Problem installing Windows 7 hard drive in Vista machine

So I have recently started to use some memory intense graphic software. This was killing my personal machine so a friend lent me a machine to use however it doesn't have all the software I require. Having just moved house I am struggling to find all my installation disks. I had the bright idea to swap out his hdd for mine which has all my documents and software I need and means I dont fill his hdd with my files.

This is where I am running in to problems. His machine is a dell with Vista OS. I can get more details on request. Mine is a home build running Windows 7. I want to replace his master hdd with mine. In theory I cant see anything wrong however when I open it I realise he is running a RAID array. I remove his drives and reset his cmos. First in the bios and then by removing the battery. I cant find a cmos reset jumper and dont have a manual to check. I install my drive which is a single SATA hdd. His boot set up is still looking for a RAID array and although it finds my hdd it says that it is not configured for RAID bios. I can then hit F1 to continue to boot. Briefly it looks like it might start up but then loops back to boot up.

If I enter BIOS set up there is no option that I can see to change from RAID array. I cant even find an integrated periphrals menu or advanced chipset etc. When I exit BIOS it asks if I want to fix windows. The windows repair doesnt work. I can boot from my Windows 7 installation CD but once that has loaded and the machine appears to be running if you restart you are stuck in the same loop.

To me there appears to be a problem with the BIOS which is interrupting my hdd from booting properly. After hours of getting no where my thoughts were to reinstall Windows 7. This would leave my documents and programs in windows.old folder and I could use the installation CD to recover the files. Some of the programs may then still work although I know a lot wouldnt but I was running out of ideas.

Is this a simple issue I cant get my head around? Where are the integrated periphrals settings on a dell or is there another problem? Is this even possible? Please help.
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  1. This is a case of abandon all hope, ye who enter here. You can't just take a HDD from one computer and slap it into another, then expect it to work perfectly. The drivers loaded by Windows for the old system will cause all sorts of problems when you try and boot it on the new computer, and then there are also potential licensing issues.

    If you have an OEM copy of Windows, then you'll never get it to activate because the OEM license doesn't include transfer rights.

    You can get around the first issue if you make sure to prepare the copy of Windows first, and assuming you can find the necessary drivers for the new system. The licensing issue however, is one Microsoft won't budge on and would be against the rules here at Tom's to assist you with.

    You might be best served by thanking your friend for his generosity in letting you borrow that computer, but give it back as it isn't going to work. Otherwise, the first step might be to ask your friend how he set up that RAID array and then you should be able to work backwards to remove it.
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