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Cloning issues.


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#1 feeshta21

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 05:40 PM

Hello All. I am having a little trouble trying to clone an operating installation over to a new drive. I needed a new work computer for my girlfriend, and it doesn't need to be anything exotic, so I thought I would utilize existing equipment I have around and build her a decent PC. I did buy a new hard drive, and used an older tower that I had recently replaced which had all the needed equipment. Instead of paying for a new copy of Windows XP, I thought I could use an existing copy I had loaded in an older laptop that is no longer used. The install disk was damaged somehow and will not read, so I thought I should be able to simply clone the drive from the laptop onto the new machine and be good to go. I used a free program called Driveimage XML and created an image of the old drive, transferred that image to my main PC which is a windows 7 machine, installed the image onto the new Samsung drive using that PC, and then tried to boot from the new drive. Only problem is, the new drive will not boot up. The old drive I am cloning from is non-sata, and the new drive is a Samsung Spinpoint 500GB sata drive. I'm not sure if the transfer from no-sata to sata is the problem, as I know when you install XP onto a sata drive from scratch you need to load the sata drivers manually. I'm not even quite sure what system the old drive is. It's from an ancient Dell Inspiron 8100 laptop. It's only 10 GB.

Any help in getting this accomplished would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
Alan

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#2 Allan

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 05:53 PM

You can not clone a system drive on one system and expect it to boot in a different system.

Aside from violating the EULA, it simply won't work unless the two systems are 100% identical

#3 feeshta21

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 05:58 PM

So how do I go about getting my valid copy of XP transferred from one drive to the other when the original disk fails to work?

#4 Allan

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 06:00 PM

You can call Microsoft or purchase a new OS.

#5 feeshta21

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 06:00 PM

If ever there was a reply that I didn't want to hear, it was that one.

#6 Platypus

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 06:08 PM

I must have taken a long time to type this, as Allan posted while I was working on the reply.

But, as you say, XP generally cannot utilize a SATA drive without having the correct SATA drivers for the SATA interface installed. That could be why it will not boot, and it's not feasible to inject a SATA drive into an installation as far as I'm aware. Not only that, but as Allan has mentioned, you also generally cannot transfer a Windows installation onto a different system, as Windows is set up for the hardware in the old system. Occasionally a different system is similar enough that Windows will boot and has the correct HAL, and driver updates will make it functional, but I don't think we could expect that from a laptop installation. In fact, with some systems, especially laptops, the OS is hardware keyed to the computer and looks for a BIOS signature in order to operate. Such a tattoo prevents transfer entirely.

The other consideration is that if the original Windows XP is an OEM version, the installation is only licensed for that computer. If it is a full retail Windows and the laptop has been decommissioned, it can be re-installed onto another computer and re-activated. But if it is OEM, you may not be able to use that license key to activate the installation automatically (activation will be required with it installed on a different system) and you would need to convince Microsoft it is a repair (ie replacement of a faulty motherboard), which in this case would not be true.

Edited by Platypus, 02 May 2011 - 06:12 PM.

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#7 feeshta21

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 06:15 PM

It's a full retail version. It was installed onto that laptop by myself about a year and a half ago. I'm not sure what happened to the disk, but when I try to install I get errors about 75% of the way through the install. Can't remember what it said exactly, something about it couldn't locate certain files. In any case the install fails every time.

#8 Platypus

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 06:22 PM

You could try making a temporary copy of the installation CD - the copying process can have better error correction than the Windows installer, and you can sometimes recover a flawed CD this way. Or you can borrow and use the equivalent installation CD - ie it must be a retail CD of Home or Professional, whichever yours is. If a friend, relative, work or whatever has one you can borrow, use the product key from your own license, that's quite legitimate to do.

You almost certainly do need SATA drivers, have you obtained the drivers for the motherboard and put them on a floppy disk? If the new system doesn't have a FDD, you'd need to create a slipstreamed CD with the Windows installation files and the SATA drivers on it, but since it's an existing system I assume it has a FDD.

Edit: if the Windows installer is seeing the hard drive and commencing file copy, the SATA controller is probably in IDE emulation mode, in which case no SATA drivers will be required.

Edited by Platypus, 02 May 2011 - 06:50 PM.

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