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putting an old hd in a new computer


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What are the steps you need to take when you put an old HD in a new computer? I just did this. Every time it makes it to the windows boot screen then restarts. I have a bunch of old engineering software that is not compatible with the newer versions of windows. I figured this out after I bought a new computer and tried to add the software to a newer version of windows. So I figured I could just swap the HD's. This does not seem to be working either. Is there some way to set the new HD as a master and the old drive as a slave and boot that way maybe?

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If I get this right, you attempted to boot a Windows OS originally installed on a given hardware on a completely different, new, hardware.

It simply cannot work, the HAL may be different but besides that most drivers will surely be different.

Which EXACT version of Windows is that?

Have you disabled "auto reboot"? Assuming it is a Windows NT of some kind that should be the first thing to do, this way you will have a (hopefully meaningful) STOP ERROR on a  BSOD,

What is the actual STOP ERROR?

Usually the procedure is called "migration" and the easiest would be to "prepare" the OS/install on the old hardware it worked on (if it is still available), example:



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If you don't want to boot off the old HDD, go into the BIOS and manually set the boot order.

If you never want to be able to boot from that disk again, even on original or compatible hardware, you'll have to remove its booting ability.

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  • 3 years later...

It /MAY/ be as simple as setting SATA mode to IDE if its set to AHCI or AHCI if its set to IDE. Assuming both machines are similar architecture (both AMD64 or both P4 or later Intel) assuming its a NT based OS.  In the eent that changing the Sata mode in bios gets it to boot (and setting boot to legacy instead of uefi if thats applicable) you want to copy the data on that first boot and do NOT restart when prompted until you are finished copying the data to another HDD.. 


The reliability of simply plug and play hdds and only needing to install new software for the new machine is sketchy at best with nt based systems.  with 98/ME it would generally work, but this is one case where windows 7 (and any nt based windows) is actually inferior to windows 9x.    copying a hdd to a new one for the same computer requires 3rd party software on NT systems but on 9x you could just boot in safe mode and with windows set to show hidden and system files simply copy the contents of C: to D: or whatever letter the new disk was assigned.  This simply does not work with windows NT family Os'es, without special cloning software.

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