Want to use old hard drive. 5 replies

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The Internet ends at GF

50 XP

16th August 2006

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#1 10 years ago

Hi, Trying to build a computer. Can I use the hard drive from my old computer and be able to use operating system on that hard drive? Everything on the new computer will be new except the hard drive which I would just like to transfer from the old one. Any problems with that? Thanks.


Call me Pingwin

50 XP

26th May 2005

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#2 10 years ago

No, there should be no problem. You can potentially encounter an error if you're running OEM Windows, but that can be fixed if you call Microsoft.

Before you do it you should still probably wait for some of the more experienced people to confirm or disagree with what I said here.


I tawt I taw a puddy tat...

50 XP

30th December 2002

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#3 10 years ago

It's possible it will work.

In my experience, trying to run a Windows HDD taken from one PC and swapped directly into another is 50/50 at best. If it loads up to the desktop, chances are it'll work fine. When it doesn't work, it typically gives me an error right at start-up, in which case you'd need to format the drive and re-install windows.

I prefer just re-formatting the drive. And with a brand new rig, it deserves a clean slate! ;)

To clarify, this is with XP. I've had much more success with older OS's like win98.


What does the Fox say?

69,060 XP

23rd November 2002

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#4 10 years ago

Actually, when Windows does crash. You could run a repair install, and reactive the O/S. You shouldn't have to reformat, and reinstall... In my experience, it has been more 80/20. 80 non-working, and 20 working.

If you are running an OEM version (Dell, Gateway, HP, etc...), then you will not be able to transfer XP from that computer.


Huh yeah, whatever ^^

38,763 XP

6th December 2006

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#5 10 years ago

However if it's an old system such as Windows 98, it might not work except in safe mode with some recent chipsets. Also if you can, it will always give you a more stable system to reinstall it in your new machine, for it may have incompatible drivers installed from your previous one that would render it unstable on your new one.

Note : if you have windows XP or more recent (maybe work with 2000 too, I don't know for sure), you should perform a sysprep (google for it ^^ ) before you move your old hdd from your old computer into the new one.


The Force is strong with him

50 XP

10th September 2006

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#6 10 years ago

ok, ive actually done this, so i have a pretty sure answer from my experience windows will detect too many changes in the hardware and consider it a new computer (congratulations windows, you figured out the obvious) anyway, all you have to do is reactivate it online also you can only activate one key so many times, so if you've had to reformat several times it might be something to consider, otherwise you should be fine