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Moving an XP Hard  Drive from one PC to another

Posted on 2002-04-23
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I have XP installed on an Intel Pentium III machine. I have purchased a new Athlon 1900 PC. THe Athlon PC did not come with a hard drive. I want to move my hard drive from my old Intel PC to my new Athlon PC without losing any data, files, programs, etc.

What problems will I have if I simply try to put the old XP hard drive into the new PC.

Thank you,

TOm
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Question by:tomhouck
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by:sorgie
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it is possible but may take some tweaking. Before you shutdown the computer for the last time go into the registry. REGEDIT from the start run command, open the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE folder and delete the ENUM folder. This will delete all yourhardware entries. when you install it in your new machine it will look for all your hardware, you will need the drivers for thehardware in your new box
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by:CrazyOne
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Take a look at this
How to Move a Windows XP Installation to Different Hardware
http://support.microsoft.com/search/preview.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q314070


The Crazy One
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by:tomhouck
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Thanks, but I do not think this information answers my situation. I just want to move my hard drive from the exisitng Intel PC to a new Athlon PC which does not have a hard drive.
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by:CrazyOne
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Actually tom I think it does. The problem is with Win 2000 and XP you just can't move the HD over to another computer. You have to do a lot things in preperation before you can get it to work. If you just plug the HD in the new machine XP probably won't boot. Mainly because the hardware is different and in this case the mother board and processor will be different and these differences are pretty major as far as XP is concerned. With Win98 you could delete the hardware related stuff from the registry and then move the HD but with XP this doesn't work.
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by:CrazyOne
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What I am trying to point out is that moving your HD to another machine is not going to be an easy task.

Disk duplication. Using Sysprep to prepare images for disk duplication allows you to copy fully installed systems onto similar hardware. Sysprep modifies the local computer Security ID (SID) so that it is unique to each computer.
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/using/itpro/deploying/introduction.asp
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by:enbee
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I think you have to install a new XP, because of the hardware identification. You can change only 2 (or 3?) hardware components under XP. Once i changed only a NIC and I have to reinstall. It has something to do with the product activation. XP is not good for hardware testing systems. Sysprep is needful when you have more PCs with identical hardware and you have a master image (Ghost cloning).
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by:cjdewitt
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The easiest way is to use the File and Transfer Settings wizard to capture your current data and settings.  Move the file that is created to a different location.  Then reinstall xp on the new machine and use the File and transfer settings wizard to restore your old configuration and files.
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by:centerv
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>>What problems will I have ...>>
Perhaps none or perhaps many, so therefore I would not attempt anything without a full backup.

You could plug in the drive and xp recognize the new hardware and load it and that's the end of it.
That's likely if most of the hardware in the 2 PCs are similar.

The same could happen with very different hardware, you'll get prompted to reactive xp and put a call into MS.

You could be totally locked out of the new PC.

So, unless you want to reload all, BACKUP your drive first.
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by:almnjoy20
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I agree with centery find a way to do a backup.  I clone machines all the time.  I have cloned an OS from an intel machine and successfully installed the image on an AMD driven computer.  Do two things.  
  1. run sysprep.  Sysprep will prepare the OS to run as if you were booting the computer for the first time.  It looks for hardware and all that fun stuff, but you don't lose your settings.  Though you're not cloning this machine if you run a sysprep, shutdown, and boot with the HD in the new machine it should detect the new hardware.  MS says the hardware has to be "compatible."  Again I've had a high success rate.  However you really should backup your data.  There are instances where it doesn't work.
  2. Once sysprep is finished running, before you rebood, delete all installed drivers.  this will lessen the chances of conflicts with hardware installed in the new computer.
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by:hnminh
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The only thing you should care is that if the old BIOS and the new BIOS will recongize you hard disk with exactly the same HD physical parameters (cylinders, heads, sector etc...). So backup is alway a wise move in this case!

Then i would simply take the HD and plug it in the new box! The first boot will be extremly long since the OS have to rescan all hardware of the new box, from mainboard chipset to every pluged-in card. Intel and Althon, they are both x86 compatible with each other. To me, only sorgie give me some sence but I will use Device Management to remove all hard listed, as much as possible, rather than mess up with Regedit!

In this case, what should I care about SID since the old box, without a HD wont exist on the network, if there is a network?!?!
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by:centerv
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The removal of the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Enum folder from the
registry in win98 is an excellent way to move a drive from
one machine to another.
I'm sure that feature did not get lost to MS in redesigning XP.
In my last check of the xp registry, the hardware was scattered over many areas
and not in a nice neat package as the Enum folder.
That certainly would have defeated the purpose of the registration protection effort.
Since the machine you're using and the new one are up to date, I would venture a strong opinion that the bios is also up to date.

What I sense here tom, is that you wish to plug in the old drive in the new machine without expanding any more cash or time and effort, and have all working perfectly.
That should work in a perfect world, I think.

In this case, I stongly suggest that you purchase, if you don't already have one, another drive similar to existing, clone from the original, and use it to test your new machine.
Good luck.
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by:CrazyOne
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Yeah Cent having a second HD is what I was trying to hint at but didn't say it out load. :>)

The problem that some folks are missing here is that there is a thing called the HAL which is compiled in a dll. The hardware info and SID are not just housed in the registry anymore, the hal.dll is part of the deal and can't easily by bypassed. That is the reason for my first post to point out that one needs to do things to be able to move an XP installation from one machine to another. I also pointed out to use the SysPrep utility because that is its function, which is to prepare moving the XP installaion from one machine to another.

By just moving the HD to the other machine XP will probably choke just on the fact that the mother boards and the CPU are completely different. They will have different check sums and serial numbers not to mention probably a different bus architecture and few other gotyas and for XP these are consider major hardware changes. I know by experience that it will only be pure luck to take a HD from one machine and plug into another machine with Win2000 or XP installed on it and have bootup into the OS.

The first link I posted outlines how to move a current XP installation from one machine to another. One of the things it mentions is to use NTBackup as way not only for backing up the current installation but how to use it to preprare for it to be installed onto another machine. It outlines what one needs to do step by step. It sort of implies that a second HD is part of the mix.

How to Move a Windows XP Installation to Different Hardware  
http://support.microsoft.com/search/preview.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q314070


>>>In this case, what should I care about SID

You have no choice in this. It has very little or nothing to do with networking. Since the SID is contructed partly based on your hardware and this hardware isn't going to be a match on the new machine so XP will see that the SID probably is incorrect and will probably not boot.

BTW hnminh are you also tomhouck? If so it is against EE policy to have more than one account and by having more than one account can lead to one having all EE accounts terminated. If you are using more then one account I would suggest contacting Community Support and inform them about this.
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by:hnminh
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What made you think so, CrazyOne? No, I'm not tomhouck! Maybe my words sound like his but I'm Minh, leaving in Vietnam and not that tomhouck guy! Have a good day :)
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by:centerv
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Hi again Crazy
I've moved an xp install to another machine, very similar,
using Ghost to save  and load the image, with just the
message that xp had found new hardware and was installing it.
All without any further itch.
How much will xp take? No idea at this point.
I'm sure I'll run into it, propably sooner than later.
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by:CrazyOne
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Sorry hnminh it was just the way your comment was worded it look as if you were tomhouck.


>>>To me, only sorgie give me some sence but I will use Device Management to remove all hard listed, as much as possible, rather than mess up with Regedit!

In this case, what should I care about SID since the old box, without a HD wont exist on the network, if there is a network?!?!
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by:CrazyOne
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Hi Cent I did a simalar thing as you did. But first I tried to just hook the HD from my old machine into the new machine and the OS wouldn't boot. I don't remember if I got a blue screen or not. But I did get an error message of some kind. So I tried doing a Repair and that didn't work. So I took another HD and did a fresh install of the OS onto it and then after it was finished I slaved the the HD from the old machine to the new installation HD and used Ghost to pull over the old installation and that worked. The thing is most tech shops and OEM vendors as well as MS will say that pulling the a HD from one machine and plugging into anohter machine generally won't work. I have tried several times and it hasn't worked yet anyway. :>)

But I am curious to if tomhouck has tried anything yet. What ever method you try tomhouck it would be careless not to backup your current installation before trying do the migration. You never know what is going to happen and the possibility exists that you could end up loosing what is already on the disk.
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CrazyOne earned 200 total points
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Install a new motherboard in a Windows 2000/XP system.
http://68.5.36.155:81/artUpgrade2000.asp

This one is a rather interesting read.
Swapping Motherboards Under Windows XP
http://www.extremetech.com/print_article/0,3428,a=23979,00.asp

Error After You Move the Windows XP System Disk to Another Computer
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;q314082
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by:tomhouck
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I ended up not moving the old WIN98 hard drive to the new XP machine. I simply upgraded the Win98 hard drive to XP Home with an "Upgrade" version. I then bought a new hard drive and installed the XP Home (for new PC's) on it. Everything works fine connected as a network.

Tom Houck
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by:theajon
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I had a similar issue.  I went from AMD to a P4. I wanted to use my 60Gig hard drive but when I moved it XP would not boot up.  Go to Microsoft Web site(http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=http://support.microsoft.com:80/support/kb/articles/q310/9/94.asp?ID=310994&NoWebContent=1
) and download XP boot disk.  You will need 6 floppies.  Follow Microsofts instructions. Then when all 6 have been loaded put your XP cd in and select install.  You are given a choice of option to fix a current installation of XP or install new. Select the Fix XP.  Make sure you have your product key because you will need it.  When the fix is done you'll have all your information and be able to update your drivers.  
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