SOLVED Swapping hard drives

Nov 22, 2017
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I have two desktop computers each with a SATA system SSD, a secondary HD and Windows 7 64-bit installed. I wanted to swap both the SSDs and the secondary HDs but decided to swap only the secondary HDs, not expecting to have any issues.

For both computers the changed secondary HD showed up in the BIOS, device manager and in Disk Manager (as 'foreign drive'), but did not appear in Windows Explorer. I looked for help on the internet but all that was offered meant losing data from the drives which I was not prepared to do of course. I simply abandoned my attempt, returned the drives to their original positions and everything is now as before.

My question is whether re-installing Windows (and reinstalling apps) , or better repairing Windows, would have enabled changing of the secondary drives and the primary SSDs?


^ The World's First ^
May 10, 2010
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Unless you have the secondary HD set up as a continuation of your primary drive or as a clone of your primary drive (both options are a feature of RAID technology) then there would be very little issue swapping the secondary drives. Simply swap the drives & then go to disk manager, right click on the new drive, and simply assign it a drive letter such as E: or F:. Once it has a drive letter you should be able to see it in Windows Explorer.

Note: once you can see the files there you may find that everything there is read only because the system may see the files as created elsewhere and try to protect you. If so use something like Take Ownership to reassign ownership to your login on this particular computer.


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