I have decided to instal a 64GB Crucial SSD SATA drive and try to copy some of the many features I have on my existing IDE hard drives - applications which are going to be too elusive to re-acquire or too difficult to reinstal from old software.
Is it going to be possible to copy these off the old drives C: and D: to a new SSD? And can I instal my existing Windows XP (a legitimate copy) to the SSD from the MS CD and then delete the OS from the old C: drive?
Are there any other issues of which I should be aware before pressing the "buy now" button on Crucial?
Most applications must be freshly installed on a new OS install. In addition to files in the application directory, most installations write to the registry (lost when you get a new system) and may write files to the /windows or /program files directory trees.
In other words, it's unlikely to work. The re-install of the OS is legal, since you won't be booting off the old version on a different machine.
XP does not support the TRIM command which is critical to the health of an SSD. Win7 is much better for SSDs.
All that negative stuff is true. However, you can look for applications whose specific purpose is to move applications from one installation to the next one. These chase down the registry entries and common files, and attempt to reproduce them on the new machine.
You may have one of the rare cases where you should actually clone the HDD to the SSD (another issue entirely). The best that I can say is to boot the new drive and try to run the apps off the old drive. Maybe it will work.