Transferring Windows XP Home

  Paul33 08:10 07 Feb 07

I want to replace the old 20GB hard drive in one of my PCs with a 120GB drive. I can't find the original Windows XP Home disc (if I ever had one) so want to know if I can somehow copy my existing XP Home installation to the new drive ..... if so, how do I do that ?

Because the current PC is full of garbage and struggling along with all sorts of problems, I don't want to copy over anything else. I just want a clean drive with XP Home installed.

Its an old NEC-X86 model desktop PC if that is of any relevance.

  Diodorus Siculus 08:22 07 Feb 07

Without the disk, it's either all or nothing. You can image the current disk to the new one and continue on from where you are or you will have to do a full install with a CD.

Having said that, you can run something like ccleaner to remove a lot of the detritus left behind - it also has a good registry cleaner. click here

  Taff™ 08:45 07 Feb 07

As an alternative suggestion, do you know anyone who has an XP Home Disc you could borrow? First run Belarc Advisor click here and print out the results which will include your CD Key for the XP Home installation. It will also give you a quick run down of the hardware you have installed which will be useful if you need current drivers.

Use the borrowed XP Home Disc to install windows XP but use your own CD Key provided by Belarc. Then slave the old 20Gb HDD and transfer over your data manually. (You could run Files & Settings Transfer Wizard on the old HDD first before you install the new one - this will give you all your data but may transfer some stuff you don`t realy want)

Once you`ve transferred the data you need from the old drive, format it using Disk Management and use it as storage.

  Batch 08:53 07 Feb 07

Not sure of the legitamacy of what Taff suggests (there have been several threads discussing this kind of topic). But does raise an interesting issue of whether a full retail XP Home Disc is necessary or whether an OEM version would suffice. Basically, is the difference between retail and OEM in the disc or the licence key (or both even)?

  Paul33 09:11 07 Feb 07

I do have a Windows sticker on the base unit with certain details on so I guess I already have proof of legitimacy ...... I just don't have the disc for that installation.

I'm pretty sure I do have a disc for one of my other XP Home machines.

  wotbus@ 09:23 07 Feb 07

Concur Taff™s tip,install from a generic installation CD is legit and practical but you MUST use your original Key. Tip: Leave your old HDD installed as Slave and keep it for backups ;-)

  Taff™ 12:25 07 Feb 07

Thanks wotbus@ - The only problem you may have is when you change the motherboard (Which you are not) This sometimes means you have to phone register XP Home but I`ve never had a problem when explaining a HDD upgrade - go for it.

  keef66 13:15 07 Feb 07

I have done clean installs of XP home twice now using my OEM CD and the pc owner's key from the sticker on the case. Activation was fine each time.

  Totally-braindead 13:23 07 Feb 07

I am fairly sure it is against the terms and conditions of the Microsoft Licencing rules but I have reinstalled Windows on dozens of PCs using a copy of XP which was not for the computer it was going to be installed on. As long as you use the proper licence code from the PC there is no problem, you can use anyones disk.

You will find though that is you try to use that licence code on another PC it will fail. You have to use the key that was used when the PC was sold.

  Diodorus Siculus 13:51 07 Feb 07

Just to clarify the above re. installation using a third party disk: the disk has to be the same version and service pack as the licence key is for i.e. if the original installation was for XP Home SP1, then the disk used must be XP Home SP1.

  Paul33 15:01 07 Feb 07

No problems ...... thanks for your help.

I'll let you know how I get on.

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