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Moving a hard drive from one computer to another

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March 11, 2010 3:01:36 AM

Hello,I do tattoo work and I have all of my artwork stored on a SATA hard drive. My computer went to poop and will not come on now. Can I take my hard drive out of this HP and put it in a dell without re formating the hard drive? I cannot afford to lose any of this artwork.
March 11, 2010 5:53:20 AM

Yea will be fine as long as the dell has a sata slot :) 

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March 11, 2010 6:21:45 AM
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Is the drive going to be a boot drive or a storage drive? If you are simply going to pull it out of the HP and install it in the Dell as a secondary storage drive, yes, you can.

If you plan on using it for a boot drive in the Dell, things are a little different. In that case I estimate about a 50% chance of success.

What I would do:
Pull the drive out of the HP.
Install it in the Dell.
Transfer the artwork off the old drive and move it onto the new drive.
Once you are certain that you have transferred everything you need, reformat the old drive, then use it for backup.

The artwork is business, yes? You need a backup plan. You really, really do. If the drive containing the artwork had failed, what would you have done?

My brother-in-law has a graphics design business. The only thing he keeps on his computer is current projects. Everything else is stored on an external USB drive. Then, once a month, everything is copied to a second drive that is kept in a safety deposit box.
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March 11, 2010 6:51:07 AM

If you're intending to use it as a boot drive, unless the Processor and motherboard and close enough in model it wont work, you'll need to install a new OS. I learned that the hard way moving up to pentium 4 a good while back. If you spend 20 quid on an external case, you should be able to copy all your data or get a friend to, then install a new OS and format it to start from scratch and copy it across. Better to go with a fresh install. If its just going to be a spare drive, just make sure you make the other drive the boot drive in the bios.
March 11, 2010 6:43:36 PM

vnell9 said:
Hello,I do tattoo work and I have all of my artwork stored on a SATA hard drive. My computer went to poop and will not come on now. Can I take my hard drive out of this HP and put it in a dell without reformating the hard drive? I cannot afford to lose any of this artwork.


No.

Here's what you wanna do. Leave the HD from Dell in the new machine and boot off that; add the old one from the HP in as a second non boot drive. Make sure the BIOS has you booting from the new drive and not the old one. Find your artwork on the old drive and copy it over to the new one.
March 17, 2010 3:52:17 AM

Best answer selected by r_manic.
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