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Q: Swapping a hard drive to a new system ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Swapping a hard drive to a new system
Category: Computers
Asked by: connard-ga
List Price: $12.00
Posted: 18 Dec 2002 17:00 PST
Expires: 17 Jan 2003 17:00 PST
Question ID: 126688
I just bought a barebones system (cpu, motherboard, power supply,
etc.) and I would like to swap the hard drive from my current system
to the new system. I was wondering if there is a way to do this
without having to reinstall the OS (Win98) and all my apps. Someone
told me that I could just install the HDD in the new system, boot into
safe mode, uninstall everything thru Device Manager, reboot and
windows will automatically detect all the hardware present and just
prompt me for the device drivers. Someone else told me that, once
installed, windows won't re-detect certain hardware (like the BIOS and
the motherboard), and I would be lucky if windows even loads once the
drive is switched. Is there a way to do this without having to
re-install everything? I've seen data migration tools that purport to
do this type of task but I don't want to have to buy another HDD for
the new system. I'll be swapping the modem and cd-rom as well, and
both systems use onboard video/sound/NIC if that helps.
Thanks for reading my question, hope to hear from you!
Subject: Re: Swapping a hard drive to a new system
Answered By: deadlychiapet-ga on 18 Dec 2002 17:43 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi there,

I see you're using Win98 which makes this a lot easier than if you
were using a newer OS (2k or XP). Whoever told you to delete
everything from device manager was right - well, almost right. The
thing is, you need to do that in your current computer before you
remove the hard drive. To make things easier, here's a step-by-step
list of what to do:

-Make sure you have drivers for everything that will be installed in
your new system (sound, video, network card, etc...) You should either
have these on a CD or on your hard drive unzipped in a folder
-Boot up your current system with the hard drive still in it. Go into
device manager and delete everything.
-Shut down the computer, remove the hard drive, and put it in the new
-Make sure the jumpers on the hard drive are set up correctly for your
new system. If it's on the same ide channel as before in the same spot
on the cable you shouldn't need to worry about it.
-Go into the bios and set up your hard drive, in most new bios's you
should be able to set it to auto and it should detect it just fine.
-Exit the bios and boot up Windows. It will likely take a long time to
load but you should have no problems. You'll probably be prompted for
drivers which you can install now.

I've done this very thing before (actually, I did it without deleting
everything in device manager - it was a bit messy afterwards but it
worked) and you should have no problems with it. If somehow this
fails, you always have the option of reinstalling Windows over itself
which should work as well. As well, if the drive just won't work in
the new comp you should be able to put it back in the first one
without much hassle.

Hope this solves your problem! If you need any clarification, please
feel free to ask before rating this answer.


Resources used:
personal knowledge
connard-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
This was exactly the info I needed, fast too! The step-by-step is very
helpful, thanks for an excellent answer!!

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