Vista OS: Moving Hard Drive to a Different PC

  Funktion 00:07 31 Mar 09

Hi guys,

I have a problem with Vista. A problem of my own making, not Microsoft's (for once) but a problem nonetheless.

I have just moved house, and unfortunately in my haste to get some music going whilst we sorted through our unending boxes I shorted the PSU of my ageing Epox MiniMe media PC, blew the motherboard and tripped the fuseboard in the house! In my defense, I think that somebody may have mistreated my little cube on the journey over here - it appears to have a dent on one corner that I don't remember having seen before. Anyway, after a great deal of swearing I'm now over it and accepting that a new PC must be obtained (since suitable Epox mobo/PSUs are pretty impossible to find).

Now my question is this: can my Vista Ultimate installation (from the old media PC) be transferred to a new PC if I can't find the original Vista disk? The HDD with Windows on is undamaged, so I know I can recover my data, but the OS refuses to boot - I guess this is down to Microsoft's anti-piracy 'beat those pesky hardware-changing end users with a big stick for daring to make any changes' attitude. I have had to boot from CD and repair the Vista installation after previous hardware changes, but as yet I am unable to locate the CD (it's not in my usual PC-related disk stash and we're prety much all unpacked now) and I can't get the HDD to boot on any other PC for obvious reasons.

I want to buy a new media cube, probably from eBay and probably without Vista installed since that will keep the price down. Once I have a new machine is there any way to swap in my original media HDD with a minimum of fuss? Since the serial# is located on my Vista disk case can I use somebody else's copy of Vista to run a repair if my own disk doesn't turn up, use WinGuggle or suchlike to pull out my own serial# and ring MS to reactivate? I'm damned if I'm paying full retail price for Ultimate (on which note, there's an ad at the bottom of this page for click here - looks pretty dodgy but for £20 for Ultimate seems like a good deal).

I hope you understand my predicament and can offer some advice (even if the advice is to suck it up and buy a new OS).


  rickf 00:27 31 Mar 09

I think you might have answered your own question. It probably won't boot up with a new M/B with new hardware. Have you tried googling this porblem. I have managed to find some obscure solutions to pC porblems. Worth a try. The link you provided looks very dodgy. It does say they are copies.

  Funktion 00:44 31 Mar 09

I've been having a browse online too and came across the Neosmart Vista Recovery Disc so I'm going to give that a go and then start asking around to see if anyone has a Vista CD I can borrow. From what I can see with a bit of searching it seems like a blast with a repaired installation may sort it out. I'll report back if it works just in case anyone else needs to repair an installation with no disk.

Re: that dodgy link - ironic that a site like that manages to get advertised on PCAdvisor! How is that even legal???

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