1 Copper

HDD Swap

Have searched the forums on the subjects of swapping hard drives and now wanted a bit of specific information if I can. I have swapped HDDs on my personal computers many times but this will be on the business computers and I would hate to lose data or destroy something that I had not paid for myself.


Basically I have 2 Dell computers, 1st: Vostro 200 mini tower, and 2nd: Vostro 220 Slim.  The first comp. (200 mini) is in use and has all the software and programming needed for it's current operation and I wanted to take the Hard Drive from it and place it in the new (hasn't been plugged in yet or initialized) Vostro 220 Slim. Both have XP Professional (back installed from Vista on the 200 Mini and from Windows7 on the 220 Slim) I have software settings and installed programs that would be very difficult and expensive to replace if lost (licencing issues and a pain in my 'day' to work through...)


Is there any foreseeable issue with this swap that I am not aware of? Of course I will back up the first drive to an external back up device before I attempt to create my hybrid but hopefull I will be looking at a straight swap.

Should I initialize the new 220 Slim before removing it's HDD? It has not been unpacked yet and from experience the first time it's switched on the machine does it's little installation process.

Am I asking too many questions..... I hope this has been easy to follow, any assitance would be appreciated.




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2 Replies
4 Ruthenium

Re: HDD Swap

Welcome to the forums Paul emoticon.Yes.title



I understand and appreciate why you want to do so, but... unless the hardware in both systems is EXACTLY the same... you're likely to have problems I'm afraid emoticon.Sad.title

The hard drive you'll be taking from the 200, has a BIOS and drivers etc, for the hardware in the 200. 

If the 220 has different (/newer) hardware in it (as I expect it will?), the hard drive from the 200 probably won't recognise it, and I suspect you'll experience problems from the off - i.e. during the boot process?


One possible option available to you... assuming the hard drives (HDD's) are (roughly) the same capacity (see footnote), is to create an image of the 200's HDD on the external source, rather than just backing everything up emoticon.Idea.title

You can then use that image on the drive in the 220? 

That may have been what you meant by "back up", but there's a substantial difference between creating an image, and just making backups, as you'll no doubt already know.


You'd then have to update the drivers on the 220 straight away, to make sure they're complaint with/specific for the hardware in the 220, because the image you've used will include drivers for the hardware in the 200.

But your programs/settings should work just as they did/do in the 200?


Note however... if the HDD in the newer 220 a larger capacity than the one in the older 200, the extra capacity *may* be unusable?

You might consider that a small price to pay of course, for having everything up and running on the 220, as it was/is on the 200 emoticon.Wink.title

From experience, I've found that:   “Beauty is in the eye of the beer-holder”!!


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1 Copper

Re: HDD Swap

Thank you FireBlade.  I appreciate the assistance. You've brought us a few good points that I had overlooked. I am in no rush for this exercise so will weigh up the pros and cons and may have to resort to re-installing all the software if it becomes a greater issue. The image method has merits and I will investigate this further.

Thanks again for the help.

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