How can I safely transfer the OS, data, and programs to a new desktop?


Active Member
I'm going to spend some money and update my hardware. My current desktop PC is 10 years old and is increasingly frustrating me, particularly on audio quality (e.g. the "low resources" error message on Zoom calls.); the speed of loading and using some programs (I use Photoshop a lot.) and the speed of loading web pages.

My kit at the moment is:

  • intel core i5-2310 2.9 GHz;
  • Crucial 1TB MX500 SSD (The OS and programs are on this);
  • Hitachi 1TB HDD (My data files including photographs are on this);
  • Toshiba 1TB external SSD (I back up to this);
  • Board: Foxcom H61 MXV/-LE/H67MXV;
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT520 graphics card (paired 1,024 MB DDR3 memory);
  • 16 Gb of RAM.

I will probably have a look at the refurbished desktop market first but I would consider putting new components into my case as well. The Crucial SSD is a relatively new purchase so I will hang on to that should I abandon my old kit.

  1. How can I readily transfer over the OS, data, and programs (including things like Outlook and Outlook archives) to a new (refurbished) system?
  2. How can I ensure that my current HDD does not have any data left on it? I was thinking of financial or legal-related material.
  3. If I opt for a refurbished system I may try and recycle the old case and components. No room to store it here and it just becomes clutter so how can I clean it of personal data?

Any advice on data/OS/program transfer or possibly upgrading my current system or what to watch out for if I go to the refurb market would be gratefully received.

I'm running Windows 10 Home x64 version 21H1, build 19043.1645 at the moment.
Last edited:


Active Member
1. Transferring your OS/SSD directly in to a "new" computer, will mostly depend on how recent the new computer is. Sticking with an Intel chipset and legacy BIOS should allow Windows to boot and download updated drivers for the new motherboard and compenents.

If upgrading to something more recent, you'll likely be using UEFI and will need to reinstall the OS. Which will also mean reinstalling and configuring all your applications.

For Outlook, if your mailbox is online with a copy of messages still saved online, you shouldn't need more than a client reinstall. Otherwise look at methods to backup your OST and PST and restore.

2. A 1TB HDD wouldn't be worth much if you were to try and sell it, so take a hammer to it.

3. Recycle without the HDD. Or boot from a live linux USB and run a disk wipe tool. I don't remember the last time I needed to use one, so can't recommend.


Distinguished Member
Windows 10's built in Reset function includes a secure wipe option, it's called something like 'fully clean my drive' so if the PC stays fully intact then you can simply use that.

If you end up using your SSD for the new machine right away then you can get secure wipe tools. You don't need to muck about with bootable ones for a data drive, they're only if you're wiping the system drive. You'd just connect the HDD to your new computer and wipe it using a windows application.

You can clone your current install to different hardware but it's not entirely certain to work. While I hear it's pretty reliable these days, as you're got software issues on the current install I'd start with a new windows install, reinstall the programs you use and transfer your data over.

The latest video from AVForums

Samsung S95B QD-OLED Review - A Quantum Leap for OLED!
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom