We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Dead OEM motherboard and moving the programs to another computer.

bvalvarez asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-03

One of my OEM computer's motherboard died last night. I have taken the hard drive out (it has OEM XP Home on it) and installed it, as the slave, in another computer running XP Pro. All the files on the OEM drive are OK.

My question, does anyone know of a safe way to move some of the installed programs from the OEM hard drive to the C:\ (primary HD) hard drive? (Can not just reinstall because I don't have any of the original CDs.)

I have looked at LapLink's PC Mover, but according to its documentation, it will only work when moving from one "live" machine to another.

I've also found a shareware program "Application Mover" but have not been able to locate any reviews of the software. Has anyone here ever used it? It sounds like it will only work on the working machine's registry. In other words, it looks at the current registry on the XP Pro C: drive in this case, for the references to the installed software and of course the references are only on the OEM hard drive's registry.

As most of you already know, replacing the OEM motherboard will make XP very unhappy and probably screw up some of the files on the OEM drive, so that too is not acceptable.

Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Thanks, BVA
Watch Question

Top Expert 2012

Are running WinXP or Win2K?  Why don't you ghost a copy of the hard drive and then try to do a repair install on the copy?  You might be able to bring the system up without much trouble, which would save a lot of time.



 I see what Callandor is saying.  FIRST, make a backup of your HDD (using Ghost to Clone works great).  If you want your old HDD with WinXP Home booting your other PC, you can try installing it as Master/Primary IDE.  Then, use your OEM CD-ROM for WinXP Home to run a repair of the OS.  I think your WinXP Pro install disk will repair the WinXP Home OS, as well.  
  Skip the first repair option, and let the install disk find the old OS.  Then choose the repair option.  
  If this gets Win XP Home OS booting, you will probably still need to load drivers for the hardware.  
  Since you may not be able to connect to the internet until they get loaded, you should download them before the switch or get out the OEM Driver CD.  I like to download them fresh from the manufacturer.  This is a good time to flash your BIOS, as well.
  You could also try setting your PC to dual boot.  WinXP Pro booting on one drive and WinXP Home booting on the other.



Like I said in my question above:
"One of my OEM computer's motherboard died last night. I have taken the hard drive out (it has OEM XP Home on it) and installed it, as the slave, in another computer running XP Pro. All the files on the OEM drive are OK."

If that is not clear, then I'll try again. The "dead motherboard" machine was running an OEM version of XP Home SP2. The machine I want to move the software/programs to is a clone with an Intel MB and P4 CPU that has XP Pro SP2 installed.

And, BTW I did not mention that I had CasperXP running on the dead machine (before it died) that made a full backup of the C: drive each night onto an identical extra hard drive that was installed on the second IDE bus. So I have two hard drives with all of the original files in tack.

The problem is that the OEM version of XP Home will NOT boot up except on the original motherboard that is no longer being made. And I have checked ebay, google, the manufacture, and the store where the computer was purchased with no luck finding a replacement.

Again, my main question is; does anyone know of a program or a method that will retrieve the software/programs/registry settings from the OEM hard drive (it is still working) and allow them to  be moved to another hard drive on a machine running XP Pro?

And again, I understand that LapLink's program "PC Mover" see: http://www.laplink.com/products/pcmover/overview.asp will do exactly this, but ONLY from one working machine to another.


This machine did not come with an OEM CD for the OS, nor for any of the programs that came with the machine. Instead there is a hidden partition on the HD that is use for recovery when you have a corrupted hard drive...which I don't. I have two hard drives, one original and one total backup (cloned). You see the hard drive(s) is not the problem, the problem is that neither will not boot on just any motherboard, they will only boot if one is connected to an identical model of the original motherboard.

Thanks, any other ideas?
Top Expert 2012

You didn't mention that you didn't have a copy of the WinXP Home CD - I thought you were talking about the program CDs; most people have (or ought to have) a copy of the OS CD.  Unfortunately, I don't have any suggestions other than the repair install.
xp only needs the motherboard to be close not identical, for most motherboards that are no longer being made we can probably find a model with same bios and chipsets etc etc.

please post motherboard manufacturer and type, If you have a motherboard manual listing chipset types on board even better examples Via, ALi.

you will then have 2 working pc,s, once that is complete install the drivers "assuming they are both ATX form factor motherboards with drivers for new easy to purchase board Asus etc, if a board dies in your pc you can quickly change out for new board,

Also some boards that have lots of intel chipset & very generic boards, have worked starting XP that previously had diffrent mobo, I hope this helps

Goodluck Mate



It is in an emachine model # T2240
You can see the specs at: http://parts.emachines.com/emachines/sys_lookup.asp  In the left-hand column under "System Lookup" use the drop down box and select T2240.

A call to emachine tech support informed me that the MB manufacture had gone out of business and they had ran out of replacements over a year ago. The tech said that none of their other model's MBs would work and instead, suggested that I go to ebay and buy a used machine in order to recover anything from the hard drive.

I found a few used machines that would cost around $200 to get one here, sometime next week ($159 + $35 S&H). This will take too long and $200 for a used "crapo" machine/MB is a bit high.  So if you can suggest another brand of MB that will closely match this one please let me know.

Thanks for all your help, BVA



Sorry for taking so long to reply, but it took a long time to get this problem solved.

The fix required putting the OEM hard drive in an older box with a "no name" AMD CPU mother board (that was not even close to the original Mob that had a Celeron CPU and Intel chip set).  Next we used a new Win XP CD (that had all the necessary drivers for the older MB) to install Windows again. This of course required reactivation through Micro$oft, but we were able to get to the special programs (that use expensive security certificates)  off the OEM hard drive. We transferred them to another newer machine using LapLink's program "PC Mover" see: http://www.laplink.com/products/pcmover/overview.asp

A costly and time consuming solution, but we were able to recover everything.

A hard lesson learned. This means I will NEVER again purchase another proprietary computer that will be used in a critical situation (like those built by e-machine, Dell, Gateway, etc. that use their own brand of Mobs).

From now on all of our mission critical machines will be built "in-house" using only mid-level Intel Mobs with no special parts (like on-board raid controllers, etc.) and only using standard IDE drives. And there will be daily duplications of the HDs (using simple clone software like CasperXP or Ghost).

As for the points I suggest they be split between callandor, whaupwit, elitehaxor, with each getting 150 points. I think it is fair to say they were all on the right track. But the real credit should go to one my IT guys (I have 3 full-timers working at our company, but they are all Unix/Linux experts, and they don't do windows) who finally got the old machine working with the OEM hard drive. He never told me exactly what he did, but knowing this guy's intricate knowledge of how hackers do their tricks, maybe I don't want to know.

Thanks again for all of your enthusiastic help, BVA
PAQed with points refunded (500)

Community Support Moderator

Not the solution you were looking for? Getting a personalized solution is easy.

Ask the Experts
Access more of Experts Exchange with a free account
Thanks for using Experts Exchange.

Create a free account to continue.

Limited access with a free account allows you to:

  • View three pieces of content (articles, solutions, posts, and videos)
  • Ask the experts questions (counted toward content limit)
  • Customize your dashboard and profile

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.