Purchased new hardware & MS Vista will not boot.

Posted on 2011-02-23
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I purchased an old Gateway computer.  The CPU/Motherboard/Memory are fried.

I've build a new box and moved the old Gateway HDD (Vista) to the new box.

I get a screen indicating new hardware it asks to insert the Vista CD.  Unfortunately, the CD did not come with the Gateway.     Additionally, I can choose to boot, safe mode, last profile, with or w/o networking, etc.  Vista barely begins to boot and it looks like a Blue-Screen-of-Death flashes and then reboots.  On the Gateway box are all the stickers authorizing Vista.  But stickers on the Gateway box does not help!!

How can I legally fix this problem when I don't have the Vista install CD?

Question by:IT79637
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LVL 15

Accepted Solution

Ian Meredith earned 336 total points
ID: 34965742
The problem your experiencing is related to the hardware you have replaced.

With Windows XP/Vista/7, if you change hardware (motherboard/CPU) you render your Windows installation inoperable.
Windows ties itself to the hardware that closely that if you change 1 or 2 bits of hardware your unable to boot Windows again.

You will need to get a copy of XP/Vista/7 and perform a fresh install - there is no alternative.
LVL 96

Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 1000 total points
ID: 34965745
I don't think you'll like my comment....

Actually, you need to buy a new copy of Vista (or preferrably Windows 7).  The copy that came with the Gateway is OEM - that is licensed for use ONLY on the hardware it was first installed on.  Once that hardware dies, the license dies as well.
LVL 96

Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 1000 total points
ID: 34965776

Vista and Win7 are MUCH more forgiving than XP.  I have (using retail copies) transferred my Win 7 install from a Gigabyte Motherboard to an MSI motherboard and had ZERO problems (well, other than DRM since the DRM info from my Media Center Recordings no longer matched the DRM generated by the new hardware config).  

In my experience (including deployment of images built on a laptop to numerous other types of devices), Win7 and (by extension since there is similar deployment technology under the hood) Vista are as a general rule compatible across hardware and swapping a disk should work 80% of the time.  XP, on the other hand, is FAR more sensitive and if you're not swapping to an identical chipset, you can expect failure 80% of the time.
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LVL 79

Assisted Solution

arnold earned 332 total points
ID: 34965831
retail version is different from the Vendor Specific OEM version.
XP is actually more forgiving given you can do a repair install which windows 7 does not offer.
Another caviate for XP is that you have the drivers for the various components. (F6) Or have a slipstream version (nliteos.com) of the OS disk where the drivers are incorporated/inscluded in the install media.
LVL 96

Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 1000 total points
ID: 34965883
I can't remember the last time I did a repair install - to me, they are unnecessary - recover the registry manually as files RARELY get corrupt - and when they do, SFC Scan Now.  So I don't miss it nor do I think of it.

You can integrate drivers into Vista and Win7 using the WAIK (and possibly vLite - though I've never tried vLite).

Actually the VENDORS make the edition specific.  There VERY LITTLE different if the vendors don't muck around.  But I don't see the point to debating hardware changes using OEM installs since you CANNOT move them anyway.

Assisted Solution

__ST earned 332 total points
ID: 34966692
The key word here is "legally".  If the only thing surviving from the Gateway PC is the hard drive then it is a new PC in terms of licensing; the OEM edition of WIndows is no longer valid.

You should buy a copy of WIndows.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 34972520
Was the solution complete?  Oh yes, painfully so (LOL).

Thanks for all your comments.

Llooks like my next install on the new box will be Ubuntu.  It's free!

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