Question Putting windows on my new HDD and keeping the files on my old one

Nov 26, 2021
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My HDD is dying so I bought a new one and plugged it in aswell. Is it completely safe to turn my PC off and unplug my old dying HDD full of stuff, boot onto the new empty one and install windows on it using a windows bootable USB, then plug the old one back in and move the stuff off it to the new one.

I tried to boot onto the new empty one with the old one still in it expecting it to tell me to install windows but it just skips it and boots onto the old one.
 
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punkncat

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It is best if you have the ability to move the items from the dying drive to an external, etc. Then swap in the new drive, install Windows, and import the items back in to the new drive. If you have two Windows boot drives installed at the same time things can get whacky. If you try to take the (old) drive with Windows on it out and use it externally to move things you can run into access permission issues.
 
Reactions: Luka_
Nov 26, 2021
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Thanks for the quick reply and all that very helpful info, and explaing what happens if I try those other options, so I don't have an external drive but it sounds like buying one is my best option then
 

punkncat

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Thanks for the quick reply and all that very helpful info, and explaing what happens if I try those other options, so I don't have an external drive but it sounds like buying one is my best option then
According to your space requirement and ability to be online you can also consider cloud options such as OneDrive or Google Drive. If you have a gmail account you already have 15GB of free storage with them. They offer plans that are fairly cheap up to around 1TB. After that it gets a bit costly and going ahead on an external you didn't plan to buy gets more reasonable.
 
Reactions: Luka_
Nov 26, 2021
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Have you considered simply cloning your old drive to your new one? That avoids having to reinstall all your software ... settings etc.
No I haven't, what's that, and is it safe to do on a dying drive cause i've heard somethings can kinda finish them off
 
Nov 26, 2021
7
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According to your space requirement and ability to be online you can also consider cloud options such as OneDrive or Google Drive. If you have a gmail account you already have 15GB of free storage with them. They offer plans that are fairly cheap up to around 1TB. After that it gets a bit costly and going ahead on an external you didn't plan to buy gets more reasonable.
Okay thanks I'll check that out, also online everyone seems to be saying it's fine to temporarily have 2 drives with windows on
 
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