Move HDD w/XP Pro From Old Dell to New Dell w/Vista ?

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by Gravestone Doji, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. Gravestone Doji

    Gravestone Doji Gawd

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    I now have two Dell PCs, one with XP and one with Vista, I want to use the new Vista machine for music, videos, entertainment apps, downloading MP3s, e-mail, browsing the net, etc. I also day-trade the stock market and I want to use the older Dell PC strictly for my stock trading platform software (planning on getting a new HDD and another XP Pro OS disk to do a fresh install of XP on the Optiplex).

    As the title says, I want to remove the HDD from my two year old Dell Optiplex that's running XP Pro and install it into my new Dell XPS 420 that has Vista Home Premium loaded. I want to be able to boot to either OS in the XPS 420. I know I'll have to get the correct drivers for the XPS 420 components and install them onto the XP drive, but I don't want to have to reinstall XP on the HDD I'm moving to the new Dell XPS machine.

    Anyone know if this is possible with Dell PCs? If so, what steps do I take after I've installed the HDD from the Optiplex into the XPS 420? Any help you guys can offer would be greatly appreciated as I don't want to loose my Adobe apps.
     
  2. DeaconFrost

    DeaconFrost [H]ardForum Junkie

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    It doesn't matter what brand the computer is, but what does matter is the order the operating systems are installed. You want to do a dual boot system, which would require installing XP first, and then Vista. I'm not much of a day-trader, but I can't imagine that Vista couldn't be used for that as well.

    Oh, I see that you don't have discs for those programs anymore. If they aren't legally owned by you, I would remove those comments from your post. Supposedly, there is software that will let you set up a dual boot system after both OSes are installed, but I wouldn't trust something like that. I'd leave well enough alone right now, since you don't have the install discs, and leave both drives separate. If the old one isn't fast enough for you, you probably can do some minor upgrades for it.
     
  3. Gravestone Doji

    Gravestone Doji Gawd

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    Well on your advice I removed the reference to the software titles. I bought the Optiplex used and the software was on the machine when I got it. They were legally installed and registered on the PC, but not by me. So I reckon I did nothing wrong. But thanks for the advice.

    I'm sure I could run my trading apps on Vista. I just want to seperate what I use each machibe for and keep my trading PC clean without a lot of Dell bloatware and tons of other software installed.

    What software allows for dual-boot after both OS are installed and why shouldn't it be trusted?
     
  4. DeaconFrost

    DeaconFrost [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Someone else would probably give instructions, because I've never used this software, but VistaBootPro should be able to do it. And about the software, I think you're safe from a Forum standpoint. Threads often get locked when warez and/or pirated apps are discussed, but I don't think's the case here.
     
  5. Gravestone Doji

    Gravestone Doji Gawd

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    Well it's not illegal to buy a used PC. If the software that's loaded on this PC was purchased and installed legally, (which it appears to have been because it's registered to the guy I bought the PC from) I don't see how its much different than if I go to a friends house and jump on their PC and use software that's loaded that they installed legally. I doubt ( and hope ) that doesn't constitute pirated software or warez. Again, thanks for your advice though.

    The link you provided looks like what I'd need. The very first line says:

    "Chances are you're here because you're running Windows Vista and want to do one of two things. Install a second OS or manage your boot configuration without directly editing the BCDEdit file."

    I take it the second option, manage your boot configuration without directly editing the BCDEdit file, is what I should look into, correct?
     
  6. DeaconFrost

    DeaconFrost [H]ardForum Junkie

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    It sounds like it. I'm under the impression that this software basically runs before an OS loads, to let you select which drive to boot from. Both drives are technically bootable.
     
  7. xxEIEIOxx

    xxEIEIOxx 2[H]4U

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    Actually, since they are both Dell, I would expect no problem. If they were pre activated OEM copies, I could see the activation being broken by going from say a Dell, to an HP, and Microsoft refusing to reactivate it... just a thought for future reference.

    Anyway, here is a site with several boot managers, might be worth checking out: http://www.multibooters.co.uk/managers.html
     
  8. Gravestone Doji

    Gravestone Doji Gawd

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    Well, I'm almost certain that they're both OEM since both PCs came loaded with these OSs from Dell. Plus I have the Dell re-install disks for both machines. Not quite sure what you mean by "pre activated OEM copies" though. However, I have heard that if you change the CPU or motherboard that an OEM OS may need to be reactivated. If this is the case after I install the HDD from the Optiplex into the XPS, a call to Microsoft for a reactivation won't require a reinstall of XP, correct?
     
  9. xxEIEIOxx

    xxEIEIOxx 2[H]4U

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    Pre activated OEM copies are when you buy a PC from Dell and you don't have to activate it, it is already done, most likely tied to the bios. Most any Dell disk I have used works with another Dell, so you shouldn't have to reactivate, and if you do you won't have to reinstall. At least that has been my experience. I'm sure others have horror stories, but I don't expect you'll have any major problems.
     
  10. Keiichi

    Keiichi [H]ard|Gawd

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    From a purely technical standpoint, you should be able to do this without doing anything extra. You would just need to be fast enough to hit the F-whatever key to access the boot menu options on the 420. That'll be the cheapest way of doing it and you don't have to do anything extra. However you will most likely need to reactivate XP Pro when you use the old drive in the 420.

    To make it all legal in terms of licensing you would need to do this:
    1. When you get the new HD you can use the xp pro product key on your optiplex with the oem install discs (this of course assumes that the product key sticker on that machine is for XP Pro.)

    2. You will need to purchase a full copy of XP Pro and eventually install on the drive that got transplanted into the 420.
     
  11. Gravestone Doji

    Gravestone Doji Gawd

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    I know I can use the XP Pro product key on my Optiplex with an OEM install disc (and yes, the product key sticker on the Optiplex machine is for XP Pro). But I don't think I would be able to use that same XP Pro product key thats listed on the sticker on the Optiplex machine if I plan on buying a new HDD and buy another OEM version of XP Pro to install.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "needing to purchase a full copy of XP Pro and eventually install on the drive that got transplanted into the 420". The drive that's getting transplanted into the 420 already has a full version of XP Pro installed and I'm buying another copy of XP Pro OEM to install in the Optiplex.

    Two other questions have come to mind:

    1.) If the install of the XP disk from the Optiplex is successfully transplanted into the XPS 420 and I can boot to either OS, not only will I be able to utilize every program on the XP disk just like I did when it was installed in the Optiplex machine, but when I boot to that disk, it will sort of be like my Optiplex is now inside my XPS, utilizing the faster CPU, newer mobo, ram, etc. Is this a correct analogy?

    2.) Utilizing some sort of boot manager, like VistaBootPro, if I boot to XP, then Vista doesn't even load? And if I boot to Vista, then XP doesn't load? or will I be able to switch between them after I boot to either OS?
     
  12. xxEIEIOxx

    xxEIEIOxx 2[H]4U

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    1.) Yes, it will be like booting your Optiplex as far as programs and such, utilizing the hardware of the XPS, once you get the correct drivers installed into it.

    2.) Boot manager loads. You will get a list of installed Operating Systems. Probably also a timeout, with one as a default. You would have to reboot to switch.
     
  13. Gravestone Doji

    Gravestone Doji Gawd

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    A timeout? Please explain what you mean by a "timeout."

    Also, I thought of a couple other questions:

    1.) The list of Boot Managers you supplied a link to look interesting, especially the last one on the list; BootIT Next Gen. I'd like to know if this would perhaps be a better choice than VistaBootPro?

    2.) I'm also concerned about what DeaconFrost said that there's "software that will let you set up a dual boot system after both OSes are installed, but I wouldn't trust something like that. I'd leave well enough alone." If I run into problems with a Boot Manager, problems/error messages that seem too complex or difficult to remedy, will I be able to put the HDD back in the Optiplex and have it run the same as well as restore the XPS back to it's original loading configuration?