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I have a local file/development server running Centos5. The box's hardware is getting quite old, but the drive is still usable. I have a few extra boxes with better hardware (cpu, motherboard, mem, etc) which aren't being used.

Could I simply stick the drive into the new box and will it run without any problems? Or do I need to do a new fresh installation of centos on a different drive?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

HDD transplantation will work. The only thing will be network cards. If you have more than one you'll have to identify which interface corresponds to which ethX device. If you identify them by MAC address, you'll have re-do network configuration.

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If your current kernel supports all the hardware in the newer systems, this will work more or less flawless, but if the age difference is considerable, you might run into a lot of trouble with unsupported hardware, including network, display adapter or even disk controllers.

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