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Is there a way to install the hard drive in my husbands old computer into the ne

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May 20, 2012 6:18:05 PM

Hello,
My husband bought a Dell and there is something wrong with the hard drive or something, so can we just take the hard drive out of his old Compaq and transfer it to the dell and use it as the master?I know that it will have to reinstall drivers but basically how do I do that without blue screening or causing smoke to roll out the side?Basically his new Dell is fast and something is wrong with the hard drive causing SWTOR not to run, but it runs on the older computer.
May 20, 2012 6:22:16 PM

I should have added that the old hard drive is Vista Home and the new computer has Win 7 home prem on it, I want to run Vista on the new computer. So do I install the hard drive as a master and then reinstall Vista?
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May 20, 2012 10:09:30 PM

What you want MIGHT be made to work, but might not.

The issue is that every installation of Windows is customized, at the time of installation, by having installed all the device drivers for the hardware machine it is being installed on. So the old HDD with VISTA on it has all the drivers for the old Compaq machine, and NOT many of the drivers for devices in the new Dell. "Devices" includes all kinds of capabilities of the motherboard, and NOT just cards plugged into the PCIe bus.

IF you have the original Vista Install CD, there MAY be a way to fix that. You would mount the old HDD only (not the new one) in the Dell and place the Vista Install CD in its optical drive. You boot up and go immediately into BIOS Setup and ensure that the Boot Priority Sequence uses the optical drive first, and then the old HDD, then Save and Exit. When the machine boots into the Install process from the CD, you must choose a Repair Install. This process is supposed to inventory the hardware in the machine to identify all the hardware devices present, then get rid of old drivers it does not need and install all the new drivers it DOES need to run on this machine. Then you reboot.

IF this works, you're OK. If not, your Dell will not be able to boot and run from that old HDD with the updated Vista on it.

If you have purchased a Dell machine recently and its HDD is faulty, why are you not simply having it replaced under warranty? I'm guessing you actually would prefer NOT to have Win 7, and are trying to take advantage of the defect as a reason to switch to what you want, anyway.
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May 28, 2012 2:27:44 AM

It was bought refurbished at a store where the warranty is just 30 days and its already ran out. The thing is, we arent sure that this is the problem. When he would run SWTOR and this is the ONLY game that it did this with, we had numerous bsod's. I had the list wrote down somewhere, one would be memory and we ran tests and that came out fine, and one would be something else and we would test that and it would come out fine. That is the only thing that I can think of that it might be is a faulty HDD. This is the cheapest option to try atm and see if this works and if it does then I am good to go. I think that I might hook it back up and test SWTOR, write down all my BSOD's and go from there. I reinstalled Windows from the partition that Dell put on there, and it worked fine as long as I didnt run that game. But the game runs fine on my PC which is a HP and it runs fine on his Compaq. Yes the computer more than meets the sys requirements. Could it be a bad Windows partition? My guess is faulty HDD, I have tested it and it doesnt come back with errors BUT I am out of ideas. What I thought that I could do, is use everything BUT the HDD and see if that works. Which is why I was wondering if I could just swap his old HDD into the new PC.I guess if it was reformatted and reinstalled windows on it just like it was a new one that it might work.Thank you for your help, this stuff gets me all stressed out.
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May 29, 2012 5:55:08 PM

If your problems occur only while playing that one game, it is most likely the game itself causing them, not your hardware. You say you have tested some parts of your machine, but no details. Perhaps you can tell us more. See end of this post for my suggestions.

I can think of four ways this can happen, and the fix depends on the cause.

1. There actually is a hardware-related issue in the sense that something is not responding fast enough. That MIGHT be actually a driver issue. For that, you could try to update all the device drivers in the old machine in case that helps.

2. Maybe the machine has been set up with overclocking of the CPU or RAM, or with slightly low voltage to the CPU or RAM. These changes normally can be made in BIOS Setup. You could look through BIOS Setup to make sure things are set to normal specs for the components you have.

3. Maybe some of the files of the game are corrupted somehow. This could happen on this one machine, but not on others where you run it. A corrupted file does NOT mean the HDD is faulty, and it may NOT be detected by software looking for HDD flaws. It can happen simply if erroneous data is written in a perfectly normal manner. If you have original installation disks, try to uninstall the game completely, clean out the Recycle Bin, then reboot. Then re-install the the game, which will renew all its files.

4. I suppose it is possible, also, that in setting options in the game you have set something odd that this machine does not handle well.

If you want to do further testing of your hardware, I suggest the following:

5. For MEMORY, get MEMTEST 86+ and run it several times - maybe even overnight.

6. For the hard drive, some of the best, easiest and free testing utilities are from the maker of your HDD. So you need to know who made it. Then you go to their website and look for HDD diagnostic utilities to download. You'll have to pay attention to which form they are in. IF the HDD is by Western Digital, get their Data Lifeguard utility. If the HDD is from Seagate, get their Seatools. If from another maker, look around their website. Many of these have versions that run as applications under Windows. They also have versions that can run even when your can't get Windows to boot up. I prefer the latter, often designated as "for DOS" versions. Some of these are small enough you can write them to a single floppy diskette (IF you have a floppy drive!). Others come as an .iso file image of a CD. For an .iso file you must download the file, then use some CD burning software (like Nero) to burn the .iso image onto a CD-R disk. In either case, you then set your machine's Boot Sequence to boot from the medium (floppy or CD) you're using, put in the disk and boot up. The machine will boot from that disk, load a small version of DOS into its RAM, and run from there with no need for a fully functional HDD or other Operating System. You then get a menu of tests to run.

When using disk diagnostic suites, read the on-screen messages carefully. There usually are several tests you can run that are NOT destructive to your data and they are very useful. If you do get error messages, write them down and note them here. These suites also usually include more severe tests and repair tools that DO destroy data, so you must have your data backed up before using those particular tools. Such tools almost always warn you that they will destroy data and ask your permission to proceed. Very often you do NOT need these tools unless you have already determined with the NON-destructive tests that there are problems to be solved.

7. Windows' tool CHKDSK will check for faulty sectors of the HDD, and for garbled File System information. It cannot do all of the hardware testing that a HDD maker's diagnostics does. On the other hand, those diagnostics don't test for File System errors, so use both types of testing.
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May 29, 2012 10:25:34 PM

Run a drive diagnostic tool like some of the ones suggested before you start taking apart the newer system. I use chkdsk and the Hitachi Drive Fitness test. This is free and can be installed on a CD. You run the test by booting from a CD. Only drawback to it is it normally will not detect a SATA type hard drive unless you go into your systems BIOS and set the SATA mode to "SATA, or "compatible". Different systems will label this a different way. You can also look in the Windows Event Viewer to see if you have any disk errors. As a matter of fact, since this is easy, you may want to look at that first. Go to yor Control Panel, go to "Adminstative tools", then "Event Viewer." Look in the system logs for red disk errors. Another simple thing you may try is updating your graphic drivers. Hope this helps!
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