No clue what I'm doing

Here's the situation. I just got a replacement desktop from Dell (Studio XPS 8500, running Windows 8) after my old desktop (Older model in the same line, running Windows Vista) died. Luckily the death didn't kill my hard drive, so I had it removed and reinstalled into my new computer along with the hard drive already in it. I've gotten access to all the files on it, everything is there and ready, but because of the OS change I can't run anything. None of my programs work and I'm not even sure I'd be able to change everything over to run on Windows 8.

I hate Windows 8 with a passion already. I want to boot from my old hard drive to see if I can run Windows Vista off of it instead of Windows 8. I've gone into the BIOS menu under Boot and have been staring at my five boot devices for the past hour.

The devices are: UEI: Windows Boot Manager, USD Storage Device, Internal ODD Devices, USB Floppy Device and UEFI: IP4 Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller, currently in that order.

I don't know which device I should try to boot from to get my Vista back and I'm scared to try on the chance it might mess up my computer. Any advice on what to do and how to do it would be greatly appreciated.
3 answers Last reply
More about clue doing
  1. You cannot run programs off of the old drive itself as they require being installed under windows 8 to run under windows 8. Also the likelihood of your old drive booting properly is very slim even if you changed it to the primary boot option. One really easy way to try is to disconnect the new drive so the windows 8 installation is not detected then it will look on the old drive for boot info. It will either boot or give you an error. If it doesn't boot you need to put the install disc in and do an OS repair, that will basically redo your Vista installation to work on the new hardware but some of your programs may not run and would need to be reinstalled due to changes to the system registry from the repair. Those are the easiest things to try at first imo.
  2. I tried disconnecting the new drive - no go. It couldn't find any bootable devices. I'm considering trying to reinstall Vista, but I'm not sure if that would be easier as I'd be in the same position I am now, without any programs working. Most of the programs I'm trying to get working were factory installed, so I'm guessing I'm going to need to talk to Dell again to get new CDs sent out to me that will work with Windows 8.
  3. if the dell system is a true efi bios there should be under hard drives and boot. to be able to select the drive you want to boot off of.
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