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Need help installing a SATA hard drive

I have a new computer arriving soon with a 640GB SATA hard drive running Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit, I want to move my other 250GB SATA hard drive running Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit from my dead computer to the new computer to transfer data.

My question is after I install the old hard drive to the new computer, how do I set the old drive as the slave and the new one as the master? If I turn on the computer and go straight to windows, would it automatically set each of them to master and slave, and would it cause problems if I don't boot from one of them and just let it choose by itself? Would both drive appear on My Computer so that I can drag and transfer files?

Thanks all
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  1. Best answer
    There's no such thing as "master" and "slave" with SATA as there was with IDE drives. Each motherboard connector can connect only one drive.

    Perhaps you're asking about how to control which drive the system boots from? That's normally a BIOS setting.

    If I were you, I'd install the OS on your new computer and new drive (if not already installed) without connecting the old drive at all. Once you've done that, shut it down, install the old drive and then reboot - it will appear as a data drive and you should be able to access your old files. You may need to use an administrative account to take ownership of the old files and change their permissions if they have security applied to them.
  2. sminlal said:
    There's no such thing as "master" and "slave" with SATA as there was with IDE drives. Each motherboard connector can connect only one drive.

    Perhaps you're asking about how to control which drive the system boots from? That's normally a BIOS setting.

    If I were you, I'd install the OS on your new computer and new drive (if not already installed) without connecting the old drive at all. Once you've done that, shut it down, install the old drive and then reboot - it will appear as a data drive and you should be able to access your old files. You may need to use an administrative account to take ownership of the old files and change their permissions if they have security applied to them.



    Hi Sminlal, i'll follow your step and install the OS first then reboot with the old drive installed. Once it is installed, do I have to make any changes on the BIOS setting or just start up window normally? Would it cause problems for the two drives to have different operating systems? New drive is Vista Home Premium 64-bit and the other drive is Vista Home Premium 32-bit?

    Still kinda new to this, thanks for explaining to me ;]
  3. You shouldn't have any problems. If you install the 2nd (old) drive and the system happens to boot from it instead of from the new 64-bit OS (use "Computer -> Properties" after you've booted to verify whether you're in the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Vista), then you'll have to shut down and either (a) swap the SATA connectors for the two drives, or (b) go into the BIOS and change the boot order for the drives.
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