Upgrading an old comp

Hi, so heres my issue. My mother currently has an Emachine which is older than the universe and as of this week, she has decided that it is no longer useful for everyday use as the processor is too old and the Ram too little. So I went to microcenter and picked up everything except a new HDD. But the HDD in the old emachine is XP. And XP flips put when you upgrade it. I have a clean laptop harddrive with vista on it, and so I was wondering how I could set up the computer with the laptop hardrive and then transfer the files on the XP drive to the laptop one? Is this possible? Losing these files is not something I can deal with as it has tons of my and my mothers stuff on it. Thanks for the help!
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  1. Yes its possible.

    Now, with Vista, yes it occasionally can survive a system "transplant" but for best results you should always do a clean install of the OS.

    Heres what you want to do.. First off.. Is the old hard drive from the Emachines computer IDE or SATA?

    There are a couple ways to go depending on this answer:

    If old drive is SATA.. What you want to do is install both hard drives, into the computer, the new laptop with Vista being set as primary boot drive. The one with Windows XP being secondary. Once you get into Vista on the laptop hard drive, you can access the Emachine's hard drive files through My Computer and copy and drag, cut and paste, however you want to go about it to transfer the files you want between the two hard drives.

    If the old computer drive is an IDE. There are a couple things you can do, some motherboards (depending on the one you bought) have legacy support for IDE. If not, you will need an IDE to SATA adapter. I have a couple of them, so I can tell you none of them that I've seen are very good quality. They're not appropriate for daily use, they're best used to get your files off the old IDE drive before you toss it in the garbage.

    IDE to SATA converter
  2. By the way.. Do educate your mother about the importance of backing up her data BEFORE theres a need. I know the feeling, my dear mother is the same way.
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