Transferring a bootable HD to another comp?

My friend's system's hard drive (IDE) has apparently died, so I thought I'd give her my spare one. To save time, I thought I'd prepare the drive in my machine before putting it in hers. Here's what I'm planning to do:

- Disconnect all my current drives and plug in the spare as a master
- Using a Windows XP CD, format the drive and install a fresh copy of Windows (as if I were setting up a new system)
- Throw a few essential apps on it
- Disconnect the drive and install it in my friend's machine
- Hope that it just instantly boots and works perfectly without hassles.

Anyone got any experience doing this? Will this just work, or am I missing something, or should I just do the whole setup on her machine? Thanks in advance.
5 answers Last reply
More about transferring bootable comp
  1. unless you have exactly the same pc as your friend it will not work as you want it to.
    xp will not allow you to do this sort of thing easily.
    your best bet is to do it all on her machine and you will only have to activate xp once without any of the other hassles you will get if you do the install on yours first.
  2. you will have to install the video and Mb drivers on her machine once the Hdd
    is in play. you may have to add some XP stuff also. about the activation, you'll
    have to see. that can vary.
  3. Not an advisable thing to do. As when you load XP it will install all drivers, assign IRQ's etc. for the system that it is being installed on. When you connect to another PC, if the motherboard is different, you will have all kinds of errors and boot up problems. While after a few boot-ups, and some re-detecting (you WILL have to have the XP install disc inserted here again as it's likely going to ask for it to reload drivers and such) it will begin to smooth over, it will never be like a complete fresh install. You will find that even if you get everything seemingly working perfect, over time you run into random errors and glitches....almost always happens I guarentee you.
    If the other PC is IDENTICAL (exact same motherboard especially important) you can pull it off.
    Best advice is to simply put the drive in the other system, then do the install.
  4. You can do it, but you need software like Partition Magic or Norton Ghost to image and transfer the drive. However, an easier solution is to slipstream SP3 into XP with nLite and make you a new XP disc. You can also do some really cool stuff like set up local secpol, user accounts, themes, and other prefs, inlcluding setting up silent install with your settings and key, on-disc. Give it a whirl.
  5. As already mentioned, you are much better off installing Windows once it is in her machine.
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