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Data Transfer to New Hard Drive

By mrkun0 ·
Hi everyone, this is my first post on these forums so please bare with me.

I just bought a new hard drive (Hitachi Deskstar 120GB ATA) and am planning to replace the current one with it. I want to transfer some of the files from the old one; but I don't want to clone the drive (I'm going to use a clean installation of XP). My question is how to go about doing this.

Do I just pop the new drive in, format it, install XP, transfer the files I want, then remove the old drive? Is it even possible to run two copies of the same OS on a machine?

If that method doesn't work, please let me know how else I could accomplish this.


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by darts32 In reply to Data Transfer to New Hard ...

For the most part yes. Just make sure the new one is the active drive and the old is setup to be a slave.

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by TheChas In reply to Data Transfer to New Hard ...

For what you desire to do, there are a couple of ways to go about it.

First, I recommend that you read the article on partition strategy posted at

I myself, would set up the new drive with at least 2 partitions.

With that in mind, here we go:

Install the new hard drive as either a slave to your existing hard drive, or on the secondary IDE controller along with your CD drive.

(Note, you will need to verify proper jumper settings on BOTH drives connected to a single IDE cable.)

Make sure that your BIOS detects the new drive properly.
You may need to enter BIOS setup and change the hard drive detection to auto for the channel the new drive is connected to.

Once you boot into Windows, from the start menu,
Browse to Administrative tools, computer management.
Open Computer Management, then click on Disk Management.

The first thing you need to do, is partition the drive.
If you are going to create a separate data file drive, proceed as follows:
Create a Primary DOS partition of the size desired.
You do not need to format the drive at this time.

Then, use the remainder of the drive for an extended partition.
Create and format logical drives in the extended partition as desired.

Once the data drive is formatted, open Windows Explorer.
Create folders as needed, and copy your files there.
You can also copy your address book, favorites, and email files.

Next, create a system hardware profile using a program such as Belarc Advisor

Download the latest drivers for your hardware and store them on the new drive.

Make sure that you have a hard copy of all software keys and your ISP settings.

Shut down the PC.
Remove the old hard drive, and change the jumpers as needed on the new drive.


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by TheChas In reply to

(If you want to keep your old drive, change the jumper settings so that your new drive is the master and the old drive is the slave.)

Boot from your XP CD.
Follow the prompts to install Windows on your new C: drive.
If you did not format the primary DOS partition, XP will format it for you.

Install device drivers and your software.

Connect to Microsoft and run Windows Update.

You should be set.

Once you know that you don't need any data off of your old drive, you can decide what you want to do with it.
You could install it as a slave drive.
Format it, and use it for virtual memory, or for a backup of your personal files.
You could use one of the wipe utilities to completely erase the drive and sell or give it away.

One final note on formatting. Unless you need DOS mode access to your files, I recommend formatting your drives as NTFS volumes.
NTFS is both more secure, and has better error recovery than FAT32 does.


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