Retain old HDD files in new computer


I'm in the middle of building a new computer out of some old parts from the Dell I bought years ago, and some newer parts I recently acquired. I can't stick with the case I have, or the motherboard, due to Dell's imposed limitations.

I have an 80gb SATA Samsung HDD that came with the system, preloaded with XP media Center (bad idea in retrospect), and a system recovery partition hidden away on it.

However, I recently bought a WD 1TB SATA drive intended for use as back up of family photos, music, et cetera.

What my question that I haven't been able to find a conclusive answer to is: can I transfer HDDs to the new computer and retain ANYTHING? I understand I'll have issues with the XP copy as it came from a manufacturer, so any tips regarding that would be great, (other than buy a new copy of Windows; Dell didn't provide discs) but really what I'd like to find out about is retaining backed up files on a new system, possibly under a new OS, and if what I should do to make sure I can keep them safe.

(eg, should I partition the drive up somehow now and assign a safe space for the files I want to backup?)

Apologies if any of this is unclear. Any help would be deeply appreciated.


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  1. if you just need the data , just install OS in you machine with new WD 1 TB drive & then hook your old drive as secondary or slave in your new machine your are done..

    ..for other suggestions will you clear a little bit..
    what exactly you need or going to do.
    OEM may not be valid if you changed the motherboard or HDD(i'm not sure about this..)

    have you planned to get NEW Operating system or stick with XP Media Center
  2. Thanks for the reply

    I'm planning to buy a new Motherboard, CPU, and case; then I'd like to insert my video card, dvd, memory, PSU into the new case/mobo/cpu.

    I'm not sure about the OS, since it's another matter kind of. (verging on a completely different forum topic) However! I want to upgrade to win 7 just, well, because. Time for a change.

    I'm assuming because I have the OEM that came with the Dell it wouldn't take to kindly to being placed into a new computer set up. I've read a little about sysprep but again, whole other issue.

    If I was to install a new OS, I'd still be able to see my secondary since it's been initialised and whatnot, am I correct?
  3. for new machine , hooking up your old drive after installing the OS in new machine will be fine to access the data..(plz dont connect the old HDD untill you install OS on new machine , just a safety to avoid wrong selection during installation)

    yes..... its time to change win 7, which has lot of advancement & features....
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