How do I install a hard drive from an old computer in a new one to recover the data?

by on February 28, 2009

Q: I recently fried my motherboard on my Dell Demision 4550. I was wondering how do I install the hard drive from that computer into an old HP/Compaq that I have? Ii tried to install it like I would any other hard drive but the computer will say that the system operating start up failed.

One Response to “How do I install a hard drive from an old computer in a new one to recover the data?”

    You need to tell your HP computer to use the operating system that is on the HP hard drive, instead of the one on the Dell hard drive.

    If I am not mistaken, the Dell Dimension 4550 uses IDE technology for its hard drive connections. IDE, provides two methods for configuring hard drives. Assuming that the hard drives are sharing an IDE cable in your HP, your “jumper” options are master/slave and cable select. A jumper is the little plastic piece with metal inside that is attached to the back of each hard drive. Either on a sticker or engraved on each hard drive, you will find jumper settings for that hard drive. You should match the Dell hard drive’s jumper settings to the jumper settings on the HP hard drive. If the HP hard drive is set to master, set the Dell hard drive to slave. If the HP hard drive is set to cable select, choose cable select on the Dell hard drive.

    After installing the Dell hard drive into your HP computer, turn the HP computer on and go into “BIOS”. The screen that shows immediately after your computer turns on should tell you which button to press for that; common options are F2, Esc, and Del. In the BIOS, tell your HP to prefer the HP hard drive over the Dell hard drive. Save changes and exit.

    If that procedure fails, consider purchasing an “external enclosure” for your Dell hard drive. This will turn your Dell hard drive into an external hard drive. Then connect the external hard drive to your HP.

    Does this help?