What would happen if i installed an xp hard drive on a vista based mot

I have an 2008 emachines pc. I had vista on it from the factory. The hard drive went out and i want to downgrade it to xp. I have a xp hard drive in a 2004 dell dimension that runs great but lacks a decent processor.
y question is can i install my dell hard drive into the emachines pc, and will the motherboard be compatable?
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  1. Worth a go. You may be lucky and Windows will adjust itself to the hardware.

    I've done this myself where a laptop lacked a working CD drive so I installed XP on a desktop using the laptop hard drive and then transplanted the drive back to the laptop.

    If it works you may run into the problem that Windows decides that you need to re-register with Microsoft. Mainly a matter of calling them and explaining what you've done.

    Also be prepared to look for XP drivers for some of the e-machine's hardware.
  2. Well the pc wouldnt even boot up. Cant say i didnt try. It was doing the same thing from when it had the old hard drive in it. It would start, black screen, logo, restart. every time. Now im thinking its the motherboard. any ideas?
  3. Could be a number of things.

    Your old machine may have installed custom drivers when XP was being installed (needed for things such as SATA support). If so, the drivers may cause your new machine to throw its hands in the air in confusion.

    Alternatively, Dell may have some way of locking the install to their motherboard, because the OEM licence of Windows does not permit the software to be used on any other machine. That would be a handy way of stopping people clone XP disks, but I have no idea whether machine vendors use such methods.

    If you got as far as the Windows desktop before things went bad, you could just uninstall the drivers on the Dell machine and then let your new machine prompt you to install what was needed. But if you're crashing before you get that far, I suspect you're stuck.

    You could buy an XP licence (or a Windows 7 licence) and install that on your new machine, or you could leave the dark side and embrace the warmth of Linux. (If you like reading config guides a lot.)
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