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I bought a hard drive and need to transfer files to the new hard drive. What do I need to do before doing this? Where do I put my files that I want to keep while I install the new hard drive? This is confusing to me. Anyone out there to help me do this step by step. I have heard of 'slave' 'bios' etc but have no clue what that is.
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First thing you need to do is get the new drive set up and ready to use. The easiest way to do this is to remove your existing drive and set it aside. Then set your new drive to primary master and boot with your windows startup disk. When you get to the A: prompt type "fdisk" (without the quotes) enable large disk support at the next screen then choose option 1 to create your primary DOS partition. after drive verification hit enter make drive active then escape out of fdisk back to the A: prompt then restart your computer. At the A: promt this time type "format c:" (without the quotes) hit enter for volume label (you do not have to enter anything here) Then shut down your computer. Move the new drive to primary slave making sure that it is jumpered correctly and reinstall your old drive back in as primary master, also making sure that the drive is set to master or master in a 2 drive system then restart your computer. Once your in windows go to start/run and in the command box type:

xcopy c: d: /s/c/h/e/r/k

You will notice a command prompt window opening and your files will start to copying to the new drive. Once complete you can just exit the command window, then proceed to shutdown your system. Remove your drives and put your new drive back in as primary master and restart your system. You system will now boot up into windows and your system will not even show any changes (except for having more hard drive space if you upgraded).

Now if for some reason (and this has happened to me a couple of times) you get a message saying "non system disk", don’t panic... just insert you boot disk and boot your computer and at the A: prompt type "fdisk" (without the quotes) and choose option 2 the make the partition active, escape all the way out of fdisk to the A: prompt. Remove the boot disk and restart your computer.
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This depends on what you are going to use the HD for. Is this drive going to be your main drive in the computer or is it to be for data(second drive). If its going to be your main drive you can take out your old drive and install the new drive in its place. By setting the computer bios( see below) to boot from the cdrom drive before you pull the old drive you can then install the new drive and use a Windows XP CD to format the drive and install XP on it. You can then install the old HD as a slave and move any data to the new drive. You will not be able to move installed programs to the new drive. It is better to fresh install programs to a new drive.

Heres a website on installing a second HD.


The BIOS setup settings can be modified using the BIOS CMOS setup program. This program is available at system startup be pressing a specific key such as F8.

Unfortunately there is no one set of steps to do this because the BIOS settings vary from computer to computer. You will need to check your computer manual or motherboard documentation for the exact steps you need to complete to enable your computer to boot from a CD. In any case, once you are in the BIOS setup program, you will want to look for a setting that allows you to define the boot order. The CD-ROM device should be listed first. Then save your settings and restart the computer. To move around in the bios you will use the arrow keys. Once you have found the boot order setting you will highlight it by moving to it with the arrow keys and then hitting the enter key to get to its window. Again use the arrow keys to select the cdrom drive as first boot. You may have to use the left or right arrow keys to change the setting. This depends on what bios the computer uses. After changing the setting hitting the Esc key will get you out of that window. You will need to save your settings when you are getting out of the bios. Usually hitting the F10 key does this and you will get a popup window asking you to select Y( ofr yes) or N (for no) to save the settings. Click on the y key to save them.


If you are only using the second HD as a data drive you can ignore most of the above. On the newer computers, by connecting the second HD to the middle connector on the data cable and having both computers HD jumpers set to cable select, the second HD will be a slave drive. After booting up the computer go into your disk management to format the drive. Disk management can be found here. This is in XP.

Start/Control Panel/Performance and Maintenance/Administrative Tools/Computer Management/Disk Management

Once you have formatted the drive you can go into explorer and make any folders you want to on the new drive . I usually will make folders for Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, etc. Windows Xp will install recycler, System Volume information, and temp folders automatically. You can then move any files you want with either copy and paste or cut and paste. You can click on whole folders and move them to the new drive.

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