Adding XP hard drive to Vista Pre built HP


Jun 10, 2010
Ok, before people start going off about my ancient PC setup-note I was laid off from job, am back in school for Grad degree, no money. I was given an older PC (was in-laws) I am trying to take advantage of.
My knowledge is limited as I have not had time to keep with new tech advances and lack of money, so you may need to explain a little more clearly for me. Thanks in advance.

My old custom built pc is Intel Pentium 4, Win XP OEM version I bought at Frys. It is on 120g IDE.
I have been given an HP Vista 32x AMD with 500g SATA. Obviously, not current but more current than mine. It has an IDE port on the MB.

Can I add my old XP and slot it into the IDE port? I would like to access all of my data on XP and use it as a storage area ( not just move everything over to the Vista SATA HD).

So the net effect would be use the newer HP that has Vista and one SATA HD and then add as a second HD my XP HD that is IDE into open IDE slot.

Will my pc offer me boot options at start up? Will the device drivers I have on my XP (laser printer I currently use) have to be added to Vista or would I boot into XP and use devices?

Also do I need to move any jumper settings to do this?

I know this is probably simple answer but I want to confirm before I start.
Thanks in advance.


You should be able to use the Xp drive with your Vista machine. I would not bother trying to boot to the XP drive though, that would take a lot of sorting out to get working properly if even possible and moving a boot drive from intel to amd hardware I really don't see that going to well at all.

You will need to add drivers for any hardware that you used with your XP machine to your Vista machine.

Most likely the jumpers on the IDE drive are set to cable select or master, and if you are only using 1 IDE drive either should be fine.

I would suggest getting the drive connected (make sure you're connecting to the IDE port not a floppy one they look similar), coping anything you wanted from the XP drive to your Vista drive, then formatted the XP drive and using it as your storage drive from that point. Otherwise you will have all of the Win XP mess still on the drive mixed in with your files and things.

Congrats on starting a Graduate program btw.
You can add the XP drive to the new machine and use it as a data drive, all your data will there, but the XP installation will be basically useless as it is setup with a configuration and drivers for your old machine. Nothing on the the drive will work as a usable or bootable OS. Windows will not boot or work on the old drive in the new machine. (well, it might boot, but if by some miracle it did, you would have such a list or problems to work out, forget about going down that road) None of your installed programs on the XP drive will work. You must reinstall them all into the Vista OS on your new computer. Your printer will have to be installed to the Vista OS, as well any other external hardware you have that wish to use on the new computer. Your old XP install will be just completely useless to you on the new machine. The only thing positive about it, you will still have data like your music, pictures, saved files, etc.

To physically move the drive, make sure the IDE controller is turned on. If you have a DVD/CD drive on the new machine that already plugged in and working to the IDE controller, then the controller is obviously turned on in the BIOS. Just plug the old drive in, and it should pretty much show up in the Vista install as a secondary drive. Make sure the XP drive is not included in the boot order of the BIOS. If there is another IDE drive or DVD hooked up to the systems IDE controller, make sure it is set to slave, and the hard drive you connect to the same cable is set to master.