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New hard drive, Old Computer


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#1 Tilted

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 07:02 PM

Good evening. This all started because my all in one has integrated graphics and can't run fallout 4. So I dug out my old tower, and asked the guys at work for spare parts. I struck gold with a 1 TB hard-drive with windows 8.1 on it. I hooked up my old tower, repeated my graphics card, plugged in the hard drive....and now it goes to a black screen with a blinking underscore, top left. I plugged my old hard drive to see if I could access the drive, same thing. If o unplug the new drive, my old hard drive boots up great. I can't see the other drive however if I plug it back in unless I got to disk manager, which doesn't allow me to assign a letter, ergo I can't access the drive. Now I'm stumped. Any ideas or any info you need, please let me know.

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#2 Tilted

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 07:05 PM

One more thing. The hard drive is from an HP pavilion, my computer is a Frankenstein, built from parts from 4 different computers.

#3 Niweg

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 07:44 PM

 You can't take a bootable HDD from one computer and put it in a different one without reinstalling Windows.  If you try, you'll almost always get the results you describe. Reinstall Windows on that drive, and it should work.

 

 Good luck.


Make regular full system backups or you'll be sorry sooner or later.


#4 Tilted

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 07:54 PM

Easy day, but i dont have an install disk. Would doing a system restore have the same effect? And if not, is there a windows alternative for OS that is open source? I don't have a whole lot of money.

That being said, is it a new thing you can't boot? All my other hard drives are from other computers and I was able to post then with out re-installing anything?

#5 JohnC_21

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 08:55 PM

If Windows 8.1 came out of a HP pavilion is likely the key for Windows 8.1 was in firmware of the HP. As Niweg posted, you cannot put a Windows 8.1 OS that was installed on different hardware and expect it to boot. There is a command you can use to strip out the drivers but you still would not be able to activate the OS. If the 8.1 was retail and not OEM then you could transfer the license but you need to copy the Software Hive from the disk and use Produkey along with a PID utility to see if it is retail.

 

You could probably copy the software hive offline using a bootable disk like Hirens or Fatdog64, a bootable linux disk.

 

Another possible reason you are having issues is because Windows was installed on a UEFI computer with a GPT disk. You older computer is most likely MBR and not UEFI.

 

http://woshub.com/booting-windows-7-from-a-gpt-disk-using-bios-firmware-non-uefi/

 

According to the official Microsoft documentation http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hardware/gg463525.aspx, all its OSs starting from Windows Server 2003 SP1 support GPT volumes as the data disks. However, only 64-bit Windows versions installed on the UEFI motherboards are able to boot from a GPT volume.

Edit: For an open source OS look at Linux Mint but you will not be playing Fallout 4 with it.


Edited by JohnC_21, 06 February 2016 - 08:57 PM.


#6 Tilted

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 09:11 PM

So basically, buy a copy of windows?
Or can I convert the hard-drive to a non gpt?

#7 Tilted

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 09:12 PM

And is there a way to get the product key if I put the hard drive back into buddies computer? So that I could reinstall on my tower? Since I can't access the hard drive by any means I own currently

Edited by Tilted, 06 February 2016 - 09:13 PM.


#8 JohnC_21

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 09:18 PM

If you want Windows, yes. You would need to format the drive with 8.1 and do a clean install. If you are a student or know a student you may be able to get Windows at a big discount.

 

Yes, install the drive in another computer  Download Produkey. When you start Produkey it will pick up the key from the computers boot disk. You need to do the steps shown here to pull the key from your disk.

 

Using the key found form Produkey, input it into this utility. If it shows OEM then you will not be able to transfer the license to your computer. If there is no OEM then you can download the Windows 8.1 iso here.



#9 Tilted

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 09:28 PM

Excellent information. The only thing i doont quite understand is why the windows 8.1 won't load on a different computer....is it an anti piracy measure? Or a proprietary thing?

#10 JohnC_21

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 09:39 PM

All OEM computers that are pre-installed with 8 or 8.1 have their key embedded in firmware. Microsoft knows the hardware that is tied to the key. It used to be that all OEM computers from the same OEM had the same SLP key and it was tied to something called SLIC BIOS. Pirates were able to get around this by hacking a BIOS to make it look like an OEM. WIth 8.1 every OEM with Windows 8.1 has a discrete key in firmware.

 

 With SLP 3.0, OEM SLP keys are no longer used at all. Instead, a tool is used by the OEM to embed a unique key each computer's BIOS, making consumer versions of Windows 8 and later very difficult to pirate

 

 

Now this will not prevent a disk from trying to boot but I believe your problem is using an old BIOS computer with a GPT disk that was removed form a UEFI computer. See the link I provided in post #5. Unless you do a hack a GPT disk will not boot on a old BIOS computer.

 

only 64-bit Windows versions installed on the UEFI motherboards are able to boot from a GPT volume.

 

Edit: I am not 100% sure that produkey will pick out the key from the SOFTWARE hive on Windows 8.1 but I believe it will.


Edited by JohnC_21, 06 February 2016 - 09:44 PM.


#11 Tilted

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 10:10 PM

A-ha, I see. So I need a 64 bit boot in order to access the drive.

#12 Tilted

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 10:22 PM

Had a light bulb possibly. If I create restore discs and run a system restore on the drive, will that trick it into counting as a reinstall??

#13 JohnC_21

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 10:25 PM

Windows 7 32bit can read a GPT disk but it cannot boot a GPT disk. XP 32bit cannot read a GPT disk. I am not sure why your computer cannot boot with the Windows 8.1 disk attached as a secondary drive. You may be able to see if if you boot a linux distro.

 

Another thing to watch for. If Windows 8 or 8.1 uses a Windows Live account to login the data on the drive may be encrypted. You can boot the Fatdog disk I mentioned and see if it can open the contents of the Windows 8.1 drive.

 

http://distro.ibiblio.org/fatdog/web/

 

You will need to burn the iso to CD and boot it with the drive attached.  Fatdog64-702.iso

 

Were the restore disks created when the computer had Windows 7?

 

Edit: If your old computer's hard drive is good, you can clone it to the larger 1TB drive but that would remove Windows 8.1. 


Edited by JohnC_21, 06 February 2016 - 10:38 PM.


#14 Tilted

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Posted 07 February 2016 - 07:15 AM

I have not created the disks, however , I can use my wife's computer, which uses windows 10, and load the drive , create the disks. My computer runs 32bit xp because my hard drive with vista 64 is ...well I don't know where it is. So is that a possibility?

#15 JohnC_21

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Posted 07 February 2016 - 08:48 AM

You cannot create disks from a Windows 10 computer and use that on your old computer. Windows 10 is tied to the hardware ID and is only available as an upgrade from Windows 7 or 8. 






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