Preparing to Move a Hard Drive to Another Computer

by Tiesha Whatley


In certain instances, you may need to move an existing hard drive from one computer to another. One instance is when you purchase a new computer but want all of the files from the old computer to be moved to the new one instantly and easily. Before doing anything so complex, you need to do some preparation. The main thing to consider is whether both systems run on the same operating system and whether they are compatible. You can't move a hard drive that has a Windows operating system to a computer that has a Linux-based operating system. The hard drive will need to be wiped clean before it can operate with the other system. Some people have separate operating systems on the same computer, but more technical procedures need to be done to make this work.

Windows Bootable Installation CD

When moving a hard drive that has Windows installed, you will need a bootable installation disk in order to get it to work on the new system. One of the preparation steps involves doing a repair installation. The recovery disk that may have come with your computer will not get the system to boot once the repair installation has been performed. If you have your original installation disks from your last installation of Windows, you are fine. You can use the same disk to boot up a different computer as long as you are using the same hard drive it was activated for.

Backing up Your System

Backing up your old system is not merely advised, it is essential. You have several different options for how you will back up your files. The different types of backup types are copy backup, daily backup, differential backup, incremental backup and normal backup. Copy backup is when you choose which files you want to backup. This comes in handy if you do normal or daily backups on a regular basis. If this is the first time that you have performed a backup of your system, you need to do an incremental or normal backup before moving the hard drive. Windows makes it easy for you to do a backup by following the instructions in their wizard. Click on "Start" > "All Programs" > "Accessories" > "System Tools" > "Backup." The wizard will step you through the process of backing up your entire system before attempting to move the hard drive. When deciding on which files to back up, ask yourself one critical question: "Which are the files I can't afford to lose?"

Find Current Drivers

The last thing you need to do to prepare for a hard drive move is to find updated RAID and SCSI drivers for your system. Most likely, your new system will have more updated BIOS configurations than your old one. To make sure the old hard drive is completely compatible, you need updated drivers. To get these drivers, check the website of your motherboard's manufacturer for downloads. Once the new drivers have been downloaded, you will be ready to move the hard drive.

About the Author

Tiesha Whatley has been writing for over 10 years. She has been published in "Marie Claire," "Ebony" and "Modern Bride" magazines. She holds a Bachelor of Science in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and has been working in the wedding planning industry for over 13 years.

More Articles