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Switching HD's between computers


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#1 DTech

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 11:05 PM

I have a guy at work that wants to swap a Vista Machines HD and an XP Pro HD. Both IDE and also both computers are different.

As in Motherboard, CPU, VC, Ram... etc

Now can you Swap the HD's and just boot up and run with it, or do you have to install OS all over again?

I know I have had a Motherboard burn out and replaced with same MoBo, and I had to reinstall the OS... But he is swearing he has done it before.

Thank you in Advance.
D.

Edited by DTech, 26 January 2009 - 11:06 PM.


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#2 DJBPace07

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 11:28 PM

If the drive you are wanting to swap has the OS on it, then you cannot swap the drives so easily. In that case, you will need to either reinstall the OS or run the repair option from the bootable OS disc. The files related to the configuration, and the Windows boot data, would be different on both drives. Windows would probably not load successfully.

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#3 dc3

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 03:19 AM

When you take a hdd with a Windows OS installed on it that you have been using on one computer and then install it as in another computer you are asking for major problems. The excerpt below is from a Intel article which describes in detail what happens. The article also mentions a reference to an article by Microsoft, it can be seen here .

"Moving a hard drive with Windows* 2000 or Windows XP* already installed to a new motherboard without reinstalling the operating system is not recommended.

If a hard drive is moved to a new computer, the registry entries and drivers for the mass storage controller hardware on the new motherboard are not installed in Windows for the new computer and you may not be able to start Windows. This is documented in Microsoft's knowledge base article. This is true even if you move the hard drive to a motherboard with the same chipset, as different hardware revisions can cause this issue as well.

Additionally, moving a hard drive to a new motherboard may not exhibit any errors until you install new IDE drivers. This is because each chipset uses a different Plug-n-Play (PNP) ID to identify it. If you move your motherboard, your registry will have multiple PNP IDs (for the old hardware as well as the new hardware). If there are multiple entries in the registry, Windows cannot determine which hardware to initialize and therefore fails with a STOP error."


Alternatively, the method below can be tried, but I would back up all of your important files to removable media like CDs, DVDs, Flash drives, or a second hdd.

http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/moving_xp.html

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#4 DaffyKantReed

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 08:06 AM

I have a guy at work that wants to swap a Vista Machines HD and an XP Pro HD. Both IDE and also both computers are different.

As in Motherboard, CPU, VC, Ram... etc

Now can you Swap the HD's and just boot up and run with it, or do you have to install OS all over again?

I know I have had a Motherboard burn out and replaced with same MoBo, and I had to reinstall the OS... But he is swearing he has done it before.



You could try a repair install of Vista and/or XP, before booting either machine into Windows.

http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/88236-re...tall-vista.html


Due to the amount of time it takes and the generally poor results of a repair install I would urge most people to backup their important data and do a clean install of either OS for best results.

#5 DTech

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 07:27 PM

That is pretty much what I thought. So I confronted him today and now he said he did it with a SATA... and he changed the HDD out when the computer was still running and it picked up the OS...

So in other words I gather not to take any Tutorials from him and consider them... lmao...


Thanks alot for the added information.




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