Can I install an old hard drive into a new computer?

Scott from Santa Monica Fwy, CA

Episode 1360 (45:48)

Laptop Hard Drive Exposed

Scott wants to know if he can take the hard drive out of an old computer and then put it into a new one. Leo says yes, but he should only use it as a data drive. He could probably put it in an external USB enclosure so he can plug it in when he needs to. He could install it as a secondary hard drive as well. If he wants to use software from that hard drive, that's a lot more problematic due to registry issues. He may be able to dual boot from the older driver, but the device drivers won't work. So he'll have to work around that and use a boot manager.

Scott can also try using a virtual machine with the secondary hard drive using VirtualBox or VMware. vCenter Converter will do just what he needs. Microsoft's version is called Hyper-V.

Image By Evan-Amos (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons