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Need help with Hard Drives and OS

Last response: in Storage
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January 18, 2012 12:27:57 PM

All my new PC parts are on the way, the only thing I am not getting new is my Hard Drives, I am just going to use my current hard drives.

I currently have a prebuilt computer that came with Windows 7.


Will I be able to just put my hard-drives in my new build and everything will be fine and dandy? Or will I need to purchase windows 7?


If I need to buy a copy of windows 7, will I be able to just install it and all my programs and *** will be already there from my old HDDs?

More about : hard drives

a b $ Windows 7
a b G Storage
January 18, 2012 12:54:14 PM

Your current W7 installation will not likely work on your new system because the drivers loaded for the motherboard and system components are different than those required for your new system. Plus, your current W7 on the pre-built system is OEM, which dies with the system on which it was first installed. You will need to buy an OEM or retail version of W7 according to the MS license agreement.

The programs on your current system Hard Disk Drive (HDD) cannot be physically transferred to the new system HDD - there are program, windows, and registry files and folders on the old HDD that could not be accessed on a new install of W7. You will have to use the original program installation disks to install them to the new system HDD.

If you plan to install the new W7 on your current system HDD, do not do so until you have saved your personal files and folders on that HDD to some other media, e.g., DVDs or another HDD because the new W7 install will format the HDD, creating a new Master Boot Record (MBR) and causing the files to be unreadable in the new system. The files on the other (non-system) HDDs will be accessible to your new W7 system as they are currently.
January 18, 2012 12:57:08 PM

So basically, - put all files from old hard drives onto a removable hard disk
- Put old hard drives in new sytem
- Install windows 7 (wiping all my stuff from them)
- transfer files from removable hard drives back into the HDDs


Am I right?
Related resources
a b $ Windows 7
a b G Storage
January 18, 2012 1:09:02 PM

That will work.

Or, if the second HDD is large enough to hold ALL the files you want to keep, put them on that. When you build your new system, leave that HDD uninstalled until you have the W7 up and running smoothly on your primary HDD.
January 18, 2012 1:12:02 PM

Yeah I didn't think of that, nice one.

Thanks man.
January 18, 2012 1:13:42 PM

I have 2 HDDs in my PC at the moment, and one of them is completely empty, but how will I be able to tell which one is which when I am removing them from this machine?
a b $ Windows 7
a b G Storage
January 18, 2012 1:24:08 PM

You can enter the BIOS at startup, go to the HDD screen and find the serial numbers - write them down so you can compare with the s/ns on the HDDs.

Or, you can disconnect one, power on your system. If it does not boot, you disconnected the system HDD. If it does, you disconnected the storage HDD.
a b $ Windows 7
a b G Storage
January 18, 2012 1:27:49 PM

Sounds like you haven't had the humbling experience of a failed HDD yet. Believe me, it's only a matter of time. If your old store bought rig is old enough to need replacing so are the HDDs. In your situation I would buy a new HDD or SSD for a boot drive. Once your fresh OS install is up and running you can re-install the old HDDs and migrate data from old to new at your leisure or as required. Then set up your old HDDs in a RAID to protect the data you can store there.
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