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Moving Files From One Hard Drive to Another

Dani writes in with a hardware question

Question:I was wondering I have 2 hard drives in my computer and I want to replace the 2nd one with a larger one I had from another computer, can I just move things from the 2nd hard drive to the first if there is enough space and do I need to format the new one? How do I know if it will work in my computer? Can I just plug it in or are there other steps? Any help?

Answer: If you have space on the first drive then you can copy the data from the second drive to the first drive. You can right click the drive letter of your second drive in My Computer and choose properties to find out how much total space is being used by files. Then do the same for the first drive and see how much free space you have available.

If you don't have enough room to copy it to the first drive then you have the option of getting an external USB drive caddy for your second drive, installing your new drive and then copying the data to the new drive. Keep in mind that you need to make sure you get the right type of external caddy for your drive. It will either be IDE or SATA.

Another option is to install the new drive along with the other drives and then copy the data from the second drive to the new drive before removing it. This is assuming you have enough room and hard drive connections to do so.

You will need to format the new drive after installing it. You can do so using Windows Disk Management. You may have to initialize it first but it should prompt you to do so when you open Disk Management the first time after installing the drive. We recommend formatting the drive NTFS rather than the older FAT32 format. This can be done with Disk Management as well. Once you make a new partition on the free space then you can right click the partition and choose Format.

When installing the new hard drive you will need to make sure your computer will take the type of hard drive that you want to install. Older computers use IDE hard drives and newer computers use SATA hard drives. An IDE drive will use a ribbon cable where a SATA drive will use a thin serial cable.

If it's an IDE drive then you will need to make it a master or slave by setting the jumpers to match the drive you are taking out. If its a SATA drive then it doesn't matter.

Once you get the drive installed and formatted then you can copy your files over to the new drive. If the drive was out of another computer then you can skip the formatting if you like and just erase what's on the drive if youdon't need the files anymore.

 

 



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