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Question about transplanting hdd w/ xp

Last response: in Windows XP
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June 20, 2008 3:29:12 PM

Hi everyone,

Here's my situation: I am doing a system upgrade for my boss' home computer. He has a Gateway with Intel P4 @ 2.55GHz. He wants to upgrade to an Athlon x2 5000+. So obviously, in order for me to do that I have to pretty much do a new system build. But he wants to keep his old HDD which has XP Home on it. I have done several system builds and clean installs, but have never dealt with this before. I understand that XP probably isn't going to operate with that much new hardware. My boss has the original install disc. My question is, will I be able to repair xp with that disc and license key? How should I go about doing this and not lose any of his data? Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
June 20, 2008 4:30:06 PM

Good luck with this project. I've swapped hard drives into new build with mixed results. Often, if the hardware is similar XP will just reload some drivers and then ask you to re-register the OS with a Microsoft agent.
However, you're likely to be moving from an Intel based system (with significantly device drivers) to and AMD based system (which would require many drivers that aren't already loaded on the hard drive).
BTW - What type of chipset does the Gateway motherboard use and what other components are plugged into it? Also, what are the components you intend to use in the new build?
June 20, 2008 5:07:30 PM

iggybeans said:
Good luck with this project. I've swapped hard drives into new build with mixed results. Often, if the hardware is similar XP will just reload some drivers and then ask you to re-register the OS with a Microsoft agent.
However, you're likely to be moving from an Intel based system (with significantly device drivers) to and AMD based system (which would require many drivers that aren't already loaded on the hard drive).
BTW - What type of chipset does the Gateway motherboard use and what other components are plugged into it? Also, what are the components you intend to use in the new build?


Ok, I ran cpuz on my boss' comp and here is what it says for chipset:

Chipset
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Northbridge Intel i845PE rev. B0
Southbridge Intel 82801DB (ICH4) rev. 02
Graphic Interface AGP
AGP Revision 2.0
AGP Transfer Rate 4x
AGP SBA not supported, not enabled
Memory Type DDR
Memory Size 512 MBytes
Memory Frequency 166.7 MHz (4:5)
CAS# 2.5
RAS# to CAS# 3
RAS# Precharge 3
Cycle Time (tRAS) 7
DRAM Idle Timer 16

Here is the mobo I intend to use:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Only using the integrated components on the current board (no aftermarket video or sound card or nic. Same with the board I intend to install...only going to use integrated hardware. Other than that, he has a SATA HDD (the one with xp) and wants an additional SATA HDD installed. Will be putting in a DVD burner too, but thats kind of irrelevant.
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June 21, 2008 4:22:15 PM

Wow, that's a very significant change.
First, his original hard drive (with the operating system) is on an SATA controller. Unless the drive is set as an IDE drive in the BIOS (which isn't likely, although I have seen it done on older Nforce3 motherboards), then XP probably loads drivers for the SATA controller at startup.
Here's the core of your problem; when you initially install XP you need to have an SATA driver (loaded onto a floppy disk) so that when the XP install CD initially starts it can load the appropriate driver (from your floppy) for the specific SATA controller that your motherboard uses. As the drivers for the Nvidia controller (on the 6100 based motherboard) are going to be totally different (from the Intel drivers on the original motherboard), XP probably won't be able to load from the original drive.
I'm not sure how to work around this. Further, even if you could somehow get the SATA drive to load XP there are all the other drivers XP is going to need for the new chipset. If it was possible to load the most important drivers (those specific to the 6100 chipset) ahead of the motherboard swap, then you might have a better chance of getting everything to work. However, I don't know of anyway to do this.
Finally, if the XP install CD your boss has is a Gateway OEM XP install disk Microsoft may balk at re-installing this drive in what they may consider to be a new computer.
I'm sorry I haven't been more help, but I'm not sure I'd want to be in your shoes. Should you try this upgrade you're likely to have multiple problems getting it to work.
If you and your boss want to procede, the safest way to start would be to copy the original drive to the new SATA drive. Then, use the new drive as the boot disk for the new build. That won't get you around the problems I've mentioned, but if you fail to get the system up with that drive you'll still have the original drive's contents intact.
June 21, 2008 5:50:34 PM

iggybeans said:
Wow, that's a very significant change.
First, his original hard drive (with the operating system) is on an SATA controller. Unless the drive is set as an IDE drive in the BIOS (which isn't likely, although I have seen it done on older Nforce3 motherboards), then XP probably loads drivers for the SATA controller at startup.
Here's the core of your problem; when you initially install XP you need to have an SATA driver (loaded onto a floppy disk) so that when the XP install CD initially starts it can load the appropriate driver (from your floppy) for the specific SATA controller that your motherboard uses. As the drivers for the Nvidia controller (on the 6100 based motherboard) are going to be totally different (from the Intel drivers on the original motherboard), XP probably won't be able to load from the original drive.
I'm not sure how to work around this. Further, even if you could somehow get the SATA drive to load XP there are all the other drivers XP is going to need for the new chipset. If it was possible to load the most important drivers (those specific to the 6100 chipset) ahead of the motherboard swap, then you might have a better chance of getting everything to work. However, I don't know of anyway to do this.
Finally, if the XP install CD your boss has is a Gateway OEM XP install disk Microsoft may balk at re-installing this drive in what they may consider to be a new computer.
I'm sorry I haven't been more help, but I'm not sure I'd want to be in your shoes. Should you try this upgrade you're likely to have multiple problems getting it to work.
If you and your boss want to procede, the safest way to start would be to copy the original drive to the new SATA drive. Then, use the new drive as the boot disk for the new build. That won't get you around the problems I've mentioned, but if you fail to get the system up with that drive you'll still have the original drive's contents intact.


Yea, I had a feeling this was going to be a bit of a nightmare! I'm thinking I'm probably just going to break the news to him that we're going to have to do a clean install. This brings up a new question though: If I do a clean install of XP with a new installation disc on the new HDD, could I just hook the old HDD up as a slave drive and still be able to access his old data even though there will still be a nonfunctional XP insallation on that drive? Will the programs he has on that drive still work?

Or...

Could I just back up all his most important data to a third HDD, completely format the other drives, and transfer everything back over after a clean install? I would probably have to reinstall all the programs then, wouldn't I?

Thanks alot for the help.
July 13, 2008 9:23:33 PM

I do this every single day for a living, here are some nifty trick for you =D

We need to get into Device manager, and look for IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers, and inside you will ind the current chipset ide drivers, we have to change the driver to "double channel PCI IDE standar driver" so that you avoid issues from diferent ide controllers (via to other brand mostly)

also i would advice to disable all of the current Startup programs, for when you boot up into the new hardware next time , it will be under heavy load of "new hardware found" routines

the worst that could happen is after this is that WIndows requieres you to Reactivate it, due to the massive hardware change, but since you mention yor boss does ave the original CD and CD key stickers, then go ahead and dial microsofts free number and explain to them that your old mobo got fried and that you want to reactivate, they can let you do this about 1 time per month per license


and yeah, whatever you do you SHOULD backup any critical data anyways

hope these help =D
July 14, 2008 4:01:15 AM

It can be done. I went from a amdx2 gigbyte board to a asus E8400. As long as you have the disk/license your gonna make. Its a major move for the system plus you should clean up all the old intel crap from the device manager which will be grayed out.

I would suggest picking up xp pro though. And starting the old disk as a slave and picking the jack from it.

!