upgraded pc with new SATA HD insists on formatting original SATA HD


New mobo, cpu, power supply, and a new clean install Vista HD. Old drive shows up in BIOS and when clicking on the My Computer icon for the old drive my only option is to format. After reassembling old computer and old drive it boots without compaint with all data intact. I was hoping to upgrade with new drive and have old drive show up as slave and from there copy over files, format old drive, and make it my backup drive. Shouldn't the old drive just show up as a slave in the upgraded pc? Why does it insist on formatting first? Thanks.
Hi Josie, welcome to NST.
Are the HDDs SATA or IDE ? If they're IDE, have you made sure that the jumpers on the back are set correctly. Maybe the old HDD was plugged as "master" in the old PC and is now on the "slave" connection.
I think it's a good idea to plug all IDE drives as "cable select" and that way the connector you use will determine the disk status without the need to synchronize the jumpering as you move disks around.


Sorry, just noticed the BOLD title which says they're SATA, so obviously not a jumper issue.
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Bios settings are at failsafe already on new mobo. I have also tried removing the slave, restarting, shut down, and re-installing the slave to no avail. Maybe there's some tweak that would prepare the drive to be a slave on another system?

Or, perhaps someone might share an alternative. What's the best way to transfer the files to the new HD given my catch-22? Thanks
How are you attaching to the new system as a slave? On the same IDE cable with the DVD Drive? If so you might want to give the Hard Drive the master selection and then give the DVD Drive the salve association. From there jsut make sure the BIOS is set to boot from the SATA Drive.
They're both SATA drives so I'm not sure what you mean...the board is an ASUS P-5NE SLI and the drives are both working fine as far as I can tell. It's just that the new installation won't allow access to the old drive without formatting first. There doesn't seem to be any jumpers in an SATA drive, so I have no idea what to do next.
I haven't any ideas why a SATA disk should be invisible when you connect it on your new PC, but fine on the old one. However, if your only desire is to get your personal data off, you could put the old disk back in the old PC again and burn your personal files to DVD or copy to USB flash or ext HDD, and thence to your new PC.
Or you could even temporarily install the new SATA drive in your old PC too, and copy the files from old to new directly, before reinstalling the new drive in the new PC.
I think everyone's getting a bit confused by the "slave" label. The Master/Slave only applies to IDE drives of course. They're both just disks on different channels in a SATA PC.
What's the OS btw ? You don't say. What is it that says you must format ? Windows Explorer?
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Thanks, Terry60, that's what I'm going to do (your second solution). Appreciate everyone's willingness to help!


Vista and yes it's explorer - double clicking on the HD icon generates a dialog box that says, "In order to use this drive it must be formatted first. Format now?" with yes and cancel buttons.
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Check if it is Primary Partition and/or Active.
Go to Computer Management in Vista and then in Disk Management and check in the Status bar.
Leave a reply what it says.
Good Luck!