I got a PC with Windows 7 installed. I prefer XP.

By allan1932 ·
I took the hard drive out of the Windows 7 PC & fitted it as a second hard drive in my XP PC with a view to formatting it in my XP PC. The drive is not recognised, even by Acronis Disk Director. Should it be possible to format the drive in the XP PC or would I have to format it some other way?

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What type of PC?

by robo_dev In reply to I got a PC with Windows 7 ...

Is the secondary drive recognized by the BIOS of the computer? If Acronis cannot see it, then I suspect your problem is either a BIOS setting or a jumper, if this is an IDE drive.

If this is a SATA drive, often the secondary SATA port is disabled by default in the BIOS on many computers.

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This depends on the drive here

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to I got a PC with Windows 7 ...

If it's a IDE Drive it may be too big for the BIOS of the Older system.

If it's a SATA Drive what does the Disc Manager say in XP?

Also if this drive is a SATA Drive what does the BIOS Show and have you looked at things like if the RAID Array is enabled?

If it's a IDE/PATA Drive is it correctly jumpered to Slave or Cable Select/CS and installed to the Middle Connector on the IDE Cable?

But as to your question here the answer is provided that it doesn't exceed the BIOS ability to read the drive yes you should be able to format it on the XP System though it is very unlikely to appear in either My Computer or Explorer you will need to look in Drive Management and format from there.

However just because you can format the drive doesn't mean that your new computer will work with XP. Many new pieces of Hardware no longer have XP Drivers and do not work with XP any more. What you need to do is open the Device Manager in Windows 7 and make a list of all installed Drivers. They either look on the Makers Web Site to see if they have XP Drivers or Google XP Drivers for every device that 7 has a driver for.

If there is anything that doesn't have a XP Driver that bit of Hardware will not work under XP.

You would however be better off Wiping the Drive in the 7 System with something like Kill Disc which is available free here


Then setting about installing XP to it after it is wiped.


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Keep in mind

by NexS In reply to I got a PC with Windows 7 ...

That Windows XP, even SP3, will become obsolete and not supported by Microsoft at some point in the (nearish) future.
The worst thing that can happen is for you to be forced to update and know nothing about the OS - That's the problem I'm facing with Office 2010/2003.

Just gotta bite the bullet.

In regards to formatting it, you should be able to put your Windows XP CD in and go through the boot/format process with the drive plugged in the new box.

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What I Would Do

by TheChas In reply to I got a PC with Windows 7 ...

What I would do in your situation would be to save the original hard drive as is. That way, you can switch to Windows 7 in the future and not need to find recovery disks or buy a copy of Windows 7.

Next, unless you booted up the new PC and configured it, the hard drive is likely set to boot to the recovery partition and install Windows 7. It does not show up on your XP system because the drive has not been fully configured.

As I said, I would install XP onto a new / different hard drive.

Start with a hardware inventory of your new PC.

Can you find XP version drivers for all of the hardware?
If not, can you replace the hardware? Or disable it?

Keep in mind that you may need a XP driver for the hard drive interface. If so, you will either need a floppy drive or you will need to slip-stream the storage driver onto a XP install CD.

There are many articles posted on how to create a bootable slip-stream CD with a driver.

As stated in another answer, XP is on extended support. So only critical and security patches will be released. Support for XP is scheduled to end in 2014. That leaves you with 4 years to use this system for Internet access before the security risks climb.


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Re: Win XP mode

by ameack In reply to I got a PC with Windows 7 ...


Instead of changing drives installing softwares and drivers and etc.
why don't you let win 7 work like XP
download the exe file below from Microsoft and you can run the PC in XP mode.


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The OP would need the right version of 7 to do this

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Re: Win XP mode

The base versions that generally come with Off the Shelf Systems do not support XP Mode or Virtual PC.

But if the OP has the Minimum version of 7 that can run XP Mode or above they can try looking at the Domination of XP Mode here


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Interim reply

by allan1932 In reply to I got a PC with Windows 7 ...

Thank you all for your advice. I am considering the way ahead & will reply later.

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Right Way Ahead?

by allan1932 In reply to Interim reply

First of all I should explain in more detail what the setup is.
1.The Windows 7 drive was taken out of a broken PC. It is an IDE.
2.I want to make use of it as storage in a second PC which has XP on the SATA drive.

Following your advice I have checked & found that the Windows 7 drive was configured as master. I have now set it as slave. A DVD drive is the master on that IDE cable.

The PC still boots to Windows XP, which is what I want.

The Windows 7 drive is now recognised & has two partitions, a FAT32 recovery partition & an NTFS Windows 7 partition.

I could divide the Windows 7 partition into two in order to:-
a. Retain Windows 7 for future use, &
b. Use the newly created partition for storage.

Is that a bad idea?

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Well I would say it's not a good idea

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Right Way Ahead?

As the Windows 7 Drive comes from a different system it's Hardware Abstraction Layer will not be correct for the system that it is now in and it's not going to boot.

I would suggest deleting the entire Windows 7 Partition and using it as Storage Space. After all you are not going to be able to use it as a Windows 7 Boot Drive here.


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Not a good idea.

by allan1932 In reply to Well I would say it's not ...

Thankyou Col. Will follow your advice.

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