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Old 03-04-2005, 09:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Questions about adding old HD to new PC

I am considering a new PC (Dell Dimensions 4700, 3.0 P4, 512 DDR2....super deal...can't build it this cheap). I have some questions about what I can do with my current hard drive that has everthing on it!

My curent HD is an older (4-6 years?) IDE 40 GB drive. The new PC will have a SATA drive. My questions are:

I suppose I can pop the old one in the new PC... will running the old IDE drive and the new, 7200 rpm drive off of SATA force the computer to slow down the faster SATA drive to compensate for the IDE drive?

Since this old drive will have my "old" Windows XP on it, and the new computer will have the "new" Windows XP on it, will the computer go nuts with both drives with XP in there, or will it just ignore the XP on the old drive as long as it's the slave? Should I then delete the old XP or will it be too "intertwined"? Do I make the old drive the "slave" by some jumper on it, something in BIOS, or someway by cables (don't think so since one is SATA and one IDE!)?

I know there are things I can just transfer over to the new drive, like pictures, songs, etc, but with applications like Word, and other installed applications, wouldn't "copy and pasting" to the new HD possibly cause some problems since they won't be "installed" on the new HD, and registry values, etc, could be all messed up?

Sorry for all the annoying and simple questions...I'm sort of new to all of this, obviously.
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Old 03-04-2005, 09:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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your IDE drive will not slow down your SATA drive unless you're transferring from one to the other.
to be sure it won't load the XP on your "old" hard drive, go to your BIOS, and check the boot order. make sure the IDE hard drive is not in that list

once you have your "old" hard drive in, just delete the \Windows folder. it won't be "interwined" as they are separate hard drives. OS's are always independant of other ones, except if it is a client OS
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Old 03-05-2005, 12:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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But if i'm not mistaken, you would have to reinstall Office on the new HD unless you wanted to use it off of the old HD still because copy/paste doesn't work in my experience.
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Old 03-05-2005, 05:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yes your old HDD will just plug into the new one, technically it will only be slower when transferring files from one HDD to the other.

You will have to tell the PC in the BIOS which HDD to boot from obviously you will use the SATA HDD, once you have told the PC which HDD to boot from it won’t make a difference what setting the old HDD has as long as it does not conflict with any other IDE devices you have installed on the same IDE channel i.e. if you have a CD-ROM set as master the HDD would need to be set to salve. Once the PC is told which HDD to boot from it makes no difference what is on the old HDD as it does not reference it, so in theory you don’t have to delete the windows folder. Although I would recommend for you to copy all of your pictures, music, documents etc. to the new HDD and the format the old HDD.

You will need to reinstall Office on the HDD as it won’t work!

One thing that might be worth you doing after you have formatted the old HDD is to move the “windows page file” onto the old HDD if you are planning to leave it in the new PC, this should speed up the PC. This is done in the virtual memory settings within “system properties” set the max and min to the size of your memory times 1.5 (so 512 MB RAM would be 768MB)
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Old 03-05-2005, 05:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks Dave.

I want to clarify one thing you said. Even if I leave my Office apps on the old hard drive and pop it in the new PC, they won't load off of the old drive??

One other thing I'm going to be dealing with is the lack of a way to hook up this ATA133 IDE hard drive to the Dell 4700. The one IDE port will be hooked up to the two optical drives. I've heard you don't want to hook up the hard drive in with those or it causes mayhem. So, I guess the easy solution is to either get a PCI EIDE card, then I'll have another IDE port, or get an IDE to SATA converter and run it to a SATA plug on the motherboard. I'm thinking this is the way to go since the motherboard on that Dell only have two PCI slots...I'd rather not be down to only one left instantly!
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Old 03-05-2005, 06:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You are correct they will not load.

Most Motherboards have two IDE channels is this not the case with yours?
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Old 03-05-2005, 06:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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the programs you had on the old hard drive will not load, since they were installed on another copy of Windows
you will be able to retrieve your files, just go to [drive letter]:\documents and settings\[your user name]\ and here you find the "my documents" "desktop" and other folders
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Old 03-05-2005, 06:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I hate Dell's website, as it doesn’t give you the information you need! No mention of IDE interfaces.
I am not expert when it comes to Dell, as I always build my own PC’s, but most Motherboards have two IDE channels, if it does just, connect it to the IDE channel not used by the optical drives. If it does not I would disconnect the two optical drives and connect the old HDD copy all of your pictures, music, documents etc. to the new HDD and then remove the old HDD, reconnect the optical drives and forget what I said about the virtual memory settings. The motherboard on the Dell PC has two SATA connections so if you need more space buy another SATA HDD this would be a more cost affective way of spending your money rather than buying a PCI card and losing a spare PCI slot.

Just had another though you could buy a USB 2.0 caddy and put your old HDD in that then you wouldn’t have to mess about inside the new PC at all, not sure where you live but in the UK you can get these for about £15 about $28 these are very useful, and you can then plug them into friends/work PCs easily.
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Old 03-06-2005, 10:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Dave,
for the same $25, I could get a IDE to SATA converter box too. I think that's the way I'll go. Here's a link that might answer the question you had about the IDE situation on this motherboard.
http://support.dell.com/support/edoc....htm#wp1052362
...looks to me like there's only one IDE connector.
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Old 03-06-2005, 10:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Yeah looks like you are right, only 1 IDE channel.

I haven’t seen any of those, I assume it fits into a 5 ¼ drive bay? Or is it an external device? Not sure if it is quite as useful as a USB box as all PCs now have a USB connection, so it could be used on other PCs, but should do the job.
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