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Install old hard drive as slave drive?

by grandpaw7 / August 26, 2004 9:05 AM PDT

I've ordered a new computer. I have been told that I can have the hard drive from my old installed in the new one as a second hard drive with all the information now on it.

It sounds like a good idea to me, but I thought I'd see if there are reasons I may not want to do this.

Thanks, grandpaw

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Re: Install old hard drive as slave drive?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 26, 2004 9:23 AM PDT

Today's machines derail people as they set the drive to SLAVE and new spiffy machines actually need the drive set to CABLE SELECT and then plugged into the SLAVE CONNECTOR.

It's the way it is today.

Bob

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Re: Install old hard drive as slave drive?
by Greatfuldead101 / September 3, 2004 1:29 AM PDT

I have a 160 gig hard drive and an additional 40 gig attached to my computer, I use the 40 gig to image my 160 gig as a back up and store all my extra info (i.e. pics, videos, dowloaded software and updates and the like). I have had no problems with the using my 40 gig as a slave drive. I would personally recommending using your extra drive to store the same as I do if you need to.

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Re: Install old hard drive as slave drive?
by ramusson / August 26, 2004 2:09 PM PDT

Yes, you can use your old HDD in the new computer as a slave. BUT just be aware that the First partition of the old disk (C drive of the old disk) will be shown as the D drive in the new computer.

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Re: Install old hard drive as slave drive?
by rhbass / August 26, 2004 5:52 PM PDT

Make sure you configure the jumpers on the old drive correctly and connect only as a slave. Booting a PC with 2 hard disks, each with it's own OS and logical DOS partitions, without one configured properly as a slave, can irrepairably damage a PC, so I'm told...

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Re: Install old hard drive as slave drive?
by Kees Bakker / August 26, 2004 6:18 PM PDT

But remember, that programs from that old hard disk probably won't run, because they will have to be installed into the new Windows again. But it's a very good way to keep all your data, although you might want to reorganize it, and put everything (old and new) in a logical place.

And a totally unrelated tip: if your new computer is Windows XP, be sure to know everything about System Restore! It's a great help if you get into troubles.

Kees

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Many thanks to Kee, remusson and rhbass
by grandpaw7 / August 26, 2004 11:16 PM PDT

So I can save all the data on my 98 hard drive by installing it as a slave on the new XP computer. Good deal.

Kees, I don't understand your comment, "Today's machines derail people as they set the drive to SLAVE and new spiffy machines actually need the drive set to CABLE SELECT and then plugged into the SLAVE CONNECTOR." How does that impact me and what I want to do?

With respect to 's post, "Make sure you configure the jumpers on the old drive correctly and connect only as a slave. Booting a PC with 2 hard disks, each with it's own OS and logical DOS partitions, without one configured properly as a slave, can irrepairably damage a PC, so I'm told...". I'll mention this to the tech who will do the work and just hope he is competent.

I would like to put an inexpensive hard drive in my old computer and give it to someone. Is this something I can do? I suppose there are even used hard drives available that have been replaced.

grandpaw

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Re: Many thanks to Kee, remusson and rhbass
by Berfert / August 26, 2004 11:36 PM PDT

Grandpaw7

This comment was made by Bob Proffitt not Kees "Today's machines derail people as they set the drive to SLAVE and new spiffy machines actually need the drive set to CABLE SELECT and then plugged into the SLAVE CONNECTOR."

I believe that Bob basically meant to say be careful and understand what you are doing. If not Bob can correct this as I don't want to put any words in his mouth.

It is very easy to buy a new HD and put in your old 98 pc but you want to make sure the new HD is compatible with that PC.

You might be better off coping your old data to CD's, Flash drive or external HD. Then wipe your 98 HD prior to giving it away. But only you can decide what is best for you and your wallet. Depending on the size of the 98 HD a flash drive can be a cheap method of storing your data. $20 for 64-128 meg, $50-80 for 256 meg, $100+ for 512 meg. These flash drives use USB so your 98 PC may not have USB. External HD cost roughly $100 - 200.

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Thanks, Berfert
by grandpaw7 / August 27, 2004 12:35 AM PDT

I don't have CD Rewrite on my 98 computer but will have one on the XP computer (which hasn't arrived yet). Is there some way to copy info on my 98 drive to CDs using the CD-R on the XP comuter?

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addendum
by grandpaw7 / August 27, 2004 12:37 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks, Berfert

I meant to say that I like the idea of keeping my 98 hard drive in my old computer so it will be useable. grandpaw

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Re: addendum
by Berfert / August 27, 2004 4:11 AM PDT
In reply to: addendum

For the most part any new PC purchased will have a 80 gig or above HD. They might even come with a 160 gig or above HD. For most home users who don't play every 3D game on the market it will very hard to fill up a 40 gig HD in 3-5 years worth of use. I don't think you will ever need the extra 4-20 gig of storage that your old drive will provide.

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A new pc
by grandpaw7 / August 27, 2004 7:31 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: addendum

Berfert, I guess the root reason that I am getting anew PC is that I want one, and, so, of course, I rationalize. But it does look like having XP installed in my old one and increasing the HD from 6.2 to ten or more GB would take a big chunk out of the $600 I am paying for a new one, which comes with a printer (that my daugher needs) and a CD-RW, and also the memory key, a two year warranty and a $40 savings on McAfeex. Anyhow, the L'Oreal people tell me that I'm worth it, though I think they mean egotistically rather than economically. Anyhow, I will get the pleasure of putting the old one in needy hands, kids I have been working with a long time.

Another reason to go ahead: if I waver back and forth any longer, my spine may simply give out. Even though I waste all kinds of money on various things, I have a hard time signing on the dotted line on things like this.

I thank you for your input and concern. grandpaw

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Re: addendum
by ITVern / September 2, 2004 8:47 PM PDT
In reply to: addendum

You could install the old HD in your new PC. You could then have a directory made called "Old HD" and copy the whole thing into it. The old HD could be placed back in the old pc. You could remove any files you do not want to have anybody else have access to, or just re-install win98 from your original CD. If you do that, make sure you have all your driver disks for your Video, sound and what ever else is in there.

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Re: Thanks, Berfert
by Berfert / August 27, 2004 4:08 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks, Berfert

I notice that in another post you are contemplating a memory key vs. floppy. I would purchase a USB memory device now If your 98 PC has USB. Then you can store all data files on it to copy to your new PC. Notice I said date files not applications. All applications that you currently have will need to be installed on the new PC if you want them.

Another method might be to use somebody else?s portable CD burner just to copy files from your 98 pc.

Can you cable you old and new pc together to transfer files and burn on CD? Yes you can. How easy it is depends on method and money. I think PC anywhere does this at least it did back in 95/96 and came with a cable. You could also build a home network. Costly especially if only to transfer data from 1 pc to the other and then never to be used again. I also think a USB data cable can be used but don't remember the company that sold the software.

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Re: Many thanks to Kee, remusson and rhbass
by intrepid909 / September 2, 2004 7:56 PM PDT

Something to keep in mind... If you are permanently installing an old drive on a new computer you may be slowing the system down a bit. At minimum, make sure you put the drive on IDE 2. That's where the grey cables from the harddrives plug into the motherboard. Otherwise it's possible you're slowing an ATA 100/133 down to ATA 66/100. In laymens terms it could be slowing down the transfer rate of the newer drive.

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Re: Install old hard drive as slave drive?
by datalookup / August 28, 2004 5:26 AM PDT

This is generally a good idea, if you need to access the information regularly, on the drive. However, if you want to preserve the information, it's a better idea to transfer the information to a permanent form of storage such as CD-R's (recordable cd's). Seeing that the drive is old, it's hard to say how long it will last. It all depends on how important the information is that's on the drive. There are several different forms of data storage available.

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Thanks, datalookup
by grandpaw7 / August 29, 2004 1:06 AM PDT

I've decided to transfer the stuff on my old computer that I want to save to my new one. I'm getting a 64MB USB memory key that should do the job because I have USBs outlets on both and I don't have a great deal of data to transfer. I will have a CD-R on my new computer also. Thanks for your input and interest. grandpaw

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Re: Thanks, datalookup
by Lawrence / August 29, 2004 10:36 PM PDT
In reply to: Thanks, datalookup

I don't know how old your old pc is but chances are that it has a slow hard disk. The new pc will probably have a faster drive and if you hook the old one up, you will just slow down your system.

I feel you are better off just connecting your old drive to the new box and then extract the data you want and then wipe the old drive clean. Format 2 or 3 times if you like and put it back in the old box to give away.

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Sounds like good advice, Thor2k
by grandpaw7 / August 30, 2004 6:25 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Thanks, datalookup

I haven't discarded keeping the old drive for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that I want to put the computer into the hands of some kids I tutor. Not having that available when I have been at their house tutoring has often been a problem.

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Re: Sounds like good advice, Thor2k
by Stephen714 / September 2, 2004 10:16 PM PDT

From my own experience and considering the low prices of hard drives today, I would not be too quick to continue to use an old drive. Hard drives apparently will fail at some point with certainty. The life span of a hard drive is limited and you may want to check out the odds you are trying to beat if you reuse the drive. This also depends on the value of the data. In addition, if giving the drive away, I would be sure to be responsible to help the kids when the drive does fail. BTW, the flash storage solution seems to be the most expensive per MB solution around. Even external hard drives, which make backing up, moving data and Windows reinstallation a breeze are averaging less than $1.00 per GB. That seems pretty cheap to me when you take into account the aggravation of a failing drive.

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Re: Install old hard drive as slave drive?
by robcel / September 2, 2004 10:08 PM PDT

I did the very same thing. Followed the MFG. instructions, set the jumpers correctly I even had Windows XP install running. However, I was unaware that the "Old Drive" was infected with a virus. This may sound trivial, but beware, even as a "Slave" it could infect the new system.

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Re: Install old hard drive as slave drive?
by Eduardo A. Balao / September 2, 2004 10:51 PM PDT

There is no reason why we can't use our old hard drive as slave drive. It will serve as an additional drive where to save most of our other files. Previouly I have a 8GB HDD, since it is no longer enough to store most of my files so I bought a 40GB HDD. Then made the 8GB a slave drive.

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Re: Install old hard drive as slave drive?
by adkmom / September 2, 2004 11:05 PM PDT

Hi,

Generally speaking, when you upgrade a hard drive in a system, it's best to do a "clean install" of your operating system onto that drive. It will probably be the fastest drive (as it's newest) & as it's newer- will generally be more dependable storage for your data.

Placing the current hard drive as slave allows you to leisurely browse through your old data & get it organized into new folders/locations on the new hard drive. At that point, I would wipe the old drive clean & use it for storage of things that do not require daily access.

T Fortune

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Re: Install old hard drive as slave drive?
by robertr / September 2, 2004 11:13 PM PDT

It shouldn't be a problem at all. I would just make sure to install your Master Drive first then add your slave drive, an extra step that can save a lot of confusion.

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Re: Install old hard drive as slave drive?
by merryann / September 2, 2004 11:23 PM PDT

It is a great idea, and I have done it myself. HOWEVER - The drive that I used was strictly a data drive to begin with and had no operating system installed on it. You need to take some things into consideration:

1. Is the speed of the old drive compatable with the new system? If it is too slow, it will negate one of the big reasons for buying a new computer - faster computing. If it is over 2 or 3 years old, I would be cautious.

2. Who is going to install it? You? Do you know how to change the settings to make the old drive a slave (all single drives are 'masters'; second drives are 'slaves'). This usually involves setting DIPS or jumpers. I haven't done it for a while, (after I retired from IT, I decided to let someone else do it!) so the newer drives may have something different.

3. Are you going to leave the old drive in permanently, or do you just want to get the data off it? If this is the case, there may be a better way to transfer the data.

4. What are you going to do with the operating system that is installed on the old drive? Can it be deleted without destroying the data you have stored on it? Is it the same as your new computer? If it is, perhaps you could have the system set up to look to the 2nd drive as an alternative boot drive if there is a problem with the primary.

5. Are you hoping to avoid re-installing all of the software on the old drive? Forget it! Your new PC is probably running a new version of Windows, and all the software installed on your old computer will need to be re-installed in order to have the proper connections and settings for the new OS. Also, having software running on a different drive (other than C:\) results in its own set of problems when configuring where things go.

6. Finally - Say you decide that it is worth keeping the old drive, and you are willing to go through the hassle of deleting the OS from it, then deleting the software, leaving just the data you are trying to keep. Now you have to do a serious defrag on the drive to get everything in order AND after you install the software on your new C:\ drive, you have to go into each program and tell it where to look for the data. If you are good with this type of work, you are probably looking at a minimum of one day of work. If you run into any problems, you could easily go 2 or 3 days.

Are you sure you want to do this? Remember to export or back up ALL of the data you want to save BEFORE removing the drive from the old computer. You never know what might happen.

Hope this doesn't sound too pesimistic. Usually, when someone does this, they just put the drive in and wipe it clean. Then they have a second drive for data storage and don't have to go through all the hassle of removing each program. If that is what you really want to do, then all you would have to do is to take that backed up data you saved and put it on the clean drive.

Good luck!!!

Merryann

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Re: Install old hard drive as slave drive?
by HankP88 / September 2, 2004 11:29 PM PDT

I've done this a couple of times on my and my kids' computers, and never had a problem. It makes sense to me to "recycle" any usable components that still are good, as long as the computer case has room for the extra drive. Most of my family's computers now have two hard drives and two CD/DVD/players/burners for a lot of flexibility. I even took an old hard drive and put it in an external USB case/kit and use it just for storing my digital photos. Then I can take it with me if anyone wants to see any photos and just plug it in to their computer (I know it's corny, but hey, it works!) Hope this helped you out.

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Re: Install old hard drive as slave drive?
by CHECKSIGHT / September 2, 2004 11:37 PM PDT

I HAVE DONE THIS FOR YEARS WITH NO PROBLEM! I HAVE ALWAYS USED THE SLAVE HARD DRIVE AS THE BACKUP DRIVE THUS THERE IS NO WEAR AND TEAR PLACED ONTO THE OLDER DRIVE ON A DAY TO DAY BASIS. IN OTHER WORDS, I PLACE ALL THE INFORMATION THAT?S IMPORTANT TO ME, THAT IS CRUCIAL NOT TO LOOSE DUE TO HARD DRIVE FAILER ONTO THE SLAVE. IT WORKS FOR ME, IT SHOULD WORK FOR YOU. JUST ENSURE YOU SET YOUR JUMPER TO SLAVE SETTINGS PRIOR TO INSTALLATION. VR KENNETH

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Re: Install old hard drive as slave drive?
by KenR / September 3, 2004 12:14 AM PDT

It's a good idea for getting the information off the old drive and on to the new one. Just get the data files...don't try to transfer programs that are not DOS-based. Generally, they won't work from a drag-and-drop transfer. As for additional storage, it's okay too, just don't keep critical files stored soley on the old drive. When the old drive dies, and it will, that's the time to replace it and retrieve those same files from the main drive to the newest one. The idea behind this is to alternately transfer files from one to the other. that way your data files will always be there and accessible. Never store files in one place. As a side note, MTBF (mean time between failure) of HDDs is generally 50,000 hours (about 4.5 years). If you've got an HDD over 5 years old, consider it ready to die at any moment.

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Very thoughtful responses, thanks
by grandpaw7 / September 3, 2004 1:11 AM PDT

As I did mention in one of my posts, I have foregone the idea of installing the old drive on my new computer for a number of reasons, including the fact that I wouldn't touch doing it myself with a ten foot pole, given the dire results of previous adventures into self-help; having gone to the expense of getting a new computer, I'd rather not have to pay someone to do it; and, the clincher, I want to give the old computer to come kids I work with. So, I am going to transfer the data I want to save from the old 98 to the new XP computer via the 64MB memory key I got with the new computer (I should have opted for the 128MB, I suppose, but it's too late now). Then, I will undertake a clean install of the 98 computer before I give it away. One problem I am having is that I have a low capacity brain, and as I learn new stuff, the old stuff gets pushed out to make room for the new. Oh well. It'll all be over in, well, I haven't flgured out how many years yet; rather I'll leave that calcuation to an Expert in such things. grandpaw

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Re: Install old hard drive as slave drive?
by PatrynXX / September 3, 2004 2:01 AM PDT

Don't seem to have a problem with that. Unless it's damaged in some way. I prefer to have the old hard drive as a slave because 1. it's the older drive so that 2. if I get another, I'll just cycle the old one out. Although you'd better destroy it or put it in another computer. Don't give it away, unless you zero it out.

Normally when I get a second hard drive, it means I had been having problems with the older one. Putting it as a slave, is a good use for backup stuff.

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Re: Install old hard drive as slave drive?
by JCHJCH / September 3, 2004 2:08 AM PDT

In my situation I wanted to upgrade my disk storage memory. So when I got a new drive and updated software, I left my "old" drive as "C" and installed the larger drive on D & E (partitioned).

Occasionally, malware gets in (family users) and
"assumes" C-drive is main drive but Everything works from the D-drive.

So from a security point or view, let you might ask your vendor to install the old drive on "C" and move the "new" drive to "D". You might need some changes to start up to insure files are being pulled from "D" vice "C".

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