Can I drop XP Pro HDD from old Dell D630 to new D630 w/o OS reload?

I have Dell D630 with the Nvidia overheating problem and the GPU is finally fried. Toast. Done. I was going to buy a new laptop, but I loathe the thought of having to reconfigure all the applications, files, configs, etc. Not to mention dropping the coinage on a new system and upgraded software apps to work on newer OS, etc.

Current system is Win XP Pro, 500gb HDD, 4 (3.5)gb RAM, DVD-RW, Office 2003 Pro, etc. It does all I need it to do for work.

So Dell sells off-lease refurbs for $150-$200 range. Can I just buy one of those and drop the old HDD into it? Would it be plug & play as long as it has the same chipset? Or will I get all sorts of error messages requiring a reload of XP? I want to avoid an OS reload - if i have to go to that trouble, then may as well purchase a new Win7 system (mfr'ed by anyone other than Dell). I'm just looking to save some $$ and headaches in the short-term and was wondering if I could simply cannibalize the old/dead D630 into a replacement D630 and have a "new" ca: 2008 WinXP Pro machine.

(Mods: feel free to move. Not sure if this is a WinXP question or a HDD or MB question.)
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  1. In theory it should work but if XP falis activation, take the telephone option and explain the situation. XP does usually allows a minor hardware change without putting up a fight so you should be OK.

  2. OK, so it's been 3 months since my OP and I finally got around to doing this. Got by on my desktop PC for the past several weeks.... So I got lazy.

    I purchased an off-lease refurb Latitude D630 from Dell Financial Services. Same CPU and speed, and same OS (XP Pro SP3) as the Bad D630. This new-to-me refurb D630 has the integrated Intel graphics instead of the troublesome/dreadful Nvidia Quadro that toasted Bad D630.

    So first thing I did was check that Refurb D630 boots up, and all is good. Works great. So then I swapped the memory and the HDD from Bad D630 to new Refurb D630. First boot attempt and I get the blue screen that says:

    "A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.

    "If this is the first time you've seen this Stop error screen, restart your computer. If this screen appears again, follow these steps:

    "Check for viruses on your computer. Remove any newly installed hard drives or hard drive controllers. Check your hard drive to make sure it is properly configured and terminated. Run CHKDSK /F to check for hard drive corruption, and then restart your computer.

    "Technical information:
    *** STOP: 0x0000007B (oxF78A6524, 0xC0000034, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)"

    If I do hard shutdown and then power back on, I get a black screen that gives me option to boot into Safe Mode, Safe Mode w/ Networking, Safe Mode with Command Prompt, Last Known Good Config, Start Windows Normally. Whichever option I choose takes me back to the blue screen "A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down...." as described above. I should add that briefly before the blue screen comes up, I see the normal WinXP Pro logo and boot-up screen for 3-4 seconds, but then right before WinXP launches it sends me to the blue screen.

    Anyone have a suggestion for next best step to try? I realize this ultimately might not end up working, but I would like to keep trying until I run out of ideas. More for a learning experience at this point.I've talked to two other PC gurus, and similar to Saga Lout's comment, they both said it should work in theory.
  3. I did just notice that the Refurb D630 MB is showing BIOS Rev. A10 and I think Bad D630 was updated to A17 or A18 before the GPU finally stopped working. Should I put the original HDD back into the Refurb D630, boot up and then update the BIOS from Dell's web-page to A18? Then try swapping HDD's again?
  4. I doubt it would make much difference, the problem is probably due to the graphics drivers. I think the best option would be to use a Windows CD and reinstall windows on top of your current OS without reformatting. Your files will be kept, but any problems in the OS will be swept away. You will have to reinstall all of your software, though.

    If you are really heart-set on keeping your current installation, you could try booting from a Live CD, and from there trying to remove the current Windows graphics drivers so Windows is forced to discover new ones.
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