exe is not a valid win32 application after copying to a new hard drive in windows xp

exe is not a valid win32 application after copying to a new hard drive in windows xp.
after i copied my OS to a new hard drive all the software that i saved and cannot download again comes up with this error--- exe is not a valid win32 application!!!    i really need help on tis because i cannot get this software again. i have about 10 programs that i can't open because of this.i
'm using dell xps400 with windows xp media center edition.
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KCTSConnect With a Mentor Commented:
This is undoubtedly because the program and/or its associated DLLs etc are either incomplete or not registered.

You can't just copy programs from one disk to another and expect them to work - its a lot more complicated that that, as well as the files in the program files folder there may well be associated "common" files, run-times, DLLs and registry entries that the installation program copies and registers.

The only way you are going to get these to work is to find the original media and install them again
William ElliottSr Tech GuruCommented:
i am assuming that you can open some applications?

possibly these applications ned their associated registry settings.
possibly re-registering the applications or the dll's associated with the applications will resolve the issues.

William ElliottConnect With a Mentor Sr Tech GuruCommented:
this all depends on the applications,,.. although i agree the optimal solution would be to reinstall the application, depending on the actual program will determine the difficulty of re-assembling the program's needs.

assuming that all the files are there, many applications will work with minor registrations of dlls or creation of registry keys. especially if the application were mere downloads
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lauchangkwangConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I have 1 idea to test it out but not so sure whether it can works in your situation, but you can have a try since you are in the end of the way before reinstall the software (since you said cannot get this software back again) .......

Go to C:\Program Files\ (the software name folder) ........ then try to find the exe file in there, copy them then paste into C:\WINDOWS\system32 .... (MAKE SURE YOU WRITE DOWN THE EXE FILE YOU COPIED IN CASE IT DOESN'T HELP so you can DELETE IT from C:\WINDOWS\system32) ......... You may NEED to remove the files that you copied into C:\WINDOWS\system32 after you think it won't help, so this idea is not 100% that will solve your problems, but there have some possibilities in ...... Good luck !!!
What programs are we taking about here ?
burrcmConnect With a Mentor Commented:
<<after i copied my OS to a new hard drive>> how? You must use an imaging program such as Ghost, Drive Snapshot, etc. What did you use? If you did use a suitable program, try a repair install - use your XP disk and proceed as if to do a clean installation, but just before starting the installation, take the option to repair the found XP installation. If you didn't use such a program for the transfer, start again.

Chris B
davekuharAuthor Commented:
well, i went back to my old hard drive for now,,,, i was lucky that i saved the old drive.  i used  western digital life guard software to copy drive. programs like adobe reader will not work.. i guess the best thing  to do is to try again! i never had any trouble copying hard drive before.
 the icon's changed to a funny looking box. does that help?
William ElliottSr Tech GuruCommented:
adobe reader you can download for free,..
(=..=) ........................
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