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Old Hard Drive without driver trying to use on new build

Last response: in Systems
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February 21, 2012 6:29:38 AM

So here's the deal :

I have a 250gb WD Hard drive that I pulled from my parents old Dell. Just got my new system put together, and now windows is asking me to select the driver for it. I can browse the hard drive and open folders, but I have no way of downloading a driver until after.... so long story short, is there a way I can get the driver without downloading it? For example, are there any folders in the Hard Drive that might contain it? If so, which?

PLEASE help me out! This is my first computer build ever, and I just want to play games on it already!
February 21, 2012 11:58:35 AM

In all but the most unusual cases, no driver is needed for a hard drive. They are entirely interchangeable; I strongly suspect that you have some other issue.

Basic questions: What kind of interface does the drive have (SATA or IDE)? What model motherboard do you have; what model is the disk? Does the drive show up in the BIOS ( see here if you don't know what that is: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/265764-32-guide-insta... . Don't go past step 4; step 5 will delete whatever is on the drive)? What version of the OS are you running? If you have access to another machine, does that machine read the drive, or could the drive be broken?

It sounds to me like you have Windows running on another drive and just want to use this one. If so, can you open the Device Manager and see what it looks like in there? If there is an exclamation point on the background of a yellow triangle, you can try uninstalling the device (from Device Manager, not physically) and see if a reboot solves your problem.

Many questions. All to track down the source of the problem. Let us know.

EDIT: is it possible that the prompt for a driver is related to something other than the disk? Also, many motherboards have disk ports controlled by the chipset and disk ports controlled by another controller. If you used one of the latter, it could be asking for a driver for that other controller. The simplest solution would be to move the drive to a port controlled by the chipset. Which ports are your system drive and this new drive attached to?
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February 21, 2012 12:07:20 PM

Your problem is that you have a Windows install with dozens of drivers for a Dell .... and you no longer have that hardware anymore. My suggestion would be to:

a) Format the HD and let windows install all the drivers it needs, or......

b) Remove the old HD, install a new one. Install Windows to the new drive and after all the reboots and Windows Updates are done, reinstall the old HD.....or

c) Copy all the stuff you need to an external HD, optical media or USB stick(s), format the drive, install windows, then copy ya stuf back.
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February 21, 2012 12:16:51 PM

I agree with Jack, The old HD has a Windows install full of DELL drivers and stuff. Best bet is to save all your important stuff on the other computer through the net work or to a USB external drive and then do a clean install of Windows.

In most cases a Windows install will not run well after being migrated to a completely different motherboard. If the 2 motherboards are the same or similar chipset then windows will often be ok, but if its 2 completely different platforms normally windows needs a repair installation at the least.
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February 21, 2012 1:02:59 PM

Oh, my goodness. Are you using the Dell drive as your boot drive? The posters above are correct; you can't do that.
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February 21, 2012 5:51:12 PM

WyomingKnott said:
Oh, my goodness. Are you using the Dell drive as your boot drive? The posters above are correct; you can't do that.


I realized I didn't connect my hard drive directly... xD sorry tip waste all of your time, but thanks for the suggestions!
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