I have a new windows 7 64bit machine. OS and all software already installed, running swell. But my old 32 bit xp machine has my big, monster file drive with all my music, pix etc. Can I just pop that file drive into the new box?
If the connections are the same, sure. If it is IDE and you now have SATA, no. And if you are talking about plugging it in and having XP work, No. You can buy adapters ect. If you just want your music and files from the old drive I would get the USB to IDE/SATA adapter that will allow you to use the old drive like any old external drive and copy over everything. You may want to store your media on an external drive so you don't have to worry about this in the future as well!
A couple questions: is the machine a tower? a desktop? or a compact machine? A.k.a does it have multiple hard drive bays? And what are you trying to do? If you switch the hard drives, then your machine will run 32 bit XP. If you have both of them in, and you have the two hard drives configured correctly (slave/master, etc) then you could dual boot, where you have the option to boot Win 7 or XP. If you dual boot, once you pick which HD to boot from, you should be able to access the other HDD from Explorer. Again, what are you trying to do? Your question is very general. Yes you could just pop it in there, but you also pop a small cat in there.. What are you trying to accomplish?
Yes for sure as a slave or secondary drive with full access you can move the music to a temp location then quick foprmat the drive once installed. Copy the music and data back after format and it will run a bit better.
There's a free program called "Search Everything". I use it every day on customers machines. I also use a tool (hardware) called IDE to SATA. You can plug in any IDE, SATA, or laptop drive into it and it will USB to your new PC. Easy
If you're worried about your music then I'd recomend getting an IDE (or sata) to USB adapter and pulling all the files you want off of the old drive. the one thing you can't move to the new machine is the software, due to the fact that most all software uses regestry entrys to aid in its config. but for music and image files, no prob.