transferring HD from one PC to another

Hey all, new to the forums here...

I have an hard disk from my old PC (using Win98) that I want to transfer onto a new PC that is running Windows XP. Basically I want to know if I can just put the hard disk from my old PC straight into the new one with no problems...
Seeing that they both have different hardware setups, will the old hard disk just work?
And will it go into dual boot mode or something? not really sure?

Don't want to stuff up my old hard disk because I really need the programs that are still on it.

If anyone can help out, or has tried this before, I really appreciate the help

7 answers Last reply
More about transferring another
  1. The only way that's going to work is to set up the 98 drive as the "C" drive (Master on the Primary IDE channel. I'm assuming the both hd's are IDE?). The huge BUT in that is, its' Registry won't be compatible with the new hardware (mobo drivers, graphics, and 98 DOES NOT LIKE MORE THAN 512 OF RAM!). How much ram do you have? Is the 98 hd a working, bootable drive?

    I have done this sucessfully on six different machines. It's a very tedious project requiring reinstallation of 98 over the existing, and manipulating, in 3 or 4 phases, two Registries until it is cool with its' new environment. I have it written up on a "white paper", and can resurrect it. There are also a lot of tweaks that 98 will have to go through.

    You will absolutely have to have the new mobo cd (hoping it has a 98 driver section; check this) and the video drivers. You need a 98SE cd as well.

    After that is accomplished, you Slave the XP drive to the Master; pop in the XP cd (boot order in BIOS must have CD drive first) and do an install that sets up a dual boot, with the XP now existing on the "D" drive. The install of XP will go over the existing, and may or may not keep your settings.

    If everything goes "perfectly", you will have a dual boot scenario with all your stuff in tact on both drives.

    This will take 5-7 hours, requiring a great deal of complicated work, and patience; and someone who is very comfortable sitting in front of a comp working their ass off.

    If you want to go through all of that, I will post the "paper" procedure.
  2. hey pscowbow, thanks for all that...

    yeah, both are IDE channels
    I have 512 MB Ram, no more... and Windows 98 is working

    I have only just installed Windows XP on the new machine, so can just format it just to get rid of it and leave the hard disk blank and reinstall it later. so then it would be just a matter of putting in the Windows 98 hard disk onto the new PC
    Does that make it any easier? because then all I really need to do is configure it to be compatible with the new hardware.

    But if you could post up the paper procedure that would cool... thanks

    I know how to use computers well, so should be able to follow the procedure, just never tried this before, so just needed some advice
  3. perfectly done cowboy!

    yeah. do as pscowboy written.
    i did it too many times already, with all kinds of pc. amd,intel with different boards and bios settings.

    but first be sure to know if your mobo support win98.

    it really needs lot of patience and wiz. be very meticulous. and ready your drivers. download the latest if you don't have.

    it'll sure burn ur ass.
  4. Had to mention this, I had an extra HD of unknown origin and just hooked it up to primary and it actually loaded Windows, turned out to be a Via chipset Pentium setup that worked on an Asus nVidia Athlon. Windows kept wanting to install new drivers and it had 16 very weird colors, but it functioned. Not W98 of course. Able to just format the thing and use it, long shot that worked and saved lots of time.
  5. Get back to me first about this checklist:

    1. Do you have a mobo cd?

    2. Will your mobo support Win98? Check on your mobo cd for a Win98 section; also refer to the manual.

    3. Just to make sure, again; ARE BOTH HARD DRIVES IDE? Not Sata on the new one. You MUST have an 80 wire cable with a blue end. Count the ribs to be sure.

    4. Does your new comp have video hard-wired on the board, or do you have a graphics card in there? If card, download the latest Win98 drivers from the makers' web site. Don't worry about the XP drivers for now.

    5. You MUST have (own) a third party backup app. I love Backup MyPC. If you don't have one, get this - it's all I ever use; and I'm used to it. Version 6.

    6. Do you have the 98 cd? I hope it's SE.

    7. You will need a 98 boot floppy.

    Answer all that, and we'll go from there.
  6. ok, I've checked everything in the checklist, so

    1. Yeah, I've got the mobo CD

    2. The mobo will support Windows 98, I've checked that on the CD and the manual

    3. Both HDs are running on IDE not SATA

    4. I have a graphics card installed and I've got the latest Win98 drivers for it now...

    5. I've got a backup app, a version of Symantec Ghost, but not really sure how to use it :? so I'II try Backup MyPC

    6. Yep, I've got Win 98SE CD and

    7. I've got the boot floppy for it as well
  7. Don't use Ghost!. Get Backup MyPC v6.

    This is going to be a long post, so print it out.


    Leaving the new hd in for now, pop in the boot floppy and boot to an "A" prompt. Invoke Fdisk, and delete the NTFS partition. Shut down. Open the box, disconnect the IDE cable. Check to make sure it is an 80 wire with a blue end. Leave the box open.


    Boot up in the old machine. Clean out all the clutter. In Add/Remove Programs, remove anything you don't use. Go to Windows/Temp and empty it. Empty the Recycle Bin.

    You should have "Registry Fix" or "Registry Mechanic". If not, buy one; and install it. Scan the 98 Registry with it to clean out all the crap.

    Install Backup MyPC, and do a regular full backup. DO NOT DO A DISASTER RECOVERY. Make sure you are backing up ALL files on the "C" drive.

    Go to Windows - Command, and copy debug.exe onto your 98 boot floppy. Shut down. Remove the old drive. Make sure it is jumpered for Master. Also check to make sure if there is a jumper needed for Slave Present. Install it in the new box JUST ABOVE the XP drive. Take out the new drive and jumper it for Slave. DO NOT USE CABLE SELECT. Put them both as low as possible. Plug the non-blue end into the old drive. Plug the middle connector into the new hd; plug the blue end into the Primary IDE channel. Hook up power to both.

    Power up, and go into the BIOS. DO NOT BOOT TO DESKTOP AT THIS TIME. Set boot order for CD-Rom drive first, floppy drive second, and hdd 0 third. With nothing in the CD, pop the boot floppy into the "A" drive and come to an "A" prompt.

    Type debug. You will get a minus sign cursor. Type the following CAREFULLY. Be watchful of spaces; and what looks like the number zero, are indeed zeroes - NOT THE LETTER O! Hit Enter at the end of each line.

    f 200 L200 0
    a 100
    mov ax,301
    mov bx,200
    mov cx,1
    mov dx,0080
    int 13
    int 3
    (hit Enter one more time here)

    You are back to the "A". Reboot to an "A" prompt again and invoke Fdisk. Say yes to large drive support. Make sure you are working on the first drive. Create a DOS partition (using the full space), and make it active. Before you come out, do a Display to make sure the "C" drive is active; has used all the capacity; and is FAT32. You do nothing with the "D" drive. Esc out and reboot to an "A" prompt. Invoke Format; and format the "C" drive. You do nothing with the "D" drive.

    Pop in the 98 cd (they are not bootable) and reboot. This time, opt for CD drive support. This should set up the CD as "E" or above. Change to the Rom drive (type e: and hit Enter). Change directory to win98: type cd(space)win98 & hit Enter. Type setup and install 98SE nice and fresh. (Floppy comes out during this). When it's done, pop in the mobo cd and install all the drivers needed. Next do the video.

    Get this clean 98 working perfectly, including your printer. Install Backup MyPC. Now, the complicated stuff begins.

    Make a "new" directory on the "C" drive called stage.

    Do a printout of system.ini and win.ini for reference. Rename them newsys.ini and newwin.ini

    INTO THE STAGE FOLDER, restore from the 98 backup ONLY the old Registry, which is system.dat and user.dat and also restore system.ini and win.ini.

    Using Notepad, go into each of the "old" ini's and comment out (semi-colon in front of) all entries that are specific to the old hardware drivers. Monitor, sound, video, old mouse, etc - any of the hardware that was in the old box. Leave all the operating system stuff alone, including embedding and compatibility.

    Now, referring to the printout of the "new' ini's: add back to the old ini's, into their respective sections, any lines that have to do with hardware. Type them in exactly as shown. There won't be as many as you think. You'll probably comment out 8 or 9, and add back 4 or 5. When done, copy these reworked ini's into the windows folder.

    One at a time, find system.dat and user.dat in the windows folder. Right-click and remove the Read only attribute. Rename them system.datnew & user.datnew.

    From the stage folder, copy the old system.dat and user.dat into the windows folder. Start -Run -regedit. You will be in the old registry. Click HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT to highlight it. Go up to the Menu tab, and export this to the stage folder naming it root. (the export program will give these files a .reg ending). Click HKEY_CURRENT_USER, export it - naming it cu.

    This next one, pay attention. Hit the + sign on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. Click the Software icon, export it - naming it soft. Be very careful that you are only exporting the Software branch. Finally, click HKEY_USERS, export - naming it users. Remember, all of these exports are going into stage. Leave the Registry and go back to the Windows folder.

    Rename system.dat to system.old Rename user.dat to user.old

    Find system.datnew and user.datnew and remove the "new" endings so they are restored to original.

    Go to the stage folder and merge the four .reg files. You double-click and follow the prompts. There will be a little delay for success. Wait for confirmation before you merge the next file.

    Go to Backup MyPC and do a complete Restore EXCEPT FOR SYSTEM.DAT, USER.DAT, SYSTEM.INI, and WIN.INI. Be very sure you do not restore those four files.

    When that is done, go into Control Panel and remove ALL the old programs that have to do with hardware. Don't restart until you've done all the removals. When you reboot, you should get your desktop.

    Go to Device Manager and clean up all the bad stuff. Run Registry Fix at this point.

    Re-install Win98 over this retro-fitted 98 in order to clear some glitches. Then remove and re-install the video drivers. After all that's done, you should have a working 98 with all the old stuff in place and working.

    Pop in the XP cd, reboot and setup a dual boot scenario. During the process, you will get the opportunity to partition and NTFS format the "D" drive. Be very careful that you don't work on the "C" drive.

    Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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