Hard Drive Swapping

Discussion in 'Computers' started by drobbins, Oct 7, 2005.

  1. drobbins

    drobbins Screenwriter

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    Dave
    First of all, I know just enough about computers to be dangerous. I have formatted hard drives and set up my home network. I also figure that I will need to provide more information than I have now, but here is the situation. We have 3 computers and each is set up for it's location and user.

    The newest in an E Machine with 2.60GHz processor & 256 RAM. It is in my Son's room
    The second is a Gateway with a 2.20GHz processor & 376 RAM. It is in the living room.
    The oldest is a HP. 1.something GHz (not turned on) but it has 256 RAM. It is in the theater.

    For my son's Birthday he wants computer games that his computers display card can not handle and not enough RAM. I would also like a better display card in my theater. Here's what I would like to do:

    Take 120 RAM out of the Gateway & put it into the E Machine. Put the new video card into the E Machine. Now put the E Machine in the theater and let my son use the HP. This way we can get the most out of the best computer.

    The question is can I swap the hard drives between the HP & the E Machine? I don't want to reinstall and set up all the programs all over again on both computers. [​IMG] What are some of the issues I might run into?
    Thanks,
    Dave
     
  2. Mike Fassler

    Mike Fassler Supporting Actor

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    well technically you can but will more than likely run into problems because all the drivers and such will be different.
    also for gaming nowadays you really need 512- 1gig of ram and the lowest video card I would go is an ati 9600, you can get ati 9800 pro cards for relatively cheap, I still use one and have no issues playing all the current new games out.
     
  3. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    The RAM has to be of the same type before you can swap it.

    To go into a little more detail on what Mike wrote, the drivers on one computer match the chips on the motherboard. If you put that hard drive in another computer - with a different motherboard, some of the drivers may not be the right ones.

    I actually did that once just to see what would happen, and it worked, but after a few days it all went downhill, and it finally just stopped working.

    You might get away with it, but be prepared for a new install.

    Glenn
     
  4. Mike Fassler

    Mike Fassler Supporting Actor

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    one thing I thought of you might try it doesnt always work, but try removing the chipset drivers if possible before you swap drives between systems, there is a handy program out there that is freeware its called driver cleaner, you may give it a shot. another thing you could do is partition the drive and put everything you wanna keep on the second partition then just reinstall windows
    it goes pretty quickly that way.
     
  5. drobbins

    drobbins Screenwriter

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    Thanks for all the replies. I didn't think about all those drivers [​IMG]

    Next question:
    The game he wants is "Battle for Middle Earth" It's min RAM requirement is 256 and 32MB on the video card. Needs Direct X 9.0. This seems minimal, will it work OK? How do I find out how many MB the on-board video card is? Where do I find the Direct X version?

    The other game he already has is "Star Wars Battle Front" It's min RAM requirement is 256 and 64MB on the video card. He can play it some but the movements are a little jerky. He then reached a level that won't work.

    When you said that the RAM needs to match, were you referring to just the mounting slots, or the type of RAM?

    I know the different card slot types are color coded. His computer has the white ones, What type are they?

    Dave
     
  6. StevenFC

    StevenFC Second Unit

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    Good idea Mike, but how can he do that to his system partition without destroying his data without buying a third party utility? Or did I not catch your meaning?


    I'd recommend backing up what you can, re-format and re-install.

    Never heard of Driver Cleaner. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the heads up, Mike.

    Good luck, I hope it works for ya'. Anyway, what you learn from this will make you a little less dangerous. [​IMG]
     
  7. StevenFC

    StevenFC Second Unit

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    Your System Information applet found in the System Tools sub-menu of your Start Menu might tell you how much on-board video memory you have (probably not much). Otherwise try something like Belarc Advisor or SiSoft Sandra which are both free programs. Just go to Windows Update for the Direct X, it'll give you the latest Direct X and install it for you if you wish.

    I would advise going beyond the mimimum requirements for games. Otherwise you'll need to set the resolution of the game low along with the graphics.
     
  8. Robert_Gaither

    Robert_Gaither Screenwriter

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    Without the help of third party software you'll most likely have a lot more problems than it's worth and might not in the end keep everything (I'm a strong believer in multiple partitions, store the os on C: partition and everything else on a different partition). Most new harddrives you buy will have a migration tool and if your main computer is Windows based you should have some form of migration tool for it to move over settings (assuming everything is networked in your home). You might do a search for some form of migration freeware but most likely the support and quality may not meet your expectation.
     
  9. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Someone may have already said this, but usually on-board graphics means that the graphics is sharing memory with the RAM. Thus, if the motherboard allows the graphics to use 64MB of memory, then you effectively only have 192MB of RAM left to use.
     
  10. drobbins

    drobbins Screenwriter

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    You have all convinced me that it is not worth the effort to swap them. [​IMG] It sounds like it would turn into one of those frustrating [​IMG] weekends where the family and pets run for cover or leave the house while I straighten out a computer issue. Formatting and reinstalling sounds easier and could be done over time. I will add RAM and a video card.
    Thanks for the input.
    Dave
     

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