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Help with Hard Drive Swap

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July 28, 2010 3:15:22 PM

I've been searching around the internet on how to switch my hard drive from one motherboard to another, but can't find a good answer to my particular situation.

I have a new motherboard en route after I (most likely) killed the old one. Assuming the old one is dead (I won't know until the new power supply gets in tomorrow), I will be keeping my old hard drive. Since my computer stopped working abruptly, I don't have a backup of the software. I bought the computer from a homebuild shop, so I don't have installation discs for XP SP3 or Office. I know that when I first run the computer I need to boot it off the installation cd and run through repair mode.

This computer replaced a laptop that, after the hard drive died, I received a replacement under warrantee, so I have the installation disc for XP SP2. I've learned from my internet research that I can use this, but there are additional steps that are unclear and hard to find. Can anyone help me out with this?

If it will help, the old motherboard is an intel d945gtp and the replacement is an ecs g31-m7.

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a b V Motherboard
July 28, 2010 4:04:29 PM

With different motherboards, there's only a very slim chance HDD swap will work.

Basically, you're using a same HDD for a different motherboard platform, with setups exclusive to the old motherboard. You can try though, since it wont hurt. You can only count to the fact that both platforms are Intel's. But like I said, the chances are very slim.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 28, 2010 4:17:09 PM

As far as backing up is concerned though, you could plug that hard drive in and then grab any live-cd of linux. Like Ubuntu. Then just copy paste everything you wanna keep to an external or something.
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July 28, 2010 5:07:14 PM

I realize that, at best, there's a moderate chance I'll loose everything. Honestly, losing the data won't bother me too much. However, I don't want to pay for the operating system and office suite again, so recovery would be nice.

I've already got a list of directions from Microsoft and one from a technical web site. My only issue is I don't have the XP installation cd, so I can't run the system installation repairs wrote about in the procedures. If switching the hard drive can work then this is the way to do it. I have my old laptop xp installation cd, but it's the wrong service pack (not to mention a Dell product). Does anyone know if this will be an issue or if there are additional steps? Currently, I can't find anything.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 28, 2010 6:11:47 PM

Well if your current comp has a product key sticker on it you can try to install using that. I've never actually had that work with XP though. So at this point all I can do is say good luck.
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July 28, 2010 7:09:33 PM

Thanks. I've sorted it out, but only sort of. The tech guys at worked burned me a copy of the XP install. I pulled my laptop's product key from it's installation disk. I'm hoping that works. I'm goign to put my computer back together today and if it starts up (unlikely) I'll get the product keys for XP and Office.

I'm still not sure what the installation disk will do since the one from work has SP1, but according to what I've been reading I need to download the service packs if and when I get back online. If my hard drive gets wiped at least I know I can install an operating system...
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 29, 2010 12:11:03 AM

Well tell us how well or badly it goes.
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July 29, 2010 1:01:00 AM

So it turns out taking my computer apart, letting it sit for 24 hours, and putting it back together did the trick. Everything is working and I've been able to use prduct key extraction freeware to pull my keys and after I'm done typing this I'll will run Norton Ghost to create an image backup of the entire system on my external.

Although this motherboard works, I'm still going to use the replacement when it arrives tomorrow. My current board has been out of technical service since 2007 while the new one started marketing in 2009. It's a basic board, but I have no intention to overclock and won't do more than play Starcraft 2, stream netflix movies, and do homework on it. The store that built this obviously cut costs with a $20 PSU and a laughable amount of RAM, so I'm heavily doubting the integrity of the board. Still, I will keep it as a backup in case the other one dies.

Thanks for your help.
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July 30, 2010 1:23:18 PM

Best answer selected by sf_torquatus.
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July 30, 2010 1:29:16 PM

The new motherboard took the hard drive without issue. I'm glad it went well, but it seems liek a very different result from when most people try it.

Right now I'm trying to figure out what made this work. The boards have different chip sets, though both are intels with the same size cpu slot. Also, I plugged the tower in, turned it on, abnd put the xp installation cd in the drive first, then held down my power button to turn it off. When I first booted on the new motherboard I got the message that windows shut down unexpectadly, so I just told it to boot Windows normally and it worked. Strange, but I'm not complaining at the end result!
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a b V Motherboard
July 30, 2010 2:57:57 PM

Wow! That slim chance due to same Intel's platform really works for you! Glad it turned out in your favor. Gambling isn't such a bad thing after all, is it?

BTW, thanks for choosing my post as best answer.
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July 31, 2010 1:51:27 AM

Your're welcome! I was preparing to have to repair the windows installation, put the product key back in, and if it all went to hell just mount the backup images from my external. I'm happy I didn't have to do that, but I realize in most situations I probably would.
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