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Thread: using an old hdd in a new rig

  1. #1
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    using an old hdd in a new rig

    Hello folks, first post woohoo!

    Thought I'd ask the experts this one....

    I'm planning my first build and was wondering about using the 80gb harddrive from my old PC (which is four years old).

    I'll try and make these questions simple.

    1. Should I use the old drive just for data (music etc) with a new sata2 hdd for vista/xp plus apps?

    2. Would the PC suffer if I only put the OS on the old drive and used the new one for everything else?

    And finally...

    3. If I plug the old HDD into the new machine, would XP, games etc still work from the old rig or would it be best to format the drive beforehand?

    Phew, that's all for now.

    Thanks in advance.

    Simon

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    • aidanjt's system
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    No, Performance would likely suffer if you used the 80GB as a system disk (even though the size is perfect). That's why I use a WD Raptor for system disks. They're small and fast, so they fit the bill perfectly.

    And it's always best to reformat a drive when moving it to a new motherboard, Windows doesn't like it when you move it to another machine.
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    1. Should I use the old drive just for data (music etc) with a new sata2 hdd for vista/xp plus apps?

    You could do that if you have movies and music on this drive you would not loose the data doing it this way.

    2. Would the PC suffer if I only put the OS on the old drive and used the new one for everything else?

    It depends how fast the disk is. For grenral use it should be ok.


    And finally...

    3. If I plug the old HDD into the new machine, would XP, games etc still work from the old rig or would it be best to format the drive beforehand?

    If you just swap the disk over which has Windows on it sahll most probely ble screen. you should not swarp disk with OS aver as a genral rule.
    Herb


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    I would put a new sata drive inside the computer but you could always put the old drive in an enclosure and use it as an external drive for backup purposes, i.e. mirroring any important data you have on your main drive.

    Regarding point 3, I would definitely reformat. It's going to contain all the drivers from your old system which may cause a few conflicts / problems on your new one. However, you can connect it as a slave and pull off any important information you need first before you do this.

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    • stroberaver's system
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentvoice View Post
    Regarding point 3, I would definitely reformat. It's going to contain all the drivers from your old system which may cause a few conflicts / problems on your new one. However, you can connect it as a slave and pull off any important information you need first before you do this.
    I just did this last night with an old 40gig Seagate ATA drive I had lying around. Main drives in my system are a pair of 160GB SATA drives, but popping in the 40gig drive worked fine. It was the primary (and only) drive from my parents' computer when it died last year (mobo failure, apparently). Still with a Windows install on it, caused no probs with my current rig because it boots from the SATA drive, Windows doesn't look for or rely on anything on the ATA channel. Once I'd copied across anything I thought might be needed, I wiped the partition and will now use it to set up a Linux distro of some description.

    So in answer to your questions,
    1) yes
    2) yes, put the OS on the sata drive
    3) no, you'll be able to access files but not run apps from your previous system

    If this old HDD is pretty reliable and not too sluggish, I'd suggest using it for your Windows swapfile. You'll get a good performance boost in Windows by having it cache data to a separate physical drive to what Windows and your apps are installed on (and even better if it's via a different controller, I've been told).

  7. #7
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    Thanks very much. That's great advice folks. This noob is learning slowly but surely.

    I'll do as suggested and set the old hdd up as a slave and pull my mp3s across to the new drive -- then format the old one and use it as a backup.

    Another quick question. Is it worth partitioning the new 320gb hdd and giving Vista its own, say, 70gb? Or would this slow things down.

    Unfortunately I don't think I'll be able to afford a Raptor just for Windows.

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    • stroberaver's system
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonfitba View Post
    Another quick question. Is it worth partitioning the new 320gb hdd and giving Vista its own, say, 70gb? Or would this slow things down.
    No, it won't slow things down, it'll speed things up! Not hugely, but every little helps. The outer edge of the disk is where the speed of the disc is faster, so data throughput is higher. Creating a partition for Windows at the start of the disk will give you a touch of extra speed. Install your most used apps/games on this partition too.
    50 or 60gigs should be enough for Vista and your main apps or games, assuming you're not the kind of person who just routinely installs everything they can lay their hands on, or never uninstalls anything, or plans to install FSX (requires 14GB on it's own!).

    I'd then use the remaining space on the sata drive to house a partition with any other apps & games on, and My Documents too. Depending on how important your data is to you, you could also use the old ATA drive as a backup for MyDocs so you have two physical copies of your data in case of hard drive failure.

  9. #9
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    Thanks Stroberaver, more great advice.

    I'll partition off the space for Vista and one game (Armed Assault, because I was a sucker for Operation Flashpoint).

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