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9/16/05 Moving your old hard drive to a new computer

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / September 15, 2005 5:13 AM PDT

Thank you all for another week of great submissions! Please everyone give the winners and all those members who went the extra mile to fully explain in details the process of moving an old hard drive to a new computer, a pat on the back.

Ken, I hope all the answers this week gives you some great guidance to your question. And if you have any other questions, please join us in this discussion below and ask away.

Members, as always if you have any additional advice or tips, by all means feel free to post below in this thread. The more we discuss the more we learn--it?s all up to you as a community to contribute.

Thanks again everyone!
-Lee Koo
CNET Community


Hi, I have purchased a new computer. I would like to remove
the hard drive from the old system and install it into my new
computer. What steps do I need to complete before, during, and
after installation? The new system runs XP Professional and
the old system runs 2000 Professional. Detailed instructions
would be appreciated. Thank you!

Submitted by Ken J.

*** See below in thread for all submitted answers ***

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Answer submitted by Charlie W.
by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / September 15, 2005 5:13 AM PDT

Transferring your old hard drive to your new computer is a really good idea, for a number of reasons. First, it makes certain that none of your confidential data--credit card numbers, passwords--winds up in a garage sale, and eventually in the hands of a hacker. Secondly, it gives you two physically separate hard drives in the machine, which you can use as a quick and simple backup solution. Just copy your important files from one drive to the other, and you're now guaranteed that even if one drive craters, your backed-up data will still exist on the other drive. You can obtain inexpensive backup software that will automate this task. Finally, using your old hard drive gives you extra storage space for free!

But before we go any further, let me speak briefly on the subject of viruses. Frequently, people upgrade their new machines because the old one stopped working properly; however, the reason it stopped working properly was often due to an unsuspected virus infection. Viruses live on the hard drive; and if you transfer the old, virus infested hard drive to the new computer, you'll infect your new machine as well. Fortunately, there's an easy way to protect yourself. Your new computer probably came with a virus protection program already installed; make sure it's working properly, then visit the manufacturers website and update everything. In particular, make certain that the virus definitions are right up to date. A good antivirus program running on your new computer will detect and eliminate viruses on your old hard drive automatically. But that program must be there, and be working properly, and be up to date. If it isn't, you could easily wind up infecting your new machine with viruses.

With that said, installing the old drive in the new machine is quick and simple; but there are a few gotchas to keep in mind. First, lets open up your old machine and physically identify the old hard drive. Shut the machine off, pull the power plug out of the back of the old computer, and remove the computer access panel or cover. You're looking for a thin metal box, about 4 inches by six inches, and about an inch thick. That box is your hard disk drive, where all your data lives. There will be a ribbon cable attached to the back of the drive, which connects to the motherboard; and there will also be a 4 pin power plug, also connected to the back of the drive, which runs up to the power supply. The 4 pin power cable is polarised, so it will only connect one way; sadly, the data cable - the ribbon cable - is sometimes polarised, and sometimes not. This means that it IS possible to connect it backwards. However, take a close look at the data cable. It will have a thin red line along one edge of the cable. Make note of which edge of the socket the red line on the cable is aligned with, and connect it to your new machine the same way. Having made careful note of how the cable is connected, remove the power and data cables - they can be stiff, but they just pull straight out - disconnect the hard drive from the old computer and remove it.

A quick note about hard drives. Starting in 2004, a new way of connecting hard drives to computer motherboards started to emerge. Traditionally, hard drives have used a ribbon data cable, about 2 inches wide, to connect to the motherboard; this was known as a PATA cable, for Parallel ATA cable. This method is going away, in favour of a new type of cable and electrical topology known as SATA, which stands for Serial ATA. A SATA cable has a rubber exterior and is about the thickness of a pencil, as opposed to the broad, flat ribbon cable associated with the old PATA cables. SATA drives are faster, and are easier to connect; but your old hard drive will almost certainly be the old PATA ribbon cable.

However, your new computer will almost certainly use a Serial ATA hard drive. Fortunately, most optical drives, such as DVD burners and CD readers, still use the old PATA specification. The problem is that SATA is new, and the fine details of how it works still vary from motherboard to motherboard; hence, on some motherboards it is possible to have a mix of SATA and PATA drives controlled by the same primary controller, and on others it is not. For that reason, I'm going to suggest that you install your old PATA hard drive on the secondary controller, along with one optical drive. However, if your new computer already has two optical drives, then you cannot do that; in this case, it will be necessary to connect your old drive - in some fashion - to the primary controller. Depending on your motherboard, this may, or may not, be possible. You'll need to read the manual that came with the motherboard, and probably make some settings changes in the Bios as well. However, all of this only applies if your old hard drive is a PATA drive, and your new computer has a SATA drive. If your new computer is still using the older PATA technology - surprising, but possible - then just connect your old hard drive as a slave device on the primary controller.

Master, Slave, Primary controller, you ask? Ah, let me explain.

When the IDE (Independent Drive Electronics) specification was finalised about 15 years ago, it was decided that each manufacturer would handle his own drive data storage method internally, and supply a standard data signal to the motherboard. Further, it was decided that the drive controller - the chip that controls the flow of data from the drive to the motherboard - would control a maximum of two drives, and each drive would be referred to as either a Master or a Slave. As time went on and CD drives made their appearance, it was discovered that people needed more than two drives; and so it became customary for motherboard manufacturers to include two drive controller chips, which were then labelled primary and secondary. As a result, virtually all motherboards manufactured today have two drive controllers; and each drive controller is capable of controlling two drives. Hence, motherboards today can typically control a maximum of 4 IDE devices. These devices are identified as Primary Master, Primary Slave, Secondary Master, and Secondary Slave.

Your new machine will probably be using SATA technology on the primary side, and the older PATA technology on the secondary side. So you'll be connecting your older PATA drive to the secondary controller. However, the secondary controller will probably already have one device on it; an optical drive, such as a CD ROM or a DVD burner. This device will already be set as a Master device; but your old hard drive will likely also be set as a Master device, as well. The thing you must avoid is having two drives on the same controller jumpered the same way, i.e., two masters or two slaves on the same cable; so you'll need to change either the optical drive or your old hard drive to a slave device. Here's how to do it: on the broad, flat top of your old hard drive you'll see a bunch of printing, and hopefully, a diagram. On the diagram you'll see M or MA (for master) S or SL (for slave) and C or CS (for Cable Select). Cable Select allows the physical position of the drive on the cable to determine if it will be seen by the computer as a master or a slave drive. Dell uses this topology, but hardly anyone else does; so unless your machine is a Dell, you probably won't have to worry about it. Instead, look at the diagram and note the jumper position associated with the SL. That's how you're going to be jumpering the drive.

On the back of the drive, where the cable plugs in, you'll see a tiny array of 7 or 8 gold pins, with a black jumper (called a Berg connector) connected to one or two of those pins. This is the jumper array, which determines if your drive will be seen by the computer as a master, a slave, or a cable select drive. It's very likely that your old drive will be set to the 'master' position; refer to the picture printed on top of the drive and get yourself oriented. Now, remove that black jumper and position it over the set of pins marked 'slave' on the diagram. Congratulations! You've now re-jumpered your old hard drive as a slave device.

If you find the diagram on the hard drive confusing - or worse, missing - you could consider leaving the old hard drive alone, and instead re-jumpering the optical drive in your new computer as a slave device. The jumpers on optical drives are usually much more plainly marked than those on hard drives, but it does involve getting your fingers into some very tiny spaces. If you can do that, you might find it easier to rejumper the optical drive, and leave the old hard drive alone.

At this point, you should have one device jumpered as a master, and the other jumpered as a slave. Now, you need to physically mount the old hard drive in the new case; hopefully, there's an empty bay, but on some cheap new machines there isn't, and you'll have to improvise. If you haven't already done so, shut down your new machine normally; then physically remove the power plug from the back of the computer chassis. Now, with the power disconnected, attach the drive.

Once the drive is mounted securely, you'll need to connect a data cable to the drive. To do this, identify the optical drive on the machine, and find the ribbon cable coming out of the back. Follow it down to the motherboard with your fingers. On the way, you'll find a socket spliced into the ribbon cable; this is the socket you want to plug into the back of your old hard drive. If the ribbon cable going from the back of the CD drive to the motherboard doesn't have a socket on it - very common on cheaper machines - you'll need to replace the ribbon cable with one that will accommodate two drives. You can find a suitable replacement cable at just about any store that sells computer parts.

Remember how we had the data cable connected in the old machine? Hook it up the same way in the new machine, with the red mark on the cable on the same side of the hard drive. If you've forgotten, the most common - but not universal - way of connecting a cable to the hard drive is with the red mark on the cable closest to the center of the drive, and furthest from the outside edge.

The last thing you'll need to do is plug a spare power cable into the back of the old hard drive. This is a 4 pin polarised plug, and it's impossible to plug it in the wrong way. The color coding on the wires is red, two blacks, and a yellow wire. Typically, there will be some spares coming out of the power supply; find one, and hook it up. In the unlikely event that you have no spares, you can get a splitter or Y cable adapter at most computer stores.

At this point you've re-jumpered your old hard drive so that it's a slave drive, you've physically mounted it in your new machine, you've connected the ribbon data cable and you've plugged in the 4 pin power cord. Now, plug your new machine in and turn it on. Watch the screen; you should see the original hard drive in the new machine listed, followed by a space, followed by the optical device and the hard drive from your old computer.

Let the machine boot into windows, left click on my computer, and check the drive listings. You should see two hard disk drives; one will be the old drive from your old computer. If you don't, right click on 'my computer' and select 'manage' from the drop down menu. This will start the computer management console. On the left hand side, select 'disk management'; this will list all the drives found on your machine. If the drive from your old machine is not listed, it means you've got a basic configuration error; the parallel cable is backwards, or the drive is jumpered incorrectly, or the drive is not getting power. If it is listed, there will typically be an error message which will give you a hint as to the problem that windows is having. But typically, with most older drives, you won't need to venture into the management console; it usually is only an issue when you install a drive larger than 127 gigabytes, or thereabouts. Given that your older hard drive had windows 2000 on it, I'm guessing that it's in the 40 to 60 gig range.

At this point, assuming your drive is visible in My Computer, you're home free. The old hard drive still has the old operating system on it; but it will not affect the operation of your new machine, simply because the computer will always boot from the new hard drive first. The exception would be if the new hard drive died; at which point on start-up the BIOS would continue to look for a bootable device, find the old drive, and try to boot windows 2000 up. However it would not be real successful, because all sorts of other parameters - like the motherboard, processor, quantity and type of memory, and about 50 billion other things - would all be very different from your old machine. It would be very confusing, to say the least, and probably not at all successful. For this reason, at your convenience, you may want to delete the Windows folder from the old hard drive. Just make sure you've copied any important data from the Windows folder before you delete it. Alternately, you could simply reformat your old drive; but this will erase every scrap and smidgen of your old data.

So there you are - a quick guide to moving your old hard drive to your new machine! It's actually quite easy, and certainly worthwhile doing. I hope you come to appreciate the convenience and flexibility that two hard drives gives you. Enjoy!

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Yes that is nice
by leo12345 / September 15, 2005 10:25 PM PDT

Only windows is not working anymore what you like to do about that???

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Windows not working?
by lionshooter / September 15, 2005 11:21 PM PDT
In reply to: Yes that is nice

If Windows isn't working on the old drive, it could be a number of things causing it. As a SLAVE drive in your new computer, that will not make any Charlie pointed out, the old drive is infected. If that is the case, clean it up with the antivirus software on the new computer.

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Windows not Working?
by cactusgal / September 16, 2005 1:54 AM PDT
In reply to: Windows not working?

It's been my experience, when moving my hard drives (2, dual boot) from a fairly new custom built computer to a new custom built computer (Windows XP), that I had to do a repair install of my OS before it would work. That's really quite simple as you go for 'Instal' on the first screen that comes up, then 'Repair' on the second screen, which also allows you to choose where you want to instal if you have more than one hard drive and/or have your drive/drives partitioned.


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Other issues
by justvisiting / September 16, 2005 4:47 AM PDT
In reply to: Windows not Working?

If you have two drives hooked to the same drive cable, both of which have boot partitions set active, then you are going to have a problem. The drive you have added has to have it's active partition status changed.
Check to see if the jumpers on the drives are set to drive select (DS) or master/slave settings. That must be consistent. If DS, then the boot drive should be at the end of the cable and the non-boot drive on the center connector.

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Other issues
by cactusgal / September 16, 2005 7:51 AM PDT
In reply to: Other issues

I don't have any problems with my dual boot system, given that I have my hard drives set to 'cable select', just that when moving the drives to the new tower I had to do a repair instal of my OS to get the drives/Windows to boot and work properly. I actually have three drives in my tower all set to 'Cable Select' and can connect any two of them in any configuration and it all works fine. Just my experience when moving the drives, a repair instal of my OS and everything was fine.


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Swapping Hard drives
by Ronski / September 16, 2005 8:07 AM PDT
In reply to: Windows not Working?

I have a related problem when trying to swap hard drives between two computers. One machine flashes into Windows but then keeps rebooting itself, the other comes up with a boot error on a blue screen.

The hardware is different and the operating systems are XP Pro & XP Home.

Any ideas?

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Problem swapping HDD's
by swjslj / September 17, 2005 5:33 AM PDT
In reply to: Swapping Hard drives

All NT based operating systems, win 2k, winXP have a HAL, a Hardware Abstraction Layer, that acts as an intermediary between software and hardware. The HAL maintains a complete record of the hardware specs on a particular computer, so if you swap a hard drive into a computer that is not identical to the original, the operating system will not run. The only solution is then is to backup your data, and then reinstall the OS.

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Hard Drive Swap = Blue Screen of Death
by Phil Brogan / September 18, 2005 10:18 PM PDT
In reply to: Problem swapping HDD's

Actually guys, reinstalling the OS is not the only solution to Ronski's dilemma. If you're down to a reinstall, you've skipped several possible solutions along the way:

1. Usually the BSOD that you get in this instance comes with a message instructing you to try again. You should follow that advice and reboot several times to see if the problem can correct itself.

2. Next you should do a ''repair'' install of the OS. This option stops short of the full install by trying to fix the problem with a few of the OS components that may be damaged. If this method is successful, your application programs will all still be there and it will save you a bunch of work reinstalling all that.

3. The last resort before full install is wiping the Master Boot Record. This is an area on the HDD where the hardware information mentioned in the previous reply is stored. You can force the computer to regenerate this record if you wipe out the existing one. You need a boot floppy from a Windows 98 Second Edition system though. That may be the toughest thing to find if you didn't migrate your system up from earlier OS's. But if you have this floppy, you can boot the computer from it, and execute a command called FDISK with a switch ''/mbr'' (without the quotes). Takes about 15 seconds, and then you can pull the floppy out and reboot to the HDD. If it's going to work, the boot sequence should finish normally - although it may ''find hardware'' several times and want to do a couple more boots.

If you're down to considering a full reinstall, this option is worth your trouble to try first.

Phil Brogan

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by AlbiQerkezi / February 17, 2016 1:09 PM PST
In reply to: Problem swapping HDD's

Hello I wanted to ask you about my problem
I have a new PC without a Hard disk drive and i have an old one from my old PC
can i just install it the new one or is any complicated installation ?

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This thread is 11 years old
by itsdigger / February 17, 2016 1:28 PM PST
In reply to: Hello

Why bury your question here ?
Ask your question in a new top post and give us all of the info you have on the new PC and the old one.

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Time for a new post. This one is 10 years old.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 17, 2016 1:30 PM PST
In reply to: Hello

Folk may not notice and it's difficult to answer here. Plus you left out PC details.

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What about WXP drive into same Comp with new WXP drive
by funkid7 / September 19, 2005 12:39 AM PDT
In reply to: Yes that is nice

I have a Dell(cable select option). I took the old 40gig HDD out and replaced it with a new 80gig HDD/master and installed same OS from same copy of discs. New HDD works great! No problems installing or formatting.
My question is this; Since the old 40HDD still works but has the same copy of OS on it(WinXP), can it still be read properly by my new drive, setting it up as slave and just slapping it in?
I heard, that you must remove the WinXP OS, from the old drive first. then un-install it, put in new drive, then put in old/slave with data still intact, but no OS anymore. Then your new drive will recognize and read the old drive. If not, the new drive will see the old one, but will not access it.

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Adding your old drive to a new PC
by claretkid / September 15, 2005 11:49 PM PDT

I assume you want to do this to keep access to your data rather than to run programmes from it.

One easy solution is to buy a drive caddy (such as the ICY box) and install the old drive in it. This connects to the new PC either by USB or Firewire.

The advantage of this is that you can move it around at will! Also if you have finished transferring all your data to the new computer, you could then free space on it to use as a backup.

Its also useful if you want to store music, video etc.

Just a thought. Main advantage is you don't have to open the PC.

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What about?
by rhozeski / September 16, 2005 12:54 AM PDT

I have heard that if you mix hard drive speeds... (5400rpm and 7200rpm) that they both operate at the lower speed.... or if one has a lower access speed (8ns and the other 4ns) they both operate at the higher acess speed, thus slowing performance. Is there any truth to this?

Please advise and thanks. -Randy-

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Mixing hard drive speeds
by Keldawwg / September 16, 2005 2:14 AM PDT
In reply to: What about?

The hard drive speeds are independent of each other... Both rotational and access time.

A drive designed to run at 7200 RPM cannot run at 5400 RPM at all, without replacing the PCB with one that has a 5400 RPM controller. We sometimes do run 7200 RPM drives at a slower speed during servowrite. (Servowrite is the process where the data tracks are put down on the blank disks during the manufacturing process.)

The motor controller determines the drive rotation speed, and that is fixed by design.

The access time can actually vary pretty dramatically in any given disk drive... It depends on how many tracks you're seeking across, and it varies by where you're seeking from and to... Many drives will have better seek performance seeking from outer tracks towards inner tracks, for example.

Additionally, the performance of the servo system will vary in a drive... A lot of drives will have more overshoot problems seeking in one direction than the opposite direction, for example...

That is why access times are always reported as averages... The PC requests the information and then waits until it is processed by the drive... If your drive is badly fragmented that can take much longer for some requests than others...

But there is no problem mixing a high performance, high rpm, low access time drive with a slower drive... The faster drive will perform faster than the slower drive, that's all.

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Partially true...
by ToddK / September 16, 2005 6:10 AM PDT

I agree with all that is said, however, in the statement:

"But there is no problem mixing a high performance, high rpm, low access time drive with a slower drive... The faster drive will perform faster than the slower drive, that's all."

This is partially true. From the standpoint of the internal activity of the drive yes, but for all relative purposes to operation, no. A slower drive on the same channel as a faster drive will react slower to the requests by the controller. This will create latency and can make the faster drive wait for "it's turn" to process requests. Though it doesn't mean that the response time of the faster drive is slower, the controller will be slower for the faster drive than it should be.

The difference in performance will be dependent on how big a difference there is between the speed/data rate of the drives.

Of course this does not apply to most SCSI drives since the controllers are more intelligent (and more expensive).


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Question needs to be more "Specific"!
by eye2fun / September 16, 2005 4:52 PM PDT
In reply to: Partially true...

Yes their are complications involved in pairing a slower drive with a faster driver. But most can be overcome. In the winning response the writer gives a lot of information that is for the most part correct. I personally would have like to ask the questioner a few myself before giving a response. The question is way too general to address with any clarity in this forum. Happy

But as this relates to latency of slower and faster drives, I don't think the average person would even see the difference if he was just using it for the information on it. Of course you would set the faster drive (newer) as master and the older drive as slave. But it's been about 7 years since I've had a problem pairing up Pata drives. Because the controllers are much more sophisticated now days and the drives do mesh regardless of their speed.

But back to the possibility that the new drive was a Pata on a mobo with the customary Primary and Secondary Pata connections and at least 1 or two Sata connections. The second drive (older) Pata could still go on the Primary Pata Ribbon cable setup as slave (pin in slave position). It wouldn't have to go on secondary Mobo cable. Most of the time people have two optical drives anyway and so winning answer wouldn't work for them.

Modern mobos have an advanced bios that gives you a choice in setup as which drive to boot first and default to the faster Sata drive, as it did in my setup doing the same thing. Two different controllers so their is no latency when running off the slower drive. Then too you can always run a Win 2000 repair on the old one or upgrade it to Win XP. You'll have a dual boot system then and will always have access to one or the other if something goes wrong with one. I usually install at least two Win XP installations on the same drive named ''Windows'' (original) and ''Windows1''. Yes restoring a failed system is always an option. But there are cases when that fails (more than it works) to get you running again. Better safe than sorry! Saved me many times! Wink

To sum it up, the chances of having two Pata drives that are incompatible are rare and for the average person who just wants access to his info, not a problem. They mesh quite nicely 90% of the time. With the Pata and Sata combo their is absolutely no issues to be resolved. This due to having two separate controllers. It makes for a well balanced system if you have a running Win XP install on a fat32 partition on a Pata drive. Especially when you've lost that floppy with the Sata drivers you need just to get a look at the problem or even see if any info is left after a crash! :))

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In more detail...
by ToddK / September 21, 2005 8:43 AM PDT

Yes, I agree about the PATA vs SATA. They do indeed have different controllers and will not interfere with each other. My mistake for not mentioning that I was only referring to PATA only.

For PATA drives being on the same channel it can and will make a difference. Not because there are incompatabilities (though it is true that once in a great while there will be), but because of the EIDE channels themselves.
Let's say the older drive was built for a 66.6MB/sec transfer rate (Ultra ATA/66) and it became the slave to a newer drive that handles 100MB/sec transfer rate (Ultra ATA/100). That single channel that handles both drives will have to "slow" itself down to accomodate the slower drive. More or less depending on how much back and forth activity between drives there will be. The greater the age difference between the drives the more likely an increase of the problem.
This does not happen (or at least not much) with SCSI since SCSI has a host adapter to "traffic" individual devices on the same channel. PATA is not as intelligent, which made it a cheaper alternative to SCSI.
Granted the user will not likely notice a big difference, but that depends on what they are doing. Especially if they only intend to use the old drive temporarily. However, buying a brand new fast system and having it slowed by one particular component may not be productive (once again depending on what you do with the system). Buying a newer second drive (if all are PATA) will avoid the conflict. Drives for the most part are pretty cheap.
I have worked on many systems from very simple to enterprise and it has been an issue to varying degrees.


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Mixing hard drive speeds...
by Keldawwg / September 22, 2005 1:26 AM PDT
In reply to: In more detail...

Very good... I didn't put quite enough thought into my answer, obviously...

I was assuming (Perhaps incorrectly) that the drives were both PATA and of the same generation... It is very true that if you mix ATA133 and ATA66 the interface will have to run at ATA66 to work with both drives.

In most cases this is an inconsequential difference, since the data transfer rates of PATA drives is generally so far away from this theoretical number anyway... Of all the ATA100 drives I have tested or looked into, the fastest I have ever seen was around 60 MB/Second sustained. (Data transfer limited to the outer cylinders of a new 7200 RPM drive) Most ATA100 PATA drives come in closer to 40~45 MB/Sec sustained... And most real world drives in a computer don't even come remotely close to these numbers...

The drive will only approach the interface limit for a very short burst... And that burst would be limited to the size of the cache, which is typically 2MB and on a high end drive might be 8 MB.

So, good job on catching my mistake! I guess I should have just given the very short answer that the drive RPM and Access times are independent of eah other...

I'll be a little more careful in the future...

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Difference Bothers You? So Clone Old HD Instead!
by eye2fun / October 13, 2005 6:13 PM PDT

As I said the differences under most circumstances is negligible. Althought there is a difference, the difference is relative to how often you access the files on this D:\ drive. But for the best long term solution and the ability to boot into the older drive, I would just clone the second drive as a partition on the first drive.

Best solution is to use a tool like ''Bootit''! Don't even need to install it, just put the install floppy in after a fresh start, and make sure you answer no to having ''Bootit'' choose the partition for you. Bootit will then go into maintenance mode. Of course this is presumming you already have the drive set as slave.

The 1st drive will now be showing for you to begin the install of bootit. But just don't install it, it will still make an easy job of it for you. You can begin by shrinking the partition on this drive to make room for the cloned partition from the 2nd drive. Make sure that when changing the size in ''Bootit'', you make enough room (either equal or greater) on the this first drive.

When the first partition is done resizing, you can just click your mouse on the 2nd drive in the left hand column. You see the 2nd drive now. Make sure the partition you want to copy is hi-lighted and click on ''Copy''. Go back to first drive (mouse click) and making sure the empty partition SPACE is hi-lighted. Now simply click ''Paste'' and you're about to clone that beastly old incompatible drive to your new Sata or any other drive type. Simply follow the instructions on this wonderful graphical tool and it will be done in no time. This is done all using "Bootit" on the 30 day full functioning trial.

If you want, you can even use this tool to boot any Operating Systems you have or would like to install, on any number of partitions. Even if you have more than four partitions per drive and up to, (I believe) 8 hard drives.

This tool is well worth the money and can even restore deleted or lost partitions, resize, re-partition, boot, clone, fix master boot record, and so on and so forth. I have had geat success with this tool over the last 7 years. Newest version is wonderful!

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Drive Speeds and Access
by ggood / September 23, 2005 12:27 AM PDT

This was an excellent summary.

Thank you for your trouble!


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I went cheap and simple.
by verl810 / September 16, 2005 1:18 AM PDT

When I need to have my old drive on my new system, I just bought a $23 IDE to USB case (surplus computers). That gave me access to the data and the portability to move the drive if I needed it elsewhere.

I'm a K.I.S.S. kind of guy.


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sounds good!
by druff / September 16, 2005 3:42 AM PDT

Would like to do the same thing. Could you give a little more info on the method?

Have a Gateway & an old ESystems.

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hard drive replacement
by aronbergvlad / September 16, 2005 1:59 AM PDT

Wow. What a great teacher. Do you make housecalls? I live in South Florida.

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Question re power cable
by hepbura / September 16, 2005 2:32 AM PDT

When messing about inside computers, I prefer to leave the power cable connected - then the Chassis is still earthed (I think) and I can ensure that I don't get static build up (from the rug on the floor etc) as I can keep touching the chassis to bleed any charge build up to the earth and so avoid damaging sensitive components.
Am I being sensible in this or is it a unnecessary (even stupid maybe) precaution?
Angus Hepburn

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Failed attempt on transfer of hard drive
by tru2Gzus / September 16, 2005 11:50 AM PDT

I have read through all the advice on making the transfer of my old hard drive to the new one. They both use the gray ide cable (2" wide). It had the slave connector in the middle so that was good. The power supply plug strangely came from the power supply to the main hard drive and then the extra plug was available. So, after making the correct connections as well as changing the plug on the back of the hard drive from Master to Slave I had no success upon bootup. The pc went directly to a screen where I had choice of F1 <setup>, etc. It had an error message (boot error, please insert disc to start) when I continued from there. There were two plugs on the back of the old hard drive. One was set vertically in the CS spot. The other was set in the bottom row in both the slave and the master spot. I moved the second black plug into a vertical position in the SLAVE slot only. I did all this before powering up for the first time. This pc didn't have a slave plug-in in the gray cable, I had to pull that from my old pc which died when the mother board burned out and fried the power supply. I had no virus issues either. The old pc was an HP Pavilion 7935 and the new one is a Compaq Presario SR1514NX. Any help would be great!! Thanks!

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Just a little verification
by nmonic / September 16, 2005 10:50 PM PDT

I read your message and for me it sound like the computer does not recognize the old HD as secondary and is trying to boot out of it. Just make sure to write down the position of any switch or anything else before you do any change
If you have only 1 IDE connector in your mother board:
Make sure the new HD is the "Master" on the back with the mini jumper setting
If you have 2
then make sure to setup the old HD in the secondary and also it's setup as slave

CS means cable select and that does not work correctly all the times

Also make sure your old PATA cable is working (you can do that replacing the new HD cable with the old one) and if it does work remove it and just get a new one
Hope it helps

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No black jumpers
by tru2Gzus / September 17, 2005 1:08 AM PDT

The new pc hd didn't have any black jumper plugs on the back of it like my old one did. I don't know if that was the cheap way for the pc to set the hd as the master, but, since I had to add my old ide connector to be able to plug in my old hd into the loop then I'll need some assistance as to how to make some changes. I'll check the old ide connector to see if it's crapped out too.
My old hd's jumper setting was as follows:
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8
The black plugs were in holes 2-6 and 7-8 originally. I only changed to second plug to 3-7 to make it the slave. I don't know why it was across the two (SL & MA) in the 7-8 position unless that was to allow a slave hookup in the ide connector.

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Works great now!
by tru2Gzus / September 21, 2005 4:57 AM PDT
In reply to: No black jumpers

Ok, the solution was as simple as the right jumper position which I used the diagram on the hard drive. I stayed with the same chart and just positioned them to the slave position as shown on the chart with great results. It works fine.


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