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Move old hdd to new comp, stil use old programs?

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March 5, 2010 6:07:30 PM

Hello all. I searched through the forums and didn't seem to find quite what I was looking for. So, here goes.

I just built myself a new computer (see specs below) but don't want to have to go through the hassle of installing/patching all the software and games I had on my older system which uses XP as it's OS. So, what I was wondering is:

Can I simply install the older sata hdd into my new Win 7 64 comp as a second drive and be able to access all it's files and launch games on new computer from its own Win 7 OS?

Or, would I have to change boot order in BIOS and boot from older hdd into XP to play the games installed on that hdd?

Is it even possible to move the old hdd into the new comp and basically be able to switch back and forth (after reboot) from the XP hdd to Win 7 hdd as thought I had 2 separate computers? I rather like the idea of being able to still run XP as Win 7 is still a relatively new OS and can have compatibility issues with older software.

Thanks in advance. ;) 

new comp:
i7 920 stock
XFX 5870 stock
6 gig DDR3 1600
650 psu
ASRocks x58 extreme
WD 750gb caviar blk
Win 7 64 ultimate
a c 415 G Storage
March 5, 2010 6:16:59 PM

The only way to get your old programs to run in Windows 7 is to install them there. You'll need to have the install discs or files and any license keys.

The alternative, as you suggested, would be to set up a dual-boot system. I'm not a dual-boot expert, but I know that it's possible to set it up so that you can choose which OS to load at boot time without have to change the BIOS settings each time.
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Anonymous
March 5, 2010 6:46:59 PM

Almost 100% certain your old System will blue screen due to driver incompatabilities if you try and boot it up!

your best option if you really want to play around (which certinately doesnt hurt, is harmless and you will learn alot) is to boot into the old syste on the old machine, uninstall as may drivers as you can, Video, Chipset, Audio, Network card, everything driver wise yuo can then place it into the new pc and boot to it.

hopefully XP will boot into windows where you can then install the correct hardware drivers for your new PC..

This is very unlikely though probably less than the chance of my hair looking good after I have just cut it myself (No seriously it needs cutting and I am desperate)

good luck let us know how its going!

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a c 357 G Storage
March 5, 2010 8:59:47 PM

I think sminlal is closer to the truth. Trying to run software under Win 7 that has not been installed under it (with appropriate Registry entries) is VERY risky at best. So, if you can't re-install those applications under Win 7, your best bet is likely the dual-boot option. Read up on that. I believe the basics is that you must have both the old drive and the new one installed in the new computer, BUT have the BIOS Boot Priority Sequence set to use the optical drive and the new HDD only. THEN you run the Win 7 Install as a completely new installation, but take advantage of the option to create a Dual-Boot system. The Install routine will take care of setting things up for you so that, at every boot time, you can select which OS you boot up and use.

The POSSIBLE alternative you can check up on is something called "Virtual XP" mode. To do it you MUST have a feature known as hardware virtualization ability in your CPU. Read up on this at Microsoft's Win 7 websites and your CPU maker's. It is a way to run your system in Win 7 but use a special mode which creates a virtual Win XP machine for compatibility with older software. I can't do this myself, so I can't tell you for sure how well it works. But it MIGHT be a way to do what you originally asked.
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a c 415 G Storage
March 5, 2010 10:17:08 PM

Paperdoc said:
The POSSIBLE alternative you can check up on is something called "Virtual XP" mode.
Just to be clear, even "XP Mode" won't let you run your programs just as they are currently sitting on your old hard drive. You'd still have to install them into the XP virtual machine, and so you'd still need the install media/files and license keys.
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a c 117 G Storage
March 5, 2010 10:22:56 PM

Here's a way to minimize issues but it requires advance planning:

1. Create a OS Partition and install OS on it
2. Create whatever you want for other partitions.

Then, next time.....

1. Put old HD is new PC, wipe the OS partition, install new OS.
2. Install stuff from 2 above over itself and all your custom settings, extra toolbars, saved games will remain.
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a c 357 G Storage
March 6, 2010 12:29:10 AM

sminlal has confirmed my suspicion. You still would need to re-install all apps under Win 7, regardless of mode.
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a b G Storage
March 6, 2010 2:21:44 AM

Paperdoc said:
sminlal has confirmed my suspicion. You still would need to re-install all apps under Win 7, regardless of mode.


Yes, all "XP Mode" allows for is basically running programs that are not compatible with Windows 7 and will only run under XP. To date, I've not found any programs that I've needed XP Mode for. I would imagine some older legacy programs written by corporations specific to their needs, etc may take advantage of XP Mode, but most widespread / commercial programs will do just fine from what I've experienced and heard from others.
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March 6, 2010 2:52:18 AM

I have successfully upgraded hardware with the original hard drive. Say the old computer was a Pentium 4 and new computer was Athlon 64 for example. What I have done successfully with Windows XP retail, oem and corporate and 2003 Server corporate was to do a "repair install." What I would do is put the old hard drive in the new computer and immediately do a repair install. After the repair completes you install your new drivers as usual and you can remove the old hardware drivers. So maybe what you can do is make a clone of your drive, just to be safe, and try it on the clone. Once you get XP working try a Win 7 upgrade. You'll most likely you'll get a few incompatibility warnings due to old drivers or some applications may not work in Win 7 but I think it will work. It's not the most elegant way but it beats reinstalling everything.
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a c 357 G Storage
March 7, 2010 12:48:22 AM

Do NOT try what taso11 says.

What he outlined worked well in the past for most OS upgrades. But Win 7 is different. It is similar to Vista, so there IS a direct in-place upgrade process from Vista to 7. But both of those were fundamentally so different from previous Windows that Microsoft will tell you you CANNOT do an in-place upgrade like that. If you have any Windows prior to Vista, you MUST do a complete new install of Win 7 on a new disk (or Partition) and then re-install all your application software under it. There is a Migration tool to help the move, but it ONLY will preserve and move over the data files and settings, etc. It can't even move applications previously installed under Win XP - they do need to be ire-nstalled under Win 7 separately.
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March 7, 2010 1:31:36 AM

Paperdoc, thanks for the clarification. I had never tried the XP to Windows 7 upgrade so now I know not to waste time trying. I thought logically it may work thus recommending working on a cloned drive. Does it complete and function badly or does it not work at all? After I had posted I couldn't remember if an XP to Win 7 upgrade was even possible due to licensing. I got busy and then forgot to check. I have tried Vista and Windows 7 but always go back to XP after a week or so. I know they are supposed to be more secure but they never felt right to me and some of my programs wouldn't work on Windows 7.
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a c 357 G Storage
March 8, 2010 12:43:53 PM

From a licensing perspective there is no problem. The package I bought (not yet installed) is sold as the UPGRADE version for previous owners of Vista, XP, and I'm not sure what else. My understanding is that if I were to try to do an in-place straight upgrade from XP to Win 7, it would not let me. It would insist that I stop and set up for a custom new install.

What taso11 suggested DOES have a use in one possible scenario, though. Suppose you have a system running XP, and your plan is to migrate two ways: take your old XP drive to a new machine, AND then upgrade to Win 7 but WITH a Dual-Boot option. Your first step would be to move the old drive containing XP to the new machine and, as taso11 says, do an immediate Repair Install using your XP Install CD. Most times that can work, but sometimes it does not. Assuming it does, I then would update EVERY driver on that new machine with the latest. That certainly means going to your mobo maker's website for all those mobo-installed devices, plus any add-on devices like video cards and even monitors. When you are completely updated in XP you can proceed.

Next, you WILL need a new HDD to install the Win 7 to. Install that in the new machine and set it as your boot device (probably second after your optical drive), and the old HDD as the THIRD boot device. Now you run Win 7 Install, making SURE that you are installing to the NEW HDD. Choose the option to set up Dual Booting with the XP as the second OS option. When all the Win 7 Installation is done you should have an option menu on every boot-up: boot into Win 7 or into XP? NOTE that, in this case, all the drivers for Win 7 will have to be installed (already done in the Install process) and updated SEPARATELY from the ones you already have in XP. They are different drivers. Since they and their OS's are on different drives, there is no problem for the systems to keep track of which ones to use.
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March 8, 2010 2:07:09 PM

Ok, I think I got it. What I'll do is put the old XP HDD in the new comp (eBay the rest of it) as a slave and reinstall my programs on the Win 7 HDD, only using the old HDD as extra storage and to access Word files, mp3's etc... already on there. Thank you all for your helpful and informative advice.
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March 8, 2010 2:14:25 PM

Best answer selected by Bird0fPrey.
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a c 357 G Storage
March 8, 2010 2:25:07 PM

Just a note about terminology that can cause confusion. In your new machine you will have a new main hard drive on which you install Win 7, probably a SATA II unit. You also will install in it the older SATA drive that has Win XP on it, plus all your old data, etc. Technically, that older drive is NOT a "Slave", it is just a HDD being used for data, and not being used as a boot device. The term "Slave" is associated with the way IDE drives and ports are managed, and its misuse sometimes causes people to start moving jumpers around. There are NO jumpers to set for Master and Slave on any SATA device.

As you prepare to install Win 7 and move what you can, check out this M$ website:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/transferrin...

The Windows Easy Transfer tool can help with copying some of your old data and settings after you have done your Win 7 Install and AFTER you have done the re-install of your main applications in the new system.
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March 8, 2010 3:14:19 PM

Paperdoc said:
Just a note about terminology that can cause confusion. In your new machine you will have a new main hard drive on which you install Win 7, probably a SATA II unit. You also will install in it the older SATA drive that has Win XP on it, plus all your old data, etc. Technically, that older drive is NOT a "Slave", it is just a HDD being used for data, and not being used as a boot device. The term "Slave" is associated with the way IDE drives and ports are managed, and its misuse sometimes causes people to start moving jumpers around. There are NO jumpers to set for Master and Slave on any SATA device.

As you prepare to install Win 7 and move what you can, check out this M$ website:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/transferrin...

The Windows Easy Transfer tool can help with copying some of your old data and settings after you have done your Win 7 Install and AFTER you have done the re-install of your main applications in the new system.



Thanks for the clarification. I guess I should have said "secondary data storage drive." Old habit.
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