I'm about to upgrade to a new system, and want to know the most trouble-free way of shifting my XP installation and my apps over to the new machine.
Current system: Athlon 800 w/ Asus A7V
New system: P4-2.26G w/ Asus P4S533
I will be using the same primary hard drive. Can I just move the drive over and expect XP to recognize the new hardware? Do I need to remove old drivers first? Install new ones? Do a 'repair' install of XP on the new system? Or (please, no!) a clean install? What about using Windows' built-in NT Backup utility?
The most trouble-free way? That would be the clean installation. I realize that it's a pain to start over, but you are shifting from an AMD system to a Pentium system. That's completely different hardware, and I wouldn't advise just attaching the hard drive and praying to the computer gods. You are going to need Intel chipset drivers, at the very least, the newest of which are not in the XP database.
At this point, depending on the type of hard drive, you can't even be sure if the new mainboard will recognize the disk correctly! When you change out mainboards and processors like this, for all intents and purposes, it's a brand new computer, and you should treat it as such. Unless you would prefer spending a couple of days troubleshooting problems, which may end up forcing you to format the hard drive, anyway.
In conclusion ... back up your data, format the active partition, and start from the beginning. Personally, I might attempt this when shifting to another mainboard that is similar to the one already in the system, but not when going to a processor and mainboard with different architecture.