I would like to use my hard drive on my old computer as an external hard drive. It says its a K7S5A, manufacturer ECS. What caddy do I need? If that is possible, can I use the programs on it, as some of the programs can''t be used on my new machine?
The ECS K7S5A is a motherboard not a hard drive. This next statement is in no way meant to belittle you; the hard drive is going to be either 3.5" or 2.5" long and anywhere from 1" to 1/2" thick, it will have a computer chip on the bottom and a sticker over a metal surface on top that should have a bunch of technical information, and there will be some plugs on one end. If you already know what the hard drive is then I apologize for presuming you do not. Otherwise, there is no shame in having your terms messed up.
The hard drive can be put into an enclosure, but you will need to know what type of connection the hard drive has, either SATA or IDE. SATA will have two distinct plugs shaped like L, one longer than the other; IDE will have two rows of a bunch of needle-like pins. Once you determine if it is IDE or SATA you can then search Google for "(3.5"/2.5") (IDE/SATA) hard drive enclosure" and you should get some shopping results.
Once you have your hard drive in an enclosure and connected to your new computer you can use it like a flash drive; you can read, open, create, delete, copy any file. However, any programs that are on that hard drive will not be able to run from that hard drive on your new computer, to do this you will have to reinstall the program onto your new computer then copy the program's files from the old hard drive to the new one.
Many thanks. I did not know that it was the motherboard, so thanks for telling me. It's the only way to learn really and I'm delighted you pointed that out.
OK, it's a 3.5" IDE HD. So that's easy to get an enclosure for it.
However, one of the programs I want to use is not compatible with Windows 7 and there is no new version/upgrade available, so I was hoping to be able to use it on my new laptop as an external drive. The old computer has Windows XP. I have the CDs, so that's not a problem, but it is just not compatible with Windows 7.
Yes, unfortunately not everything works with Windows 7, there are ways to make it work but are sometimes complicated. One option is to use a virtual machine, another is to get Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate and use compatibility mode.