Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Adding second HDD, has Windows 7 on it to Windows 8.1 PC

  1. #1


    Posts : 3
    Windows 8.1 x64

    Adding second HDD, has Windows 7 on it to Windows 8.1 PC


    Ok so, I want to put my old HDD into my new PC of which has Windows 8.1. Now, the only issue I see is that since the old drive has windows 7 on, it might screw everything up. It has Photoshop, layer styles, W.I.Ps, my YouTube video series that have and still to be uploaded. Also, if I try to use PhotoShop, it might now work as it built for Win 7. So I don't know what to do as I GBs of game files on my new PC which I don't want to re-install, OBS settings, programs etc if I was to downgrade this PC just for it.

    But, long story short I just want to make the old hard drive act as a second one which I can my videos on and use PhotoShop from.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by Chaos; 14 May 2014 at 13:21. Reason: Title issue

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  2. #2


    Southern California
    Posts : 788
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center x64


    You can make the old hard drive a secondary drive, but you cannot just connect it and expect the programs on it to work (they wont). You will have to reinstall everything. Sorry mate

    Take care
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 3
    Windows 8.1 x64


    Expected that at I had to do that with my XP one good few years ago....

    Oh well, guess I can downgrade to 7 cause all I have is games installed, ha.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Southern California
    Posts : 788
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center x64


    If you downgrade, you will still have to reinstall everything on the hdd...

    Windows 7 doesn't just 'match up' with an extra HDD, there are registry entries, and lots of stuff that go on when you install something. This goes for all computers.

    I'm gathering that you have a new computer with 8 on it, and you want to downgrade to windows 7 in order to get the stuff on this spare HDD (taken out of another Windows 7 computer) to work. It won't work like that. It only works if you match up the spare HDD with the same computer you removed it from originally (where you actually installed the software).

    If I got it wrong, let me know.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 146
    Windows 8 Pro


    Why not dual boot....Easybcd free enables you to do this....On starting your computer you get the choice of either W8 or W7.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 3
    Windows 8.1 x64


    I was thinking that there. I complete blanked out about that. Might be an option. Cheers.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by Chaos View Post
    I was thinking that there. I complete blanked out about that. Might be an option. Cheers.
    Note: If that Windows 7 drive came from an another PC set-up which I doubt it is, you cannot use it as a second boot option on your new PC setup since it is a different set of hardware. Thus, you might still need to do a fresh install of Windows 7 if you want to dual boot on your new PC build.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    If your old PC still works fine, you can boot it and run "Sysprep" and prepare the "Windows 7" to work on completely different hardware. You will find a detailed tutorial here - Windows 7 Installation - Transfer to a New Computer - Windows 7 Help Forums

    Then connect the old HDD to the new machine and check whether it boot and works fine ( make sure to disconnect the new HDD with "Win 8" ). You may need to enable "legacy/CSM" mode in new PC's BIOS ( if it is disabled by default ) in order for "Win 7" to boot. If everything looks good, download and run "Windows 8.1 Upgrade Assistant" from the below link.

    Upgrade Assistant: FAQ - Windows Help

    The upgrade assistant will scan all your programs and will let you know which of the already installed programs are compatible with "8.1".




    If your old games are listed as compatible, you can upgrade the "Windows 7" installation to "8.1" safely using the "8.1" installation media you already have and use your legal key to activate.

    Upgrade Install to Windows 8 or Windows 8.1

    Make sure to select "Keep Windows settings, Personal files and Apps" to successfully migrate your old games to new "8.1" install.

    Last edited by Anshad Edavana; 16 May 2014 at 01:36.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    If the Windows 7 was an OEM install it's not transferable to a new PC, not according to the EULA anyway. You'll likely have activation issues when moved to the new hardware.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Adding second HDD, has Windows 7 on it to Windows 8.1 PC
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