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Old Hard Drive to new Computer

Last response: in Windows 7
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May 14, 2012 7:43:21 PM

So I got excited waiting for all of my parts to come in for my new build and over the weekend I decided I would take my old computer apart and give the case a good cleaning since I'm reusing it. So I removed everything and now my case is looking like it did the day I purchased it.

What I forgot to do though was to prep the hard drive for moving to a new computer. I did however purchase an SSD that I plan to install a new, clean version of Windows 7 on. I want to keep all of my files/pictures/movies etc from the old hard drive, but remove Windows 7 from it.

Are there any special considerations I need to keep in mind to avoid losing the other data when I remove Windows?

More about : hard drive computer

a b $ Windows 7
May 14, 2012 8:05:43 PM

Unless you have a retail version of W7 you will need to purchase a new key. Once you do that, I would do a fresh install on the SSD and then plug the old HDD into the system and migrate your programs/data at your leisure. No need to remove W7.
May 14, 2012 8:10:59 PM

To remove all the rogue data just delete all the folders not needed.

Edit: I personally, would move your data (under user profile) to the new drive. Reformat the old drive and then use it as a backup drive to backup your data too.
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May 15, 2012 5:16:20 AM

ram1009 said:
Unless you have a retail version of W7 you will need to purchase a new key. Once you do that, I would do a fresh install on the SSD and then plug the old HDD into the system and migrate your programs/data at your leisure. No need to remove W7.


I had no problem reinstalling windows on the SSD (once I got the USB DOS thing set up for the keyboard). But when I double click on my old drive in File Explorer to browse through the drive, it's saying I need to reformat and that doing so will remove all of my data. Is there any way to browse the drive to find the items I want to keep? Or better yet, to select which data will be deleted when it's reformatted and what will stay?
a b $ Windows 7
May 15, 2012 7:11:02 AM

When you open Windows Explorer does it show as Local Disk E? A single click on the disk in the left hand pane should display all your folders in the right pane. Don't allow format as it will remove all data...
May 15, 2012 12:30:44 PM

dodger46 said:
When you open Windows Explorer does it show as Local Disk E? A single click on the disk in the left hand pane should display all your folders in the right pane. Don't allow format as it will remove all data...


I think it was actually Local Disk D not E (not sure if that makes any difference). I'll have to try selecting the drive in the left hand navigation pane and seeing if that allows me to explore it then. Although I'm not sure why that would be any different from double clicking it in the right hand pane. When I do that (double left click in the right hand pane) it shows the status bar for awhile. After a bit of time like 30 seconds to a minute, it pops up telling me I need to reformat the drive.
May 15, 2012 1:12:08 PM

When I get home, I think I'm going to try booting from the Windows 7 CD, and repairing the version of windows that's on the old hard drive. I'm hoping (not sure if this is logically sound or not) that doing so will allow me to access the files on that drive without reformatting and losing all of them.

Worst case scenario: I have to reformat the drive and lose all my data. Fortunately I don't have anything super important (thus why I haven't backed it up) just music, movies, and some documents.
a b $ Windows 7
May 15, 2012 1:37:15 PM

Of course, it will show as 'D' unless you have a disk in the optical drive...You should be able to open Windows Explorer and expand 'Computer' in the left pane,single click on 'D' should bring all your folders up in the right pane... i did exactly the same as you, and it worked for me! Except I was playing with Win 8 and left it on D for another day...
I don't think you'll get very far with repairing Windows on your old drive, totally different mobo. You'd need to create a new partition, and I don't think the Windows install disk is sophisticated enough to do that. It can delete, format, and expand partitions but as far as I remember not create new ones. Of course you could always run Partition Magic from your new setup and see what it makes of your old drive, create a new partition even...
November 29, 2012 4:03:55 PM

Im in the same situation as you(the OP) .. exact same. but in a slightly worse scenario cuz my old drive has windows xp... I thought I could just add in my old drive(which had windows xp on it) in the new computer with new hard drive and windows 7.

my computer starts to boot up with windows xp for some reasoon! which is the old os of old computer!!

Did you manage getting your data somehow ?
thanks
!