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Moving SATA drive from dead Dell to my running Dell?

Discussion in 'Computers, Hardware, and Operating Systems' started by WA7ARK, Aug 24, 2018.

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  1. WA7ARK

    WA7ARK Ham Member QRZ Page

    The CPU in my older DELL Optiplex 745 (Dual core, Win 7) just died. This was my main email, web surfing, personal finances computer. I believe the hard drive is ok because it passes the preboot diagnostics.

    I have a Dell Optiplex 780 (Quad core, Win 7) that is integrated into my ham station. I would like to remove the hard drive from the dead computer and add it to this computer such that I can see the user files. I do not expect to boot from the moved drive; just use it as a secondary drive. Do I just delete (or hide by renaming) the Windows related sub-directories? Will I be able to see the ../user/mike files?

    I will reinstall all of the software that was on the dead computer that isn't on the ham computer from installation files. I do not expect to be able to "run" .exe files that are on the moved drive.

    Any problems; pitfalls?
  2. AF9US

    AF9US Premium Subscriber QRZ Page


    Assuming as you say -- the SATA drive from the dead laptop is good, you should have no trouble installing it into the good Dell.

    Idea: Create a dual-boot on the good Dell with the removed SATA drive from the dead Dell. Advantage: you'll be able to run the programs on the added SATA drive if you boot from it.

    Your user data will be accessible whether you boot from the added SATA drive.

  3. WA7ARK

    WA7ARK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was under the impression that the old drive cannot be booted in the new computer because of the hardware differences between the old and new computers, e.g. old is dual core 32 bit, new is quad core 64bit...
  4. KC8RLU

    KC8RLU Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you used Secure Boot in a UEFI Setup on the old computer and the drive has gpt partitions, then I wouldn't try to boot the old drive on the new computer. The old drive would essentially be locked to only boot with the old computer. Otherwise, just hooking it up to the new computer for copying user files shouldn't be a problem. You may run into occasional alerts regarding file permissions to access said info, but that's no big deal.

    73s de Joe KC8RLU
  5. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would not try to boot from it, As is.

    Are both drives NTFS ?

    Is your user name and password the same for both computers ?

    There are tools available if needed to change the permissions on all user files.

    Good Luck.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
  6. WA7ARK

    WA7ARK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Worked fine. The first time I tried to access the files on the imported drive, Win7 complained that I didn't own the files. However, it offered to fix it so that I "owned" them. I said yes, it took a while, but now I can see all...

    The drives were both NTFS.
    W4RAV and KA9JLM like this.
  7. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not a quick & "Queasy" reply, but many options:

    1.. (I know, you will get many replies) but back-up, back-up BACKUP... OK, there are USB> SATA, OR IDE external drives available. Find one .

    2. IF your SATA is only the interface, you should be able to use an external SATA enclosure to connect the drive as "external," bot you may need an adapter from laptop to 3.5" drive. (Be sure to connect it properly, or ALL will be toast.)

    3. File structure should NOT e a problem if transferring to an 17/Win 10 machine.

    4. Transfer ALL important data files to a CD or DVD, as necessary. Just the data files, not the program files.

    5. Boot as normal, and HOPEFULLY, it sees the laptop drive . If not, go to the 'Windoze Exploder" ( private joke) but Windows Explorer
  8. WA7ARK

    WA7ARK Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is for a tower, not a laptop. After the dust has settled, I now have three networked Dell towers, each of which has two internal hard drives. So back-ups are easier. All are networked, too.

    I was able to buy a replacement I7 Dell (64bit) with 350Gb hard drive, 8G of ram with dual monitor support, including Win10 for $175 at my local used computer outlet...

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