Jump to content

Move old HDD/XP install to another computer


greenknight

Recommended Posts

I finally killed the old computer (well, not finally, I'm sure it can be resurrected; just broke off one of the tabs the CPU cooler clamps to... I'm sure I can rig something). Anyway we had another machine waiting in the wings (it was a freebie, and I think I understand why they gave it away), this was just the incentive needed to undertake the hassle of changing over.

This is a 2005 emachines, pathetically short of RAM (512 MB of DDR, 128 of which is sucked up by the onboard graphics :pinch: ) , but I can fix that quick enough. The original owner (who obviously knew nothing about computers, or they never would have bought an emachines), wiped their data by using the emachines restore function, apparently, returning everything to original default. So this thing's not only loaded with crapware, it's all 6 years out of date. Plus, we don't even have the discs for it.

So what I'd like to do is take the HDD from our old computer and install it as the master drive - and make the one with all the emachines crap on it the slave, reformat it, and use it for backups and extra storage (they're virtually identical WDC Caviar units, so compatibility is no problem). We have an off-the-shelf copy of XP, not OEM, so it's not tied to the one computer. Just have re-activate it, and it'll be good to go.

Of course, it's not that simple; XP doesn't recognize the hardware and won't boot on a different computer than it was installed on, and there are new drivers needed. Several sites advise that a repair install of XP with the drive hooked up on the new computer will make it bootable. Correct? Is there a better way?

For the drivers I've got Double Driver on a boot disc (UBCD4Win), I've made a backup of all the non-Microsoft drivers onto a USB stick which includes Double Driver Portable to do the restoring. The MS drivers are all dated 2001, and since we've got a 2002 edition of XP, I figure we've already got them. Good enough?

I've seen it stated that the drive that's being moved should first be run as a slave, the old drivers uninstalled, and new ones installed. Is that necessary? I thought maybe I could just boot it into safe mode and make the driver changes. What do you think?

Need to scrounge up another connector before I can hook up a slave drive, the extra power connections provided in this machine don't have enough wire to reach :frustrated: . Also hope to find the CD with SP3.iso that I burned way back when XP SP3 came out, that will be a big time saver. For temporary use I made this thing almost tolerable by running PC De-crapifier, uninstalling McAfee, updating Flash, and installing Firefox, Avira, and MBAM. It's nice to have a DVD drive, 5 USB ports (and card-reader slots I have no current use for), and a faster CPU, but I won't be really happy with it until I get all my old stuff back. And more RAM...did you do the math? Can you believe it? 384MB of RAM to run XP? :realmad: Unbelievable.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance.

<edit> I found an MS MVP page about this that went into great detail. There is another method, much more complex and hazardous - I won't be using that method. I will be making a fresh backup image of the old install before I do anything else, by the way, in case this goes wrong (software for that is also on the boot disc). I think it should work, though, the hardware's not drastically different - both AMD single-core CPUs, old one's a Duron, new one's a Sempron 3400+. If it fails, I'll just restore the image, slave the drive, and transfer everything the slow way. :boring: I sure hope it works. <end edit>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah, an eMachines from 2005 would actually be a Gateway.

Up to 2004, an eMachines was actually an eMachines

From January/February 2004 to October 2007 they were part of Gateway

Now they are part of Acer (because Acer bought Gateway).

I did something like this a few months back. I upgraded the motherboard; the cpu; ram; case; power supply; and all accesories in one go. -- in other words I moved the hard disk from one computer to another.

It's not the processor that's critical, it's the motherboard chipset. The old drive needs to be set up with the correct driver(s) and the registry with the correct entries in the critical device database basically for the motherboard southbridge, otherwise you get a BSoD:


STOP: 0x0000007B (0xF741B84C,0xC0000034,0x00000000,0x00000000)

INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE

There are hundreds, probably thousands of web pages that talk about "mergeide.reg" and so on. They are all more or less ripped copies of a Microsoft KB article: "You receive a Stop 0x0000007B error after you move the Windows XP system disk to another computer"

Do you know the DeviceID's? You can get these from Device Manager.

.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I figured out the Gateway connection already. I did a lot of research already. The motherboard is an FIC K8MC51G LF, southbridge is an nVIDIA nForce 410. The drivers are from Microsoft, which is one reason I figured a repair install would probably work. Some of them are from SP2, but I have an ISO of XP slipstreamed with SP3 which would have those or newer ones.

If I try this approach and it fails, it's not going to break anything, is it? As long as I can restore the disc image and get back to where I was, I think it's worth a try. Is there any way this could damage the hardware?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From what I've heard it sounds like the only problem might be if different makes of HDDs didn't play well together. Since these are the same make and model there should be no problem. Even better, the new machine's drive was already jumpered to "Cable Select", all I had to do was set the old one the same, and I can switch them back and forth without ever touching those jumpers again. Very nice.

Another nice thing I found, the modem in this machine works well with Puppy Linux. I'm using Puppy right now, actually. Runs really fast - unfortunately, I can't load my saved sessions due to lack of RAM, but once that's fixed it'll be great.

Thanks to both of you guys for your input.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hacking the registry and drivers to swap your HDs looks to be a bit more complicated.

I'm a bit puzzled by your reference to Microsoft drivers, however, as I would be expecting Nvidia nForce4 drivers. Specifically I would hope to see PCI\VEN_10DE in the DeviceID in Device Manager and in the Registry and nvgts.sys in \WINDOWS\system32\drivers.

In the Registry, specifically, I would be looking for:


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\CriticalDeviceDatabase\pci#ven_10DE&dev_????

where ???? is the DeviceID for your SATA/IDE controller.

Also, it's unlikely that the video driver will be in Microsoft's "inbox"* drivers so having hacked things to be able to boot and not get a STOP Error, the next thing will be that the screen reverts to VGA (640 * 480) resolution, destroying your screen icon layout in the process.

*("inbox" is Microsoft-speak for in-the-box, meaning it's on the XP CD in the drivers CAB file.)

One other point, I think I'm right in saying that eMachines were a Royalty licence holder from Microsoft, which means to say that their OEM installs were pre-activated (against the hardware) and never needed activation.

Finally, could you drop me a link to the MVP's page with instructions that you referred to? I'm curious to see how they thought it should be done.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, the device ID for the IDE controller (it's not SATA) does start with PCI\VEN_10DE, which is followed by about 50 more characters. In the registry there are 10 different entries that start with pci#ven_10DE&dev where you told me to look. Hoping not to have to deal with that stuff.

It does say the drivers are provided by Microsoft. I could still use Double Driver to transfer them, which I was already prepared to do with the video driver. If I need to do that with the IDE Controller driver, then I imagine I will have to run it as a slave to install the drivers. Not that big of a deal.

Here's a link to that MVP's page: Changing a Motherboard or Moving a hard drive with XP installed.

He does say that it's a crap shoot, but I have my data well backed up.

.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It occurred to me when I was more awake that I don't need to guess at which drivers to back up, just save Double Driver's driver list from the new drive and compare it with the list from the old drive. This list includes device IDs, along with other details; it's attached.

On the list I've put an X next to any Microsoft drivers I don't find an exact version number match to in the old install. I plan to back those up along with the non-Microsoft drivers, in case I need them. One I put a question mark by - Intel Pentium 3. No idea what that's doing there, and the driver version matches what I've already got, so I probably don't need it. Probably back it up anyway.

If you checked out the link in the previous post, you've seen what I'm proposing to try - just hook up the drive to the new computer and do a repair install of XP. Then I'll slave it and put in the needed drivers.<edit> You can't do that, don't know what I was thinking <end edit> If it will then work as the master drive, great. If not, I'm not going to mess with it any more, I'll just slave it again and migrate the data piecemeal.

I have to wait, though, until the extra cable we just ordered arrives so I can hook up a slave. I still can't believe those idiots at Gateway provided an extra power connecter that can't reach anything. What's the point? Had to get a Y splitter to fix it, anyway, would have been just as well off if they hadn't put that connector there at all.

MININT-JVC.txt

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I see what you are wanting to do and I've actually encountered Michael Stevens' instructions before. I think the last time I read them was when I carried out the HDD swap mentioned above. I went for a rather more advanced method similar to what is outlined as Option #2 -- I edited the Registry by hand to tell XP what to expect as the motherboard chipset so that it would boot up straight away (hence my pre-occupation with hardware & DeviceIDs). Didn't bother with safe mode or anything like that but once booted (which it did first time) I worked my way through Device Manager in advanced mode installing any missing drivers and removing those for the old motherboard. Didn't use mergeide.reg, either from the Microsoft KB article, or from the gazillian articles based on it, because it doesn't have the correct stuff in it for my computer(s).

However, that's for the seriously experienced (or foolhardy, depending on your point of view) -- so option 1 seems like a much, much better idea.

I've looked at the attachment and now, I'm even more confused, because not only is a Pentium III listed, but also listed is a complete Intel 815E motherboard chipset to run the Pentium III. In addition, there is a GeForce4 MX440 graphics card for an AGP slot.

There's various other things:-

Alcor card reader

Conexant (?) modem

etc

Personally, I wouldn't be too bothered about the listed Microsoft drivers. They are all installed from standard Microsoft .INF files, so will be on the CD. Version numbers will only change if the Service Packs (1, 2 or 3) or a recent Security Update has changed them.

The others (non-Microsoft) will all have required device drivers installing at some time, either off the motherboard CD or downloaded from the internet. These stand out as being installed from OEMnn.INF Do a text search for "oem" on your attached text file and you'll see how I quickly picked out the card reader, for instance. (Disregard the search result that brings up the OEM in ms_pppoeminiport, because that should be parsed as pppoe-mini-port.)

I think it would be a good idea to save, as a precaution, if you haven't already done so, the OEMBIOS files and the WPA files. Incidentally there's a typo on the MVP page. The second file is wpa.bak. The cross-link to the late Alex Nichol's article (he died in 2005) has changed: it should be http://aumha.org/win5/a/wpa.htm. The other thing to save would be the product key from the registry. Either with KeyFinder, or copied straight out of the registry.

I'm assuming that the eMachines would be a royalty (a.k.a. SLP, a.k.a pre-activated) licence. It's easy to tell. In My computer -> Properties it will give the Product ID as something like xxxxx-OEM-0011903-00xxxx if it is. However, preserving that is a whole new ball game.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrator

I'm assuming that the eMachines would be a royalty (a.k.a. SLP, a.k.a pre-activated) licence. It's easy to tell. In My computer -> Properties it will give the Product ID as something like xxxxx-OEM-0011903-00xxxx if it is. However, preserving that is a whole new ball game.

Can also cross reference the Product IDs in the Lunarsoft Wiki.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Alcor card reader and Conexant modem are are present. The original owner could have installed a graphics card and removed it before they gave the machine away. The Pentium 3 and Intel motherboard are the only things that are really weird.

I don't want to keep the emachines OEM copy of XP, though I think I'll make an image of it before I wipe the drive. Won't that save all that stuff? I could make separate copies of OEMBIOS files, wpa files and the product key if you think it's a good idea.

Yes, it's a royalty license - no matter, we've got an off-the-shelf copy of XP that's going to replace it.

I also have another option for restoring drivers and software - the emachines has an option to create drivers and applications CDs/DVDs, and you can selectively restore items from them. It doesn't need the installed recovery software running to use it, so I think it would work for what I need if Double Driver doesn't.

@ Tarun - Thanks for the link, didn't know that page was there. Might come in handy sometime, but I already knew this machine has XP Home OEM SP2 even before I checked My Computer > Properties.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrator

Something else you could do is get an OEM cd and use the key from the back of the machine you just got and reinstall Windows like that. A nice, fresh start, no partitions necessary, no OEM crapware installed. But it's been ages since I did that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Something else you could do is get an OEM cd and use the key from the back of the machine you just got and reinstall Windows like that. A nice, fresh start, no partitions necessary, no OEM crapware installed. But it's been ages since I did that.

Well, Tarun, it looks like that may be what I'll need to do. It won't boot from the retail XP CD, seems it requires an OEM CD. I found a thread on the "Unofficial emachines Forum" on the subject, guy there was told by emachines the CD has to include the OEMBIOS files. It may be possible, though, to add those to my slipstreamed XP SP3 iso, I found another site that talks about creating an "OEM" disc that way. I'll have to give it a try. Just 4 little files, they have to be converted to CAB files and inserted in the i386 folder. Might be doable...

I don't know when they started this crap; I was able to boot an emachines to the Recovery Console to do a fixboot awhile back using this retail CD, and that computer was only a little older than this one. No dice now, though; I get a blue screen that disappears so fast I can't read any of the text, then it goes to the "Windows failed to boot" screen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrator

Shame you can't upgrade to a better computer and use Windows 7. It's truly the best OS ever. :P

I remember doing what you want to do. ONCE. It was more hassle than it was worth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To find out the blue screen details you could download and run Nir Sofer's BlueScreenView See BlueScreenView v1.40 - View BSOD (blue screen) crash information stored in dump files.

Actually, I'm not sure what you mean by "won't boot from the retail XP CD". Is that before or after you attempted the repair install? I assume you mean after, otherwise I can't make sense of what's happening.

As for the oembios stuff, you need eight files in total to convert a CD from retail to OEM, not 4. Also, if you are going to use the eMachines oembios files, you need the key that's in the registry, not the one on the COA sticker. As I said before, that's a whole new ball game, but it's doable.

.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It won't boot to the installation CD so I can do a repair install. No dump file was created.

I've got the product key from the registry, but I think Tarun's right - it's more trouble than it's worth. Better just to get an actual OEM disc. It's not as if I had nothing else to do all day but mess around with this machine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

New development - we got the restore disc and documentation for the computer. Now I can make an installation disc from the restore disc. I've downloaded XP-Iso-Builder and after checking that out a bit, nLite as well (XPIB said I should see the help forum for properly integrating the nVidia drivers - but I don't speak German, and there's nothing in the English-language forum. I can use nLite for that, and for reducing the cruft). Any thoughts?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrator

Do not touch nLite, at all. It's also blacklisted in our wiki.

Wreaklessly strips out services and other required files; causing numerous issues with every release. This program will also modify files on your hard drive. It has been reported by numerous users that nLite "modifies every Windows installation file, even if you didn't modify anything related to that file. It will add "nLite" to the bottom of the file."
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It won't boot to the installation CD so I can do a repair install. No dump file was created.

Upon reflection, if the blue-screen is occurring whilst booting off the CD, that sounds a lot like the old SATA driver problem. In which case it's nothing to do with Retail versus OEM CDs, and everything to do with turning off AHCI mode in the BIOS.

.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Tarun - I realized you could seriously screw thing up with nLite, didn't know it would modify files you don't want it to. In that case I won't use it.

@James_A - This system doesn't have SATA. <edit> Took a look, only options for ACPI are, under Power Management Setup, ACPI Suspend Type; options are S1, S3 (the default), or S1 & S3. Turning off ACPI is nowhere to be found. <end edit>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Forget what i said about not booting from the install disc, that was just my stupidity. I was able to do a repair install with the retail CD, but it wouldn't complete the boot-up process afterwards; when the Welcome Screen should have appeared, got the message "Setup is restarting" and it started over - and over, and over, in an endless loop.

Made an install disc from the recovery disc using XP-Iso-Builder, but it doesn't offer the repair install option. Looks like I can use it for a clean install, though. If it will also work for running sfc scannow, that will be good enough.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My clean install disc didn't work out, either. I wanted to take out all the crapware before building it, but the third-party programs weren't in recognizable form - the recovery disc just had a folder called Preloads containing a bunch of files with names that meant nothing to me, with nothing humanly readable in them.

Tried removing that whole folder, along with a few other files that didn't belong on an XP installer disc. The disc I created installed the OS, but the modem didn't work; "No plug & play modem was detected". I got it to install, but the dialer program couldn't see it even though the Device Manager said it was working properly. Had to restore the previous install from a backup image.

Oh, well, I've got it pretty well cleaned up now anyway - and I got rid of that stupid little restore partition while I was doing all this. The only other thing I wanted to accomplish was to make the system partition smaller so backup imaging would be more practical, and I got that done with GParted (so glad I had a Linux disc on hand). Shrank C: down to about 40 GB (seems you can't do this with Vista, it won't boot afterward, don't know about Win 7). Created a new D: partition from the remaining disk space and moved my Downloads folder there - games and other space-hogs will go there, too. I thought about moving all user data to D:, but it's too much hassle - it's not like anybody's going to be downloading lots of video content with this setup.

So, after all this fooling around, I'm going to be migrating data from the (slaved) old HDD after all. It was a learning experience, though; I really learned to hate OEM computers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Just to wrap this up - resizing the system partition had only minor side effects. When I went to Microsoft Update to get a missing hotfix (discovered thanks to Belarc Advisor), it said I needed at least IE4 to use the site. I had installed IE8 early on, and still had the installer, so I just re-installed it. That took care of that problem.

Then I installed SpywareBlaster, and found it couldn't detect Firefox; just like the (now fixed) bug in the Firefox External Profile Manager - but I hadn't installed that yet. I re-installed Firefox, too - problem solved.

Would it have gone better if I'd used the Disk Management tool in Win XP instead of GParted in Linux? I doubt it very much - and formatting takes forever with that turkey, whereas Parted does it in seconds. Anyway, considering all the "make sure you back up everything first" warnings I saw, it looks like I got off pretty lightly.

Upgraded the RAM - found a pair of Kingston 1GB modules on eBay for only $39.00 (with free shipping, yet!). Tests perfect, works great; now this machine is downright zippy. Installed OpenOffice to replace Office; LibreOfffice looks like bloatware to me, and since Oo is now being maintained by the Apache Foundation I think its future is secure. Got everything set up the way I want it, at long last, and it's working pretty good. :D

@Tarun - It would run Win 7, with the RAM upgrade. Don't want to spend the money, though - and performance is really snappy now with XP. Gonna ride this old hoss until it dies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...