Building a new system with old hard drive

Hello all. First time poster here, so please bear with me...

I purchased a PC about a year ago, when I was very ill-educated about computer hardware. I have a HP Pavilion with a Celeron processor, integrated video and sound, with no AGP slot, etc. Big mistake...

I have now decided to attempt to build my own PC, and have been researching parts, prices, etc. I still have a few questions that I can't seem to find an answer to. Any help would be appreciated.

My main question is if I use my old hard drive in my new PC, will my current operating system still work?

I basically plan to buy a new case, motherboard, processor, video card, and sound card, and use my existing monitor, modem, floppy drive, hard drive, CD drive, etc.

What I don't know is if I hook everything up and boot up for the first time, will my operating system start as usual, or do I need to possibly wipe my hard drive clean and re-install the operating system?

Any other advice is most welcome.

Sorry for the long post, and thanks to anyone who gives advice.
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  1. Hi, I just did the same thing about 2 weeks ago. You can use your old hard-drive thats no problem. It will boot up like normal if you install it but it is better to wipe it clean since you will be installing a new mobo and processor and stuff. This gives your new motherboard a chance to recognize everything for the first time. Personally I like to do this just so that there may not be any small buggy issues later.
  2. I agree. Plus, I would rather use a new HD for your OS, and your old HD (if it's still usable) for some of your data. That way, you have a little more space.

    Make sure your current modem isn't a Winmodem, because that uses the CPU.

    Post the components your intend to buy. I wanna see... :lol:

    Kernel32.dll, son of a.... :eek:
  3. Thanks to everyone for the help.

    Alright btvillarin, here is the list of components:

    **Buying these new**
    Motherboard: EPoX EP-8KHA ($103)
    Processor: 1.2 GHz Athlon 266 MHz FSB ($103)
    Video Card: MSI Starforce 831 (GeForce2 Pro 64 MB) ($130)
    Memory: Crucial PC2100 DDR SDRAM ($36)
    Case: Fong Kai FK-603 ($85)

    **Reusing these**
    Monitor: HP M70 17"
    Sound Card: Hercules Gamesurround Muse XL
    Modem: Lucent Winmodem
    Hard Drive: Maxtor 30 GB, 7200rpm, ATA100
    CD-RW: Teac CD-W54E (4x4x8 i think)
    Mouse: Logitech Optical
    Keyboard: HP Standard Keyboard
    Speakers: Polk

    I think that is everything. I might wait a bit on the motherboard, since VIA just released the KT266A chipset. I want to take a look at the new motherboards with that chipset, and I also want to see if it drives down the price of existing motherboards with the KT266.

    Should I buy a new modem? I was unaware that a Winmodem uses the CPU. Any suggestions?

    I was thinking I should just reuse my hard drive since its pretty decent, and I don't particularly want to spend the extra $100 getting a new one. What do you think?

    Thanks again for the help.
  4. I know of one place that has a better price on that processor. has the 1.2 for $87 bucks. Someone else might know of a better price.
  5. It seems to me that your hard drive should be used. Everything looks good to me, except the price for the 1.2 TBird. I do remember reading somewhere about the Winmodem, and it's forever been engraved as a bad thing in my mind. So, yeah, I suggest a new one.

    By the way, are you planning on buying a heatsink as well, or just using the retail fan that comes with it? If you do buy one, I would recommend the Swiftech MCX370-0A. It's super easy to install, plus it performs pretty good. And, it's not too loud. Buy this, along with Arctic Silver II, and I think you'll be set.

    Kernel32.dll, son of a.... :eek:
  6. All prices I posted are from, which I have found to be consistently among the lowest on the net. All prices also include shipping per item, so actually I hope the total price will come down if I get some shipping breaks by ordering multiple parts from Newegg.

    The only two that aren't from are the Crucial memory, which is from, and the Fong Kai case, which I could only find at I considered an Enlight 7237 case as well, but I think I am going with the Fong Kai.

    The price for the Athlon 1.2 GHz is for retail, not OEM. I checked the price at, and I believe that price is for an OEM processor. The OEM price for a Athlon 1.2 GHz on is $85, but since I don't have much experience with building PC's, I thought I would go with the retail processor, since it comes with a heat sink and fan already, and I wouldn't have to worry about finding a heat sink and fan that would match the processor well.

    Should I reconsider and go with an OEM and buy my own heatsink and fan and thermal compound? Would that route cost much more? Does a retail processor come with the heatsink and fan attached already, or seperately? Do retail processors come with thermal compound applied?

    Ahhh...all the stupid questions only a newbie would ask...
  7. well using an old drive in a new system is like buying a ferrari without an engine then putting in an engine usually found in a vokswagen!

    with my system i acutally upgraded to a ibm 40Gb 60GXP before i got my new system.

    when i moved over the new drive got wiped, and started from scratch.
    so the fast ata100 7200rpm 60gxp was my primary drive, with the old yet very reliable 16GP being for data backup and mp3's (the 16.8gb drive was a monster in its day!)

    Religious wars are 2 groups of people fighting over who has the best imaginary friend.
  8. I still think you should get a faster HD, but if money is an issue, then I can't tell you anything else.

    Anyways, I would rather get an OEM processor, then buy your own HSF and thermal compound. Even if you don't overclock, cooler is always better. Check out some of the reviews, if the one I suggested might still be too loud. I would still get it, then just get a slower fan instead of using the regular one already included with it. Bear in mind that this does cost more, but if you want to have stability, a cool cpu is key.

    Tell me whatcha think...

    Kernel32.dll, son of a.... :eek:
  9. btvillarin:

    Yeah, I would like to get a new hard drive, but being the po' college student that I am, I think I'll probably just stick with my existing for now. Why did you say that I should get a "faster" hard drive? Could you possibly give me an example of a faster drive so I could compare the specs with my current HD and contemplate how much I want to go into debt?

    As far as your advice on getting an OEM processor and getting that Swiftech cooler, it again comes down to price. I just checked on Price, and the lowest price for the Swiftech that you recommended was a little over $40. I realize how important keeping the processor cool is, but I can't seem to convince myself to buy a cooler that costs half as much as the processor itself.

    I might consider buying an OEM and seperate cooler if the cost was a little more conservative. Any suggestions?

    As always, thanks....
  10. I keep forgetting to look at the components you're reusing. Your hard drive looks fast enough. My apoligies.

    I think I heard that the Thermal Take Volcano 6Cu was good. You can find that <A HREF="" target="_new">here at</A> for $10. Plus, it includes Arctic Silver II. <A HREF="" target="_new">Here's a review as well...</A>

    I hope this is good enough for ya.

    BTW, don't ever buy a CoolerMaster HSF. It's got junk on the bottom for optimal thermal transfer, and if you don't wanna use it, you gotta scrape it off. I didn't even get all of it off of mine! (Sorry...I just bought one to replace the MC370-0A I gotta send back and replace because of this rattling sound it's making. Plus, I bought it for $16, and it's running at 46.7°C at idle. :frown: I just can't wait that long. Sorry...I just thought I'd tell you that.)

    Kernel32.dll, son of a.... :eek:
  11. I just bought a 1.4GHz Athlon from last week for $98. For the few extra bucks I'd go with the faster CPU.
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