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Drive contents transfer

2524 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  davido30093
Well, here I am again wishing PC's were made of 2x4's lol

Here is my situation... bought a used PC with Windows XP Pro. My existing is XP Home. My existing PC is IDE and the new one is Satta so I can't just install my old drive. File transferring is not a problem because I can use my external hard drive as a copy/paste utility. I want to transfer some applications though, such as, MS Works and Links2k3 and other stuff of which my original disks are, let's say...unkempt. Is there a way to transfer my existing contents to another drive in a different PC.

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You have to re-install most applications like word, excel, etc. You can try for downloadable software, but you will still need your license to activate it.

There are also programs that can read your license from the current hard drive you can use to get your license #'s for most microsoft and other products. If you have a program that is obscure with low distribution, it may be difficult.
most computers come with the sata but usually still have an ide connection on the motherboard unless they have phased them out. cd roms are still ide and sata.
there are programs that will make an image of your hard drive and install it to the other hard drive. you should be able to hook your hard drive up as the boot drive in the computer you bought. you would have to install drivers for the hardware in that pc tho. they did give you the disc for the motherboard? some programs are self contained in the folder they install to but others put files in other places so some you can copy the folder over to the other hard drive and make a shortcut and it will work others wont.
Easy way is to just reinstall the software. Transfering is a pita. Now since the new machine only has SATA connectors, you can get a PCI card for IDE drives, and then put the old drive into the new machine. One problem is, you will have to learn how to set up the user security on the old drive, so you can access from the new drive (use same username & password on new machine).

More info can be found at, which has a great support forum that this has been discussed over and over.
Actually Danny, the software is already built into XP to move files. It is under the Accessories > System Tools. No extra software is needed. Only catch is, that it works for machine to machine, but drive to drive with programs that have been installed with a disk from the software manufacturer, you are better off just reinstalling. Transferring files from My documents, music, etc, can be done by doing what I stated, or File transfer with Windows XP, as long as both are on your LAN and both machines work.

Old machines that are in good working order, I will usually run them as a file server, or run pfsense as a router box, when I had Comcast as my provider. Now I have U-Verse, and do not feel like layering, but still looking at putting a file server on the network, since I currently have almost 200gb of music sitting on one of my machines, that is used as a workstation, but is usually offline, unless we need to use it, for printing and such.
i find it hard to believe that the new computer doesnt have an ide header to hook his old drive to. i know they are phasing out ide but most motherboards still have 1 ide header.
i find it hard to believe that the new computer doesnt have an ide header to hook his old drive to. i know they are phasing out ide but most motherboards still have 1 ide header.

All depends. Most aftermarket motherboards of that vintage have IDE support. However, major manufacturers don't build in features that are not needed on low end equipment. Cost competition is too strong to add features that are not used.
since he said it was used and had xp on it i didnt figure it would be sata only.
That is okay Danny. I had to read the orig. twice to catch the IDE. Actually what I described, works for any computer, regardless if IDE or SATA, due to since XP, that Microsoft has incorporated some nice features. Another way of doing it, is to use a Linux LiveCD and tranfer info that way also between machines. There is more than one way to skin a horse, or in this case a Microsoft machine.
Trying to transfer applications is problematic because the installation process creates a lot of files and particularily adds a lot of information to the registry which is not done when you just copy files or folders. If it is just an application or two, it would be easiest to just re-install (unless you do not have the install disks). You can make an image of your old disk and then just load the image to the new computer and then the new computer will have all of the software and the operating system that was on the old computer. It does not matter what type of drive the old or new computer has as long as the new one has at least as much capacity as the old one. I used a usb external drive and make a monthly image of my drives anyway as my normal backup, so I always have a recent up to date image of my hard drive.
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