Best way to move old HDD to new computer for storage only

I have a 500GB Sata drive in my old computer. I want to delete contents and add it to my new Windows 7 build as a second hard drive for storage of media only.

What is the best way to delete and format the old drive before placing in the new computer? What do I need to do before taking it out of my old XP system and after I install it as a second drive in my new Windows 7 system? All of my pics and documents have already been transferred to a thumb drive.

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  1. when installing windows on your new computer there will be a window showing your hard disk drives and it will let you choose to which one you want to intstall the os. under tools it will give you an option to format. select your old drive before installing windows and format it. then choose the drive you want to install your os on
  2. If you have the other rig running, just connect this hdd to it as a second hdd. Copy the files that you want to keep (music, photos, movies) to the main hdd. After that go to My computer, right click and select format. You don't have to do anything special.
  3. Just plug it in to the computer, make sure it registers, delete the contents, and re-format if you need to.

    This free tool offers a number of partition operations.

    Partition Wipe - writes 00 and then FF to all locations
  5. When you Install Win 7 in a machine, it automatically looks around for a second HDD. If it finds one, it places some semi-hidden backup files on it as part of the Install. The intent is that at some later time, if the boot disk has problems booting because of corrupted system files, it will automatically go to the hidden backups and restore from them, then complete the boot. A nice feature. BUT people have found that, with this system functioning, that second drive with the hidden files MUST be in your machine ALWAYS, or it won't boot! So you cannot remove that drive later.

    Some people dislike this feature and defeat it. Just do NOT connect any HDD other than the first one when you install Win 7. In this configuration, Win 7 will put those semi-hidden backup files on that same HDD (not quite as safe as on a different drive). AFTER you have Win 7 running, you shut down and install the second HDD, then reboot. Win 7 will find it. In your case, the drive is already Partitioned and Formatted, so Win 7 probably will let you use it right away. You do NOT have to wipe it out, etc. BEFORE installing it in the new machine.

    Now, since you actually do want to wipe the old drive and start fresh, I suggest you simply use Disk Management in Windows in the new machine for the task. Locate the unit in the BOTTOM RIGHT panel of Disk Management (it SCROLLS) and RIGHT-click on its existing Partition(s) and Delete it (them). It will become all Unallocated Space. Then RIGHT-click on that space and choose to Create and Format a new Partition. I assume you'll want to make it the entire drive, and use the NTFS File System. I'd suggest doing a Full Format if it offers you a choice. That takes many hours, so just be patient and do something else. When done, reboot the machine to ensure the Registry is updated and your drive shows up properly.
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