I have a spare 320 GB internal hard drive, and there are some programs on it. If I take the spare hard drive out of the computer it is currently in, and install it into another computer, will the other computer recognize the contents of the drive, or will I have to reformat the hard drive in order to be able to use it?

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    If the Hard Disk have Windows on it,it might boot normally depending on drivers.You can also use your 320 HDD as secondary hard on another computer or even connect it as externally using an enclosure to access files.
    – Scorpion99
    Jun 1, 2014 at 21:42

2 Answers 2


It will definitely recognize the contents, so don't reformat it before taking out. You can do it later on the new computer, if desired.

But do you also want to boot the old installation of Windows? That might not work. If you have several hard disks, you might have to adjust, which one is booting from BIOS.


you can install it as a secondary drive (not the boot drive) while continuing to boot from your computer's primary hard drive. This should allow you to access the files stored on this drive. however, you will probably not be able to run the programs you installed on this drive while accessing it in this manner. you could try booting a virtual machine with this drive attached but that's an advanced topic. But to simply access the files (data) on the drive, you should connect it as a secondary and continue booting from your PC's primary drive. Attempting to boot from this drive will likely just bluescreen.

  • modern drives don't do the whole master/slave thing. Thats only for using two drives off an old school pata channel
    – Journeyman Geek
    Jun 2, 2014 at 2:24

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