I want to add a second sata drive (from my old dell dimension 9100) into my new

I want to add a second sata drive (from my old dell dimension 9100) into my new HP P6540F- but it doesn't look like the HP has an appropriate power cable; I'll have to buy a sata power adapter.
In the meantime, can I move the cables from the new HP hard drive to my old hard drive installed now in the HP and boot up on it without damage to the old hard drive? It has Windows XP, the new system has Windows 7.
Thanks to anyone out there that might help.
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  1. Odd that the HP does not have a spare SATA power connector to use.

    No, you cannot connect the old HDD from the Dell in place of the new HDD in the HP, and then boot from it. This has NOTHING to do with XP and Win 7, nor with old vs new HDD. It is the common story that the old HDD from the Dell machine has an installation of Win XP on it that includes specifically all the hardware device drivers for the devices from that machine, and NOT for the devices in the HP machine. "Hardware Devices" includes a LOT more than which graphics and sound cards you added to the PCI bus. There are MANY Devices built into your mobo - the HDD controllers, the PCI bus controller, the USB bus controller, the sound chip, etc., etc. There is a procedure called a "Repair Install" that can be used sometimes to take a HDD with Win (whatever version) already installed from an old machine to a new one and update all the drivers to work in the new machine, but it does not always work. To do it you need the original Win Install CD and come luck.

    If you actually need to have Win XP and Win 7 available on your new HP, it can be tricky to do it starting from where you are. If you don't need bot OS's, just get the old HDD from the Dell installed and working as a second HDD that contains data and use that, but do not try to boot from that old drive. You do NOT have to boot from it to access its data.
  2. ok, that makes sense - I don't really need dual boot for the long term. Short term, I'll have to reinstall my programs and then get the data, docs, photos, etc from the old Dell drivew. I was disappointed that a $6.99 adaptor was going to hold up this project, but I guess I'll wait for the stores to open in the am. BTW, it was a failed power supply on the 5 year old Dell that gave it up... the decision was not to invest time/money on the old... Thanks for your help.
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