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Old Hard Drive in New Computer

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June 1, 2012 11:34:46 AM

I just built my new computer and now face the problem of moving data across from the old computer.
The easiest would be to unplug the old hard drive and temporarily plug it into the new motherboard.
It is a SATA drive and both drives have OEM Windows 7.
However, browing the forums and how to videos, its clear that two issues need to be addressed.
1. How to ensure that the PC does not attempt to boot from the old drive?
2. How to stop the old drive, detecting the new hardware and flagging it as illegal second installation?

Since the plan is to continue using the old drive in the old computer, would not want to delete Windows.
So is it possible, and if so how can it be made to temporarily appear as just a large thumb drive?

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a c 379 G Storage
June 1, 2012 12:10:54 PM

As long as the bios is set to boot from the correct drive there are no issues. This answers both your questions since 2 can't happen once the bios boot disk is set.
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June 1, 2012 12:33:24 PM

Thanks for the reply. The bios is already booting from the new drive, so there should be no need to change it when I plug the old drive into the MB. I will give it a try.
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June 2, 2012 1:18:50 AM

I just checked the new HDD is plugged into Sata port 2 and not Sata port 0, on the Mb and the ODD is in Sata port 3.
So the question is can the Bios can still be left unchanged if the odd Hdd is plugged into any of the remaing Sata ports?
Or does the new HDD have to be moved to port 0 and the Bios reset, before putting in the old drive?
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a c 357 G Storage
June 2, 2012 4:14:07 PM

You do not need to worry about moving cables from port to port. Just connect the old HDD to any empty SATA port of the mobo.

When you boot up, it is very likely there would be no problem. However, just to be very sure, you should verify that the boot order is OK. Wen you boot, go immediately into BIOS Setup. If you are not familiar, usually that means holding done the "Del" key while it boots, until the BIOS setup initial screen comes on. Look across the top for the tabs, and one that talks about boot options or something like that. Go there and find the place to specify the Boot Priority Sequence. Usually the best is to have it try to boot from your optical disk first, then your (new) HDD that has your OS on it, and that is probably exactly what it says already. The key thing to check, here, is to make sure that the old HDD is NOT anywhere in the boot sequence. If it's already not showing here, you are OK, and you can Exit without Saving, and the machine will boot normally. IF you have to make any change, be sure to Save and Exit.

As long as your machine is NOT told to try to boot from that old HDD, there will be no problem caused by the fact that it happens to contain a second copy of Win 7.
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June 3, 2012 7:03:33 AM

Hi Paperdoc, Thanks for your reply. Before I saw the reply, I put in the old drive and it has booted up fine, BUT, when I went to My Computer there is an additional Recovery Drive (E:)  in addition to the old drive which is labeled OS(F:) .
Not sure what to do now.
I might just continue to use normally without trying to access either E: or F drives until, i know a bit more.
Thanks again for your help.
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June 3, 2012 8:06:54 AM

This probably explains it:
"Most OEM recovery systems for Microsoft Windows based operating systems involve booting from a separate CD-ROM, DVD, or hard drive partition, which in turn launches the recovery environment. "
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recovery_disc
I checked the Recovery disk drive F: and old disk-Drive E: all that is accessible is software and operating system files ( the original C: drive).
Cannot see the old desktop or data files.
Decided to remove the old drive and put it back in the old system.Hopefully it will still operate there.
Oh.. well nothing is simple with MS!
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