Swap an HD loaded w/ xp from one system to another? [Archive] - Glock Talk


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11-15-2005, 23:58
I currently run an old pentium 1 Dell system. I have a legit/registered copy of xp pro for an os, and of course all my data files on the HD in this machine.

I recently picked up a pentium III machine (gateway) with more memory, better graphics card, but no HD.

Can I simply pull the HD out of my current machine and put it in the pentium III machine with no problems? Or will xp choke because all the stuff (processor, mb, vid card etc) is different?


11-16-2005, 00:25
nope, can't do it.

The motherboard drivers, as well as the other device drivers, will be way off.

11-16-2005, 05:36
You can try ti reinstall windows without formating. I suggest,back your stuff up and format tho.

11-16-2005, 08:41
Only once have I been able to move a HD from one computer to another. Youíll probably have to do a repair install. It takes almost as long as a clean install if not longer. Itís pretty easy as long as you have your XP CD. Youíll probably have to reinstall all windows updates that arenít on the CD.

11-16-2005, 08:51
I have taken a HD from one machine and used it in another without problems several times but if memory serves me correctly the two machines have to have the same motherboard chipset. Eample, I have a Gateway and my brother has a Compaq and we can exchange HD's without any problems.

11-17-2005, 22:34
Deleted unneccessary derogatory comment.

I've recently moved drives between a couple of notebook PCs. One was XP Pro SP2. It had pretty much no problem, as XP is plug and play. It noticed pretty much all the hardware had suddenly changed, reconfigured itself, and was fine.

Moving a Win2k disk worked too, but Win2k was much more upset about all the hardware changes and ran in 16-color 640x480 VGA mode until I got proper video drivers installed.

As a last resort, if you have the media, just re-install. You'll have to call Microsoft to "clear your product key" so you can re-register the copy of windows and have access to windows update.

11-18-2005, 12:25
Edited by DWavs

If you want the system to work PROPERLY you will have to reload XP and the motherboard drivers.

unless the systems have identical motherboards.

11-20-2005, 09:40
Edited by DWavs

11-20-2005, 10:16
My system works just fine. Perhaps my move was simplified by the fact that it was a fresh install with minimal installed software. The issue was, I wanted XP installed on a notebook with no CD-ROM drive. I used another notebook with a CD-ROM drive as a surrogate, installed the drive and OS there, then moved the hard drive to the CD-less system.

Both were obviously single CPU systems, and actually from the same manufacturer, though different ages and signifigantly different as far as chipsets and built-in hardware.

11-20-2005, 10:32
Even a blind squirrel gets a nut sometimes.

Another words. Sometimes you get lucky.Other times, your S.O.L.

11-20-2005, 12:43
Well, I decided to give it a try, and it didn't work.

First I took my main hd which is loaded with all my programs, data files, xp pro etc out of the trusty old dell pentII 400mhz, and put it in the gateway pent III 750mhz. Locked up at the gateway intro screen. Once I finally got it to boot past the intro screen it went into the, "we apologize but windows has detected new hardware blah, blah, blah,". None of the options presented would get me anywhere.

Then I put the hd into a IBM/intel generic pentIII 1000mhz and got "cmos/gpnv checksum bad". No joy there either. Both the gateway and generic were running fine before the transplants, and hopefully will continue to after I put them back together this morning.

So, here I am back on my trusty old dell pentII with xp (thankfully at least this one still works).


11-20-2005, 15:25
Another difference (I'm guessing may have affected you), that I found while doing some more searching on the topic is that OEM versions of Windows XP (like what you'd get on/with a Dell or Gateway PC) are apparently much more locked down to the installed hardware than an XP bought on its own. I was using the latter. I'll have to remember to tell my notebook "you shouldn't be working."

IMO, such a thing should be fuel for a class action suit against MS. Did you pay for a license to run XP on that Dell PII-400, and only on that Dell PII-400? i.e. Such a restriction basically makes your Windows license disposible. Computers don't last forever, and even the ones that seem to end up obsolete and upgraded/replaced, usually after just a few years.

I know someone who had an OEM version of XP come on an IBM PC. After adding/removing a few external firewire HDs, XP got confused and decided it'd been moved to another PC and would no longer boot. The computer ended up getting shipped off to IBM to deal with the issue...and it was only days old.

11-21-2005, 13:50
I just got back in town from visiting one of my companyís satellite offices this past weekend. That particular office has 7 computers. All of them are nearly identical except for one. 6 of them are 1.6GHz Pentium 4s with a SIS chipset motherboard. The other one is a 1.7GHz Celeron with an Intel chipset motherboard. Since all of them are identical and will use the same setup/software, I decided to just clone the HDs. Everything went well except for that lone Celeron PC. I got a BSOD when it tried to enter windows. I was expecting it, so I just did a repair install, installed the drivers, and everything was OK. I also had to reinstall all of the windows updates that I had already installed on the other PCs, but that I knew that also. The install was done with a custom Windows XP Pro corp. CD that I have slipstreamed SP2 and a lot of the updates into.

Last week, I moved a loaded Windows 98 hard drive from 1 PC to another. 98 picked up on all of the hardware, but I had to install all of the drivers for the new motherboard.

I know that sometimes you can move a loaded Windows XP/2000 HD from 1 PC to another. Sometimes you canít. I think that it has a lot to do with the motherboards/chipsets. I donít think that Windows XP/2000 likes a lot of hardware changes. As a matter of fact if you change enough hardware on an OEM/Retail version of XP, it will ask you to reactivate.

11-26-2005, 21:56
Pyblood used the operative words: Repair Install.

I frequently load images for several types of P4 mobos, and the first thing I do after installing the image is run a repair install, and have never had a problem.

12-01-2005, 07:13
Will a repair install leave non OS data on the Hard Drive untouched ?

12-01-2005, 08:22
Originally posted by Nigel_C
Will a repair install leave non OS data on the Hard Drive untouched ?

Yes it will. It will leave all documents and programs intact. You'll have reinstall any windows updates that aren't already on the CD.

12-01-2005, 08:29
Sorry if that seems like a Hijack.. but having an issue that may require an XP repair.
Thanks for answering the question, it's good to know all my Apps and Data should be fine. I have no probs reinstalling updates on the OS as long as I can recover all the family Pictures...Yeah Yeah.. I'll get to that backup....