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Old 01-22-2004, 03:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Transferring HDs between systems?

Hi all. First post!

I'm about to get my hands on some hardware to put together a new machine to replace the one I'm still shovelling coal into. However, the hard drive in the old machine is less than a year old and full of stuff I want to keep, ie: would rather not format and reinstall windows.

Is it possible to simply transfer the old data filled drive into a new machine? Will windows choke on or adapt to the new motherboard?

The two setups are:

Old:
Dell Dimension XPS T500
PIII 500
64 MB PC100 (half of it blew up )
HD has Win98SE installed.

and the new...
MSI KT3 Ultra2
Athlon XP 1800+
256MB PC2100 RAM.

What do you reckon? Can it be done?
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Old 01-22-2004, 03:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would say not with this setup. The changes are too much appart.
Although, you can install something over the top and leave the data intact. You don't have to reformat to install a new OS. Although it's good practice, it's not required.
If the systems were really close in spec, you probably could, but you are changing to a different architecture so you will need to install new... especially for win98. Win2k or XP you might be able to get away with, but not 98.
Good Luck
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Old 01-22-2004, 03:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I see. Thanks. With regard to your suggestion, how would you go about installing over and keeping the data? Would I build the machine, and on first boot rather than letting 98SE start up, trigger the Win2000 install?
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Old 01-22-2004, 04:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yea, you would have to boot cd in place, and then install Win2k. You should be able to leave to partition in place and install on the FAT32 area that Win98 used. The Win98 os will be intact, but will not work.
Something else you could do would be to use Fdisk and partition the other part of the drive, then install whatever there, and just copy the data from the win98 partition. If you are installing win2k or XP, format that partition with NTFS, as it's a bit better for large drives and has some good recovery options. Once you have gotten all of the data moved to the new partition and have a working machine, upgrade or reformat the old partition to NTFS and be done with FAT32. Best to get rid of all the unneeded junk that might be laying around on the drive.
My 2 cents...
Good Luck

Oh forgot to ask, what king of data are you wanting to keep? Things like profile information or just files that you have on the machine?
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Old 01-23-2004, 01:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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if you transfer an OS you will not be able to use it as is, you will need to either "repair install" or reinstall the OS to "adapt to its new home"
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Old 01-23-2004, 11:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Sounds promising! It so happens I have a chunk of my hard drive unused by windows, partitioned with Mandrake Linux installed. It's about 10 GB, and I don't use it anymore. Could I fdisk it, install win2k there, and transfer the stuff from the win98 partition. I know that's pretty much what you said, Inaris, but I'm just checking to see if the linux bootloader would cause trouble at this point. If the linux partition was deleted, would its bootloader be affected? If so, would I be unable to boot or would windows take over by itself?

Also, if I did manage to have Win2k installed on one partition and wanted to reformat the other to the new file system, would that leave me with a 10GB C: drive and a 50 GB D: drive, or a 60GB C: drive?

The data I want to keep is mostly my own digital artwork and movies. Sizeable, but at least they behave like any other file. A few precious savegames in there too somewhere

Many thanks for all your help. Much appreciated everyone!
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Old 01-23-2004, 11:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by apokalipse
if you transfer an OS you will not be able to use it as is, you will need to either "repair install" or reinstall the OS to "adapt to its new home"
Although this is true for the Win 9x OS as well as ME, This isn't always the case with Win2k and almost never the case with XP (registration aside). Although there is some work involded in getting drivers and old junk removed, the OS has enough sence to know what is needed and install what it takes to work. That is only if you are using the standard IDE interface, as the OS has a set path to the HDD location, so it might not find it on SATA, SCSI or an expansion card.

I have had issues in the past with the Linux Boot loader causing hickups. There is a utility that can be used to remove it (the name eludes me), but then you also need to clear the partition of the Linux File System. As I don't think windows can even address it.
The drives would be spec'd as c, d, e... for however many partitions you create. Partitions are seen as new drives, unless you mount them as a folder in an existing partition (NTFS). This isn't really all that bad, but if the drive fails, it's all the same and everything goes... Just to keep it in perspective.
You may just want to install win2k over the win98 install and leave the rest. But that is up to you to decide. Win2k will work fine on FAT32 and all of your files will be intact. The 10gb Linux partition if you delete it, could be made into a useable partition for win2k and then you will have your C (50gb) for the OS and the D (10GB) for whatever.

Good Luck
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