Install the hard drive from an old computer in your new computer

by on March 2, 2010

Q: Can I install the hard drive from my old desktop computer in my new desktop computer and if so how do I do it?

A: Moving your old hard drive into your new computer as a slave drive is a great way to transfer your data from your old computer into your new computer. For those of you who don’t want to open up your new computer you can get an external USB hard drive enclosure to put your old hard drive in. The nice part about this is you can connect it to any computer very easily via USB and after you get all your data off it you can then use it as a backup drive.

To figure out if you can connect your old hard drive to your new computer you have to make sure that your new computer supports your old hard drive. You can do this one of two ways. The first is to read the manual on both computers to make sure the hard drives are the same type (IDE or ATA). The second method is just to open up both of the computers and see if the connectors for the computers are the same.

If they are then you should be able to just put the old hard drive in the new computer because most hard drives use cable select settings on them that will automatically make the old hard drive a slave. If you do this and you run into problems then submit a question and let us know what kind of hard drive you are using and we will help you figure out what jumper settings you need to change.

I would suggest that, while it will cost you $25.00, getting an external USB hard drive enclosure is the better way to go. This allows you to have a portable external hard drive that you can move from computer to computer as needed instead of just an extra hard drive in your computer. You can use this external hard drive as a backup or as a way to transfer files from computer to computer.

Fortunately both of your options will allow you to easily get your old files off your old hard drive and you will be able to start working with your new computer very quickly.

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