Moving data disks from one computer to another is a task that should be carried out with caution. If a volume becomes corrupted in the process then you may not be able to recover you data, hence, treat such operation as sensitive and take the necessary precautions.
Follow these steps when moving disks form one computer to another:
- Backup your critical data to another drive or external medium.
- Make sure that the status of the volumes on the disk is healthy – check the Status column or disk layout from the Disk Management console, repair volumes before proceeding with the move!
- From the Device Manager, open the disk drives node and select the disk you are removing, right-click the disk and click Uninstall, finally click Ok to the Confirm Device Removal dialog box – if you have multiple disks installed and some are of the same brand and model, then use the Location info ex: Location 1 (Channel 0, Target 1, Lun 0) to determine which disk is the right one
- You may right-click a dynamic disk and click Remove Disk from the Disk Management console if the disk you are moving is dynamic
- Disconnect the disk by turning off the computer and physically remove the disk- if the disk is external you can power it off and unplug it
- Install or plug the disk into the destination computer – complete the Found New Hardware process
- From the destination computer open Disk Management and click Rescan disks from the menu item Action
- Right click the newly installed disk marked as Foreign, and click Import Foreign disk – complete the import foreign disk procedure
The newly installed disk volumes take the next available drive letters when the disk is basic while volumes on a dynamic disk retain their drive letters. A dynamic volume without a drive letter prior to the move would not receive a drive letter on the destination computer. On the other hand, if the assigned drive letter already exists on the destination computer then it would take the next available one. If you are moving spanned, striped, mirrored or RAID-5 volumes, make sure that you move all disks of the group at the same time.