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Moving Windows XP from one PC (or motherboard) to another

Posted on 2013-10-27
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Last Modified: 2013-11-20
I am in the process of switching all the PCs in my small scientific consulting business from Windows XP Pro SP3 to a Linux-based OS (Ubuntu 12.04).  Since I still have mission-critical applications that won't work or won't work well under Linux, I am setting up each PC as dual-boot Linux/Win XP.  This works very nicely for PCs where I have the original Win XP CDs.  However, I have run into problems where I have had to replace defective motherboards.  All data files are in secure off-site storage so I can start with clean hard drives if necessary.

John
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Question by:cigtoxdoc
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by:cwstad2
ID: 39603953
if its a different motherboard then you may have to reinstall the OS as it will have a different HAL
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 39603967
The replaced motherboards will be a critical issue if your XP licences are OEM and you're US-based as the OS is licensed only for the original motherboard or one provided as a warranty replacement by the OEM manufacturer.  If you have retail or VLK licences and the matching media then you should have no problem reinstalling.  A clean install allowing dual partitions for XP and Linux with a third-party boot manager or Grub would be the easiest but if you repair the XP installation using the correct XP media that will fix the HAL compatibility issues and then you'll need to use a partition manager to resize the XP partition unless you are intending to boot Linux from a second hard drive.
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Author Comment

by:cigtoxdoc
ID: 39604024
Let me check that on a PC that does not have a SATA drive.  When Win XP was in vogue, I purchased a full (not OEM) installatiion CD.  The PC I used it on and motherboard are went out with the trash a long time ago.  I also have a generic OEM installation CD.  For the PC with the SATA drive, I have to slipstream the SATA drivers into a CD to get things started.

John
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by:ThomasMcA2
ID: 39604065
Why do you need the original XP CDs? Just install Linux, and select the dual-boot options in the setup. It should manage the partitions for you (i.e., shrink the XP partition, make a new partition out of the emptied space, install Linux into that new partition, and install a boot manager {called Grub} to manage which partition to boot from.)
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by:Scott Thompson
ID: 39604148
For the most part, as long as you have the Product key for each one and a Windows XP disc, you can do an in-place upgrade or repair installation. The nice thing about XP is even if the system does not boot due to switching the motherboard, you can install XP from the disc, it will find your previous installation, and you can choose to repair it. This will keep the programs and files intact while replacing Windows and re-recognizing the hardware.
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Author Comment

by:cigtoxdoc
ID: 39604206
Thank you for your reply.  This is to answer the question about the original CDs.  from the school of hard knocks, I know I need to get the XP side working and then get the Linux installed.  We have four of six PCs including a DELL VOSTRO 3500 working correctly doing it that way.  In the other two cases, the Linux is there on one hard drive and the XP needs to be reinstalled on the other on account of the HAL issued mentioned cwstad2.
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 39604246
You can still fix the HAL issue using your retail XP CD - if you're installing to a SATA drive you may want to either switch the controller over in the BIOS or use a CD which has the SATA drivers slipstreamed.  If you use the repair/re-installation option (i.e. go through the installation process until it detects the previous XP installation on the hard drive but then ask the installer to repair rather than create a new installation) you've your best chance of keeping the existing XP install as fully functional but also changing the HAL to recognise the new hardware.  You'll end up with a retail version of XP replacing whatever licence was previously present.
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Author Comment

by:cigtoxdoc
ID: 39607143
Progress to date.  The emachines T3265 that I have purchased used came back to life on Win XP side (already working on a HDD with Ubuntu) when I reformatted the second hard drive with my Win XP Pro SP2 CD-ROM, upgraded to SP3, and then got the correct nVidia video and Ethernet drives from a package I downloaded from driversguide.com.  One down, one to go.  The second PC has Win XP Pro SP3 in a 80 GB partition in a Crucial 256 GB SSD.  The Win partition is /dev/sda1.   After doing some reading on the BSOD error messages, I recovered using a Dell Win XP Pro SP3 CD-ROM (from my laptop), went to the recovery console, and did a chkdsk /r.  That fixed errors and let me get into Safe Mode until MS decided that the XP on the SSD was no longer activated.  I attempted some of the bypass tricks given on the Internet to extend the activation, but they did not work.

What is the best way to get the 30-day delay back in the system so I can load the correct drivers for the motherboard (have CD-ROM) so the I can get to the Internet to do the validation?

John
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 39607186
The Dell XP install on non-Dell hardware won't validate even if you get online.  In my last post I explained that if you repair with a retail version of XP you end up with a retail installation.  You've done the same thing but with the Dell CD so the install has a Dell OEM licence with SLP looking for a Dell BIOS.

Explained further here
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Author Comment

by:cigtoxdoc
ID: 39607206
I only used the Dell CD to run chkdsk /r.  Original install was with another XP install many moons ago.  The XP got on the SSD using the cloning CD-ROM that comes with the Crucial SSD.  So, my question remains, how to get the activation problem.

John
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 39608530
Rearming the 30 day activation grace period on XP depends on its installation state but your best bet is to try:

rundll32.exe syssetup,SetupOobeBnk
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Author Comment

by:cigtoxdoc
ID: 39617942
Thank you to all for your assistance.  Right now only solution appears to be to purchase a retail copy of Win XP SP3.  Any good sources that will deliver the real thing?
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Accepted Solution

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cigtoxdoc earned 0 total points
ID: 39651767
I purchased a copy of Win XP Pro SP3 on ebay from ms-experts.  Basically, that firm sells you the SP2 retail package, plus an install disk that contains everything you need including SATA drivers and SP3.  Installation validated with Microsoft and passed Windows Genuine Advantage.

This problem is solved.

John
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Author Closing Comment

by:cigtoxdoc
ID: 39662040
Only took enough brains and cash to get what I needed on ebay.
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