just transfer files back using same process. A lot of work, but less pain in the ass, and free minus gas.
March 2, 2008 5:55:48 AM

Saying that your drive was a slave, implies that you had a master (bootable) drive in your old pc.

Perhaps some more info here might lead to a better solution... Such as what are the specs of your old system and your new system, and perhaps what caused you to think that you needed a new psu.
March 2, 2008 6:48:03 PM

The Linux live CD sounds like a good enough solution; I already expected to have to work for it, but that's better than shelling out more money.

Quote:
Saying that your drive was a slave, implies that you had a master (bootable) drive in your old pc.


The master drive was an IDE, so I'm eschewing it this round for speed and *ahem* cable control (it's a SFF case).

Quote:
Perhaps some more info here might lead to a better solution... Such as what are the specs of your old system and your new system, and perhaps what caused you to think that you needed a new psu.


The old system had an Intel D875PBZ MB, and the reason I figured the PSU was the issue was because when I booted up, nothing appeared onscreen and the motherboard beeped a lot. I looked up the code for the beep sequence, and it said it indicated a PSU failure. I'm assuming it was the MB misinterpreting things, but like I said, I don't have a lot of experience in this kind of thing, and since I'm getting a new setup I'm not in any hurry to fix it.

Other system specs, in case they're useful: P4 2.8GHz, Radeon 8600 Pro, 500W PSU, 2G RAM and XP.

The new system has an Asus M2A-VM, AMD 64 X2 4000+, HIS Radeon HD 3870, Corsair 520HX, 4G RAM, and Vista 64.
March 2, 2008 7:05:59 PM

So the old master is now doing other service... in a sff? Does the sff have a network card? or an sata port? Or both? I'm thinking use that to hold your files, via sata port, build up your new PC, add the sff to your network and xfer the files back. Less work than using a linux boot cd, but possibly more hassle. In the end another choice, but up to you. GL...
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