Question How do i move my old hdd to my new pc without ruining the partitions and files

Jul 24, 2020
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Hi! My HDD is a WDC WD20EARX-008FB0 ATA 2 TB Model. I got a new PC that is superior to my old one, but my money is too short and i don't really wanna spend more on a brand new one. How do i safely transfer my files from my old PC to my new one. I know that i need to get rid of the Graphics Drivers in order for the GPU in the new PC to work but i would really like some advice from some of you. Thanks!

PS. I have win 10 installed on my new PC and i have Win 7 on my old hdd that i want to transfer
 
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DSzymborski

Champion
Moderator
Is this the drive with the operating system? If so, then the answer is you don't. You back up all your important files somewhere -- there's lots of free storage online and you should always be doing this anyway -- and you do a full, fresh install and wipe the hard drive when you set up the new PC. Windows isn't designed to be modular in this fashion unless you have a very specific Windows-to-Go install.
 
Hi! My HDD is a WDC WD20EARX-008FB0 ATA 2 TB Model. I got a new PC that is superior to my old one, but my money is too short and i don't really wanna spend more on a brand new one. How do i safely transfer my files from my old PC to my new one. I know that i need to get rid of the Graphics Drivers in order for the GPU in the new PC to work but i would really like some advice from some of you. Thanks!
You don't want to spend money on a brand new hard drive?
If so....you need to do a clean Windows install on the one you have.
....and get all the files that you want from it first.
 

popatim

Titan
Moderator
While I agree with the Fresh installation you could always just plug the drive in and see if it boots up BUT you do want your stuff backed up before you try - windows will try and load and may mess up being able to boot up even on the old PC hardware. Having a backup makes that fix quick.
 
Unplug the old HDD and plug it into the new pc.
The data will be accessible to the windows that was installed on your new pc.
Apps will need to be reinstalled unless they are steam games; there is a method for handling them.
 

jasonf2

Reputable
Oct 11, 2015
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If you just plug in the hard drive in the new rig for a direct replace you are in for a major headache. Assuming the OS is windows 10 your activation will probably kick out. The best bet is if the new rig has a drive on it with OS already just plug in the old drive and boot from the new one. Then copy important files over. If not you will more than likely end up having to purchase a new OS license or beg Microsoft to activate it. The last time that worked for me was with windows 7 ultimate retail, but I think they changed their license since then. Every time I do a new build I just expect to have to purchase an OEM license.
 
Big question....
Does the new pc come complete with an already activated windows?
I had assumed so.

If, alternatively, the new pc is a collection of parts without any windows installed, that is another issue.
There is probably no way to simply move the 2tb HDD and make it work without spending some money on protecting the old data.
A clean install is best, but if one has lots of apps, data and settings that are a pain to reinstall, things get more difficult.
The best approach for that(at a cost) is to clone the HDD windows C drive to a new ssd of suitable size.
A 1tb samsung QVO would be about $130.
That would work if the used portion of the HDD is sufficiently less than the 2tb capacity.
Hope that the cloned ssd will boot so new chipset and other drivers can be installed.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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In this instance, cloning does not make a difference besides just moving the physical drive and its OS.

3 possibilities:
  1. It boots up just fine
  2. It fails completely
  3. It boots up, but you're chasing issues for weeks/months.
I've seen all 3.

The greater the difference between old parts and new, the grater likelihood of result #2.

A full wipe and reinstall is strongly recommended, usually required.


"How do i safely transfer my files from my old PC to my new one. "
This depends on what you mean by "my files".
 
Jul 24, 2020
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Hmmm,
If you just plug in the hard drive in the new rig for a direct replace you are in for a major headache. Assuming the OS is windows 10 your activation will probably kick out. The best bet is if the new rig has a drive on it with OS already just plug in the old drive and boot from the new one. Then copy important files over. If not you will more than likely end up having to purchase a new OS license or beg Microsoft to activate it. The last time that worked for me was with windows 7 ultimate retail, but I think they changed their license since then. Every time I do a new build I just expect to have to purchase an OEM license.
But what if i were to say, have already Windows 10 installed on my new pc but my hdd has win 7, what would i do then?
 
If you have windows 10 installed on your new pc, just attach the old HDD,
Your data files will be available.
Apps that were installed on the old windows 7 will not run because the old registry is no longer available.
If they were steam games, there may be a solution that you can get via steam forums or google.
That is a risk free thing to do.

You could try to update windows 7 to 10 on your original pc.
Then you are more likely to be able to boot on the new pc.
But, that has some risks. Windows upgrades do not always go well.
I would not go this route unless you have a way to back up the original HDD.

It might help if you include the specs of your current pc as well as the new pc.
 

jasonf2

Reputable
Oct 11, 2015
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Hmmm,

But what if i were to say, have already Windows 10 installed on my new pc but my hdd has win 7, what would i do then?
Just plug the drive in and boot from your Win 10 drive. The old drive will pretty much automatically mount to a new drive letter and you will be able to access it via windows. The files will be available, but because the Win 10 registry doesn't have the program information in it the programs installed on the old drive probably won't work. But stuff like word docs or mp3s should work fine. I am making some assumptions here though. I am assuming that the old drive is on SATA and that your new computer has an available SATA port. Even though the new computer probably has a newer sata controller they are backwards compatible and it is pretty much auto configuring and there is usually at least one extra. If it is an old IDE drive (big flat ribbon cable) your new computer may not have an IDE controller on it. If it does and it is plugged into something already you will need to set the jumpers on the bottom of the hard drive to slave and pick it up in bios before it will mount a drive letter.
 

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