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How can I place my old hard drive into my new computer and run my applications w/o reinstalling them?

Posted on 2011-02-19
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hello Experts,

My old HP computer's motherboard has died, but the HD seems to be working fine (I placed it into an external HD mounting kit).  My dilemma - I have many applications installed on the HD, but do not have the original installation disks.  The old HP system was running Windows XP Pro and was built around the year 2000.  Is there any way that I can transfer this hard drive (or the apps) to a new computer and have it recognize the installed apps?  Is there some software I can purchase that would help with this process or am I destined for major system errors by installing this HD in a new PC?

Thanks so much for your advice.

Mike
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Question by:jumptohigh
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10 Comments
 
LVL 4

Accepted Solution

by:
kloux earned 125 total points
ID: 34933417
Check out this link.  This might be able to create your hard drive volume from your old PC to a virtual machine.  If you can do that you could run Microsoft Virtual PC on your new computer and run your old machine to access all you programs.

I wouldn't put that hard drive in a newer machine.  The drivers would be your biggest problem.  The installation from you old computer would freak out.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/ee656415.aspx
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LVL 62

Assisted Solution

by:☠ MASQ ☠
☠ MASQ ☠ earned 250 total points
ID: 34933423
This works pretty well but won't move everything http://www.laplink.com/pcmover/pcmover.html
You also need to be aware that any OEM software supplied by HP (including Windows) is licensed only to be used with the original system board so you'll need new licenses for those components cannot be legally transferred.  See http://www.experts-exchange.com/A_3721.html for details of this and how Windows is set up to prevent you switching motherboards on OEM installations.
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:andreizz
ID: 34933424
If you plug your old hdd in your new computer it will see the files just as files and not as installed software. This happens because installed programs store their info in the Windows Registry(regedit to access it) and the old registry is accesible only if you boot from the old hdd.
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Author Comment

by:jumptohigh
ID: 34933526
Klux, Masqueraid, andreizz - Thanks for your input!

Kloux, where would  I get MS Virtual PC?

Also, I have a copy of VMWare, could that do the same thing?

Thanks again,
Mike
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LVL 62

Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 34933534
VMWare has it's own imaging system. The .VHD creator linked to above works with Virtual PC
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:kloux
ID: 34933539
Using this tool to create the image I would first download and install Microsoft Virtual PC.
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/download.aspx

If that works you can convert to VMWare at this link.
http://www.vmware.com/products/converter/
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:kloux
ID: 34933544
You may only be able to use Virtual PC now that I am looking further into it.

That second link seems like it will only convert from physical.
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Author Comment

by:jumptohigh
ID: 34933555
Great, thanks kloux...

Am I correct that I need Windows 7 to use MS Virtual PC?  Unfortunately I only have win XP Pro...

Thanks,
Mike
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LVL 62

Assisted Solution

by:☠ MASQ ☠
☠ MASQ ☠ earned 250 total points
ID: 34933557
... however  from that link : "Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 installed by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) using OEM versions of these products may not be transferred to a virtual hard drive in accordance with Microsoft licensing terms."

Nor are they likely to work anyway as the BIOS SLP codes on the VHD won't match.

(You can use VPC on any system that supports it - it's included as XP Mode in some Windows 7 installs)
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LVL 23

Assisted Solution

by:edbedb
edbedb earned 125 total points
ID: 34934762
As long as the new computer is licensed for XP I would just move the drive to the new system.

There might be a problem getting it to start the first time but it is easily fixed with UBCD4Win. You can get what you need to build an UBCD4Win CD here.
http://www.ubcd4win.com/downloads.htm
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