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Old 01-21-2008, 11:09 AM   #1
Michael Rowley
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Default I've got a problem!

My problem is this: just before Christmas my one and only computer with Windows XP stopped recognizing both the keyboard & mouse once it started Windows, which otherwise was working normally (but it really shouldn't have announced it had found a 86-key keyboard!). All rescue attempts failed.

I've got a new computer ordered, so it has been suggested that I mount the old hard disk in it as an extra disk. In that way I could save the registered programs and my data. But I've never done this; is there anything I must observe?

   
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Old 01-21-2008, 11:32 AM   #2
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Installing the old hdd as a second drive will preserve your data but not your registered programs. You'll need to reinstall them again to the new OS, or install the old HDD as the primary disk and boot to it (hoping that the other hardware changes don't make XP decide you're a criminal ... but even if it does, you can probably do a phone-in reactivation to MS, explain what you've done and they should reactivate XP for you w/o further ado).

But you're getting Vista on the new PC, aren't you? Setting up the old drive as main and booting into XP may not be what you want to do. If you want to stick with Vista, you'll probably need to reinstall most of your software, but adding the old drive will still give you access to your data.

Alternative: buy an external USB or firewire case, install the old drive into that. That'll give you your old data without having to mess around inside the new PC. And you'll no doubt find other uses for the external drive later (backup, taking projects to another PC, etc.)

   
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Old 01-21-2008, 12:24 PM   #3
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Steve's right of course, Michael, and there's something else. Windows expects to see your data on the C drive, so if you add another physical disk (or set aside a partition of your new disk) and point some of the system folders to it (eg My Pictures, My Music etc) you'll find that some programs will follow your commands, but others won't. The resulting confusion can become irritating in the extreme!

Sure, you can copy your data from the old disk to the new one by connecting it in the new case, but only if your new PC supports the older PATA drive interface that your current PC uses. In practice, I find it's easier to just copy it all onto a DVDR before you unplug the computer.

   
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Old 01-21-2008, 12:29 PM   #4
Michael Rowley
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Steve:

Quote:
Installing the old hdd as a second drive will preserve your data but not your registered programs.
Oh! The programs is what I want to save, as in addition the programs for which I have the CDs, I have quite bit invested in programs that were downloaded, and, above all, fonts.

I had intended to put back the old hard disk afterwards and reinstal Windows XP, because the computer, though old, functions adequately if it's not given too much to do.

Quote:
buy an external USB or firewire case, install the old drive into that
Err . . . what's a 'USB case'?

   
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Old 01-21-2008, 12:36 PM   #5
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Robin:

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In practice, I find it's easier to just copy it all onto a DVDR before you unplug the computer
There's a snag: I can't copy anything to anything, as I can't communicate with my computer; the fact that it only reads CDs, not writes them, and has never heard of DVDs is an additional complication.

   
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Old 01-21-2008, 02:54 PM   #6
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Robin (and Steve):

Quote:
only if your new PC supports the older PATA drive interface that your current PC uses
Do modern computers with SATA drives usually support old drives (vintage 2000)? And would using the old drive externally make any difference?

The old 'My documents' won't matter, because I didn't keep anything there.

Bloody Microsoft! 'Orrible Adobe! Why did they have to invent program activation?

   
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Old 01-21-2008, 03:59 PM   #7
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michael: Err . . . what's a 'USB case'?
A harddrive case--basically what you would do it to buy the case (here in the States they run anywhere from about $25 to $90-ish depending on the types of connectors--usb, firewire, sata) and put your drive in the case and then plug the case cable into the appropriate port and you'll have access to your files.

I think that's the best way to go--it's easier I think that trying to install the drive on your new system.

I'm planning on buying 2 external hard drive cases myself for my 120gb drive and my 40gb drive from my old system. I'll give the 40gb drive case to my sister so she can use it for external storage...

From the quick look I took at the newegg.com site, I'll probably go with a simple USB2 enclosure as they are the least expensive--I do want one that has an on/off switch...

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Old 01-21-2008, 05:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Rowley View Post
Steve:



Oh! The programs is what I want to save, as in addition the programs for which I have the CDs, I have quite bit invested in programs that were downloaded, and, above all, fonts.

I had intended to put back the old hard disk afterwards and reinstal Windows XP, because the computer, though old, functions adequately if it's not given too much to do.



Err . . . what's a 'USB case'?
I may've jumped to a conclusion; do you mean you want to save the installation programs for the software you've downloaded? If so, that'll be no problem, whether you install the old HDD in the new case or in an external case.

I was thinking you meant e.g. the installed copies of Office and the like. Those you'll need to reinstall from the CD.

   
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Old 01-21-2008, 05:27 PM   #9
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I've yet to buy a computer with SATA drives, so I can't offer any useful ideas there. But you can certainly buy external cases that'll support the old drive.

Even if you were installing the old drive into a computer with older drives, you might still have to play games with the jumpers. Both will probably be jumpered for master (currently). You'll need to change one to slave so that both of them don't fight over who's the first drive on the chain. No big deal to do, but unnecessary if you put the drive in an external case.

   
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Old 01-22-2008, 07:46 AM   #10
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Steve:

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I was thinking you meant e.g. the installed copies of Office and the like. Those you'll need to reinstall from the CD.
I'm actually concerned about my Adobe programs (Acrobat 8, InDesign CS2), which are all upgrades. I wanted to put them on the new computer anyway, but until a month ago I had assumed I would be transferring them from a working computer, i.e. one that still remembers my keyboard and mouse. I didn't know then that my computer could go ga-ga before I did.

   
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