Adding a Windows 95 hard drive to a Windows ME machine

Here is my problem: I have a Windows 95 machine and a Windows ME machine at my home. The Windows 95 computer has software and documents on it I don’t want to lose, and moving them all to my ME machine with floppies, or even a Zip drive, would be tedious and take more time than I have to spend on this project.

So I had a minor inspiration: Plug the 95’s hard drive into the ME’s spare hard drive space (it has one) and just use the ME machine as a dual-hard drive computer.

But I forsee a few problems. We all know how ‘helpful’ Microsoft can be. Would ME decide to ‘help’ me by formatting the 95 hard drive to be a blank ME drive? Would ME just refuse to access the 95 hard drive? Would the stupid computer try to boot from the 95 hard drive? I don’t want to lose that data. I think I see handfuls of floppies in my future, no matter what I do . . .

If the feat could be accomplished, where can I look for instructions? Could I just search for instructions on making a master and slave pair of hard drives? Or will it be more complex than that?

Thank you in advance.

I’m a dummy, so I can’t answer your question but… :wink:

Why not just use a network cable between the two to transfer everything? You can get a network card now for about 10 bucks.

It should work fine, assuming you are not using a INT13 translation overlay on the Win95 drive. If you don’t get a message like “Hold Space Bar to boot from Floppy drive” when the Win95 machine boots, you’re probably not running an overlay.

A CD-R or CD-RW drive would also be useful here and avoid opening the cases since it appears you are a little short on hands-on experience with drive installations.

I did a hard drive transplant putting a drive from a win95 OS into a win98 OS PC as a slave. The task involved pluging in the slave drive then going to setup and configuring bios to recognize the new drive. I never have had any problems with win98 reading from the slave drive. I am not saying that windows me won’t have any problems. One thing that was a problem was that the slave drive I am using says on its casing “Not intended for use as a slve drive” If yours is a Maxtor and says this I can tell you how to modify it. Good luck and don’t worry I had no idea what I was doing at the time and it was pretty simple.

Have done this before. ME will not re-format or re-configure the drive. Just make sure the 95 drive is not jumpered as a master drive if you intend to use the same IDE cable the master drive is on. Suggest you use 2nd IDE channel on a separate drive cable to prevent problems.

Simply make a directory and copy the entire 95 drive into that directory with windows explorer. After installing the drive run your BIOS drive identification sequence to make sure the drive is properly recognized before you allow ME to boot.

  1. make ME drive the Master (you must do this, its probably set to one drive system)
  2. Set the w95 hd to slave put the W95 drive in
  3. reset the bios to recognize them both
  4. get a program like SystemSuite 2000 that transfers complete programs & registry entries from one HD to another.

You should only do this for documents though, you really are putting too much risk if you transfer programs as going from w95 to ME is too big a jump for some of them. You can also just copy the 95 hd to your ME hd in its own directory.

If all you intend to do is transfer data (ie your documents and such) from the 95 drive to the ME drive, all ya need to do is add the drive in (as above, ensure if its sharing a IDE cable with another drive one is set to master, one to slave. It is not imporntant which drive is the master, or which is the slave, the active partition is chosen by the Fdisk program on your system. Most likely the current hard drive is set to master.) The computer’s BIOS will automatically recongise the system. Your computer will boot to windows ME because thats the active partition, and the other hard drive will appear as the D: in your system. Copy files to your hearts content, and then remove the drive.

Or use it as extra storage space. :slight_smile:

Thanks. I think I have my project for tomorrow or maybe the weekend. This should not take long at all.

You also gotta make sure that you take this into consideration. A lot of Win95 machines run FAT16, as opposed to WinME, which runs FAT32. You can run into all kinds of problems when trying to transfer a hdd to another operationg system. I would suggest a CD burner, or you could go the cheaper route, buy a couple network cards. This way you would only grab the data that you want, and you would be able to format that drive, and then run a dual-harddrive system as you mentioned earlier, only with a fresh, clean drive :wink:

There is a cable alternative to pulling boxes apart and transplanting drives. It’s a shareware program called the Fast PC Linker, which is as simple to use as Laplink.

When I procured the system I’m using at present (Win98), I needed to transfer a large amount of data from the old box (Win95). I attempted to use Direct Cable Connection, but soon found out what a head f*ck that was, and how Microsoft never realy explained how much additional driver and protocol installation is needed before it actually works.

So I ended up using Laplink for DOS, because I found a copy amongst my junk. The downside was that no long filenames could be used. After some thought about this, I did a search on file transfer utilities and found Fast PC Linker.

It couldn’t be simpler to use. Just hook up the two boxes with a cable, either serial-serial or parallel-parallel. When the program starts, it asks which box is the source, then establishes the link. Then it’s just a case of queing files and pumping them to a nominated target on the other drive.

It works happily between Win98 and Win95, so I can’t see why ME should be a problem.

The two different file systems will not pose a problem. The computer can read between, and pass files, the two drives, even if one is Fat16 and one is Fat32. If you do plan to use the 2nd HDD as extra storage space, I would refdisk it once you get everything off of it you need, and make it a fat32 partition.