Install new HDD without formatting

I have two DELL OPtiples GX70s with two identicall HDDs inside. One of the machines has died and I want to retrieve the data from it's HDD and so I have put it in the other tower, that is still working.

I am booting up from the HDD that was already in the working machine hoping that via Windows, I can copy out any data that is on the HDD that was in the machine that failed.

However, when I try to access the new E: drive via windows XP it asks me to Format the drive...!!

Is there a work around for this?

Kieran Ryan
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  1. Hi there,

    Please tell the group in more detail about your primary computer, CPU, present HDD's and other HDW resources attached to it, whether it is a PATA or SATA drive, what connection ports you have available to attach the second drive, etc.

    Also explain what you mean by the other computer died. Does it not POST, boot up to "Starting Windows", not read the HDD, give you a stop error?
    Finally when you attach the second HDD to your working computer, is it seen in the BIOS as Disk 1, are both HDD's formatted with NTFS, and how is it listed in Disk Management on your good machine?

    That way everyone can be thinking about your problem the same way and come up with the best solution to get that data transferred over.
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