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What will happen if I take a slave hard drive from one system and turn it into a Master on another?

Posted By : Darren of Chandler-Gilbert Community College on May 6, 2006

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Can I turn a slave drive into a master without losing any data? I have purchased a 300GB hard drive with the intent to make it a temporary slave drive for my current computer. When I get the needed funds to build a new system I would like to take that temporary slave and turn it into a master but keep all the files and programs intact. Is this possible, or am I going to have to wipe the drive when I throw it on the new platform? I'm running Windows XP Pro if that makes a difference, and am not going to upgarde(?) to Vista until a year or so goes by and the bugs get worked out. I hope you can help and look forward to your reply.


This question was answered on May 6, 2006. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

If you wish to keep all the data on the slave then you will have to copy it off first before you turn it into a master on the new system you will be building This is because hard-drives can not change between systems unless the two systems are identical in every way hardware wise Windows imbeds information on the hard drive upon installing that tells the computer what everything is that is hooked up to it and thus from that point on every time you start windows it will look for all of those components to initialize them and get them up and running for you to use.

If you have the option you might be able to swap the "slave" drive between the two computers how you want but only if you use it for data only, and then when you build a new computer dont set it as a master on the new computer, get a seperate hard-drive for that Reason being that the information that windows puts on the hard-drive is only on the master and not on any of the slaves This is what enables swappable hard drives to work.

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Posted by Darren of Chandler-Gilbert Community College on May 6, 2006

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