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HDD transplant from old system to new. questions- 32-bit IDE to 64-bit AHCI?

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April 18, 2011 12:08:36 PM

I just built a new system from a new Intel "sandy bridge" CPU. New everything. It's up and running now with Win7 64-bit and the single primary HDD is mounted to 6 GB/s AHCI SATA (system partition and primary partition). I would like to transplant my system drive from my previous rig but was wondering if I should have concerns. The previous drive will be on a 3 GB/s plug, since that's the drive's speed, but it was running as the primary dirve under IDE SATA in a 32-bit Win7 OS. I just want to know if I should expect any problems or issues. I want all the old drive's data to remain intact so I can move it off the old drive, onto the new drive.
a c 379 G Storage
April 18, 2011 1:01:45 PM

You shouldn't have any problems installing it as a secondary/storage drive. Make sure the sata port is enabled if the bios if needed.

Once it's connected, you will need to go into disk management and assign it a drive letter before it will show up in "computer" or explorer.
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a c 302 G Storage
April 19, 2011 1:08:18 PM

There is a 50-50 chance that the machine will try to boot from the old drive instead of the new one, since there are now two drives in the system that are marked as bootable. If you have this problem, boot to BIOS, go to the boot order menu, and put the newer drive first.

If you want to be really careful, you could unmark the "active partition" on the old drive.

Hawkeye22, is that a new Win7 feature? Every previous version of Windoze has assigned the next-available drive letter when a formatted drive is attached.
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a c 379 G Storage
April 19, 2011 1:26:30 PM

WyomingKnott said:

Hawkeye22, is that a new Win7 feature? Every previous version of Windoze has assigned the next-available drive letter when a formatted drive is attached.


Odd, my experience is formatted drives from another system need drive letters assigned. If you format the disk via disk management, then it assigns the next letter.

Ok, I must be having brain fry. I just pulled a drive from another system to test this. You are correct WyomingKnott. My XP machine automatically assigned a drive letter.
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April 19, 2011 5:13:23 PM

thanks guys. I'm still procrastinating the move right now. I've moved drives before, but only under XP. I'm familiar enough with the BIOS and what XP had for drive management to know about boot order, drive letters, partitions, etc. My primary concern was if the file table would remain intact and whether or not the addressing of the storage was different in AHCI or with the 64-bit OS, but it sounds like that's all about the SATA protocol/command set and OS/instructions/binaries respectively. I don't expect to be able to run progs installed on my old drive, I just want to move the images, music, save games, backgrounds, etc. - static stuff. It will be my first time moving a drive with Win7 on it though too. Is there anything in the old drive's "System" partition I need to care about? (The win7 install created a partition before the primary partition. I don't remember whether it was 100 MB or 100 GB...) I forgot to mention both the drives are 1TB if that matters to any of the topics.
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