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  • #2154019

    Installing an XP Pro Hard drive with a Vista Hard Drive


    by dbk.kate ·

    I have a shiney new HP Vista pc and i have found that i cannot use LOADS of my software with Vista. I want to install the old XP Pro hard drive in the same tower with the Vista pc and be able to use the software/programs. I do not want to have to reinstall XP Pro, just use the drive “as is” in the same system. Can i do this? Will i have to be able to boot up the XP hard drive or can i run the programs on that drive by accessing it as an internal backup drive?
    Make this easier for me. i have thought and thought and read online and i am not finding the answer i want/need.

All Answers

  • Author
    • #2921090


      by dbk.kate ·

      In reply to Installing an XP Pro Hard drive with a Vista Hard Drive


    • #2921082

      Is it from the same system?

      by cmiller5400 ·

      In reply to Installing an XP Pro Hard drive with a Vista Hard Drive

      If the hard drive is not built on the same system, you can not do this because it will have different hardware drivers. A re-installation of XP on the “new” system will be necessary. Sorry

      • #2921043

        I agree….

        by —tk— ·

        In reply to Is it from the same system?

        I have seen some Desktops that you can move the Hard drive from PC to PC, but 99% of the time it doesn’t work, and if it does you will need to re validate XP…

        Watch out. XP on a vista PC, can get hairy. Drivers can be hard to find, if there are any..

        I have a HP laptop built for vista, It was a pain in the neck to get XP on it! Drivers were slim to none. I even had to use a Dell Driver to get the wireless to work… go figure…

    • #2921040

      RE: [i]Can i do this?

      by oh smeg ·

      In reply to Installing an XP Pro Hard drive with a Vista Hard Drive

      Answer NO.

      As the different computers have different hardware so the HAL.DLL will be different and prevent the system from booting.

      However if you have a M$ Brand Install Disc you can do a Repair Install and retain your existing software load. But if you only have System Makers Recovery Disc’s like the one that came with the [b]Shiney New HP[/b] they you [b]Can Not[/b] perform a Repair Install.


    • #2921010

      Step by Step guide for you …

      by Anonymous ·

      In reply to Installing an XP Pro Hard drive with a Vista Hard Drive

      Once you have done this, you can then transfer the info off your old Xp drive onto the new Xp partition. when done you will be able to duel boot between them, but PLEASE DO A BACK UP FIRST. You have been warned.

      Please post back if you have any more problems or questions.

      • #2920981


        by chris.crampton ·

        In reply to Step by Step guide for you …

        Why not use Virtualisation software eg. Microsofot Virtual PC?

        Install Windows XP on Virtual PC along with the software.

        When you need to use your Windows XP software no need to do a reeboot and Change OS – Just start up your virtual machine!

    • #2920929

      Installing an XP Pro Hard drive with a Vista Hard Drive

      by tcowles1 ·

      In reply to Installing an XP Pro Hard drive with a Vista Hard Drive

      No really due to many factors like hardware compatibility list / HCL
      The os when installed is actiually builds aroung this during the initial installation.
      It is possible to have Vista and XP on the same machine but this does take some work and I recommend seprate partitions for each OS… and this may or may not work out for you…

      I agree with VMware or virtualization…. Look in to this at… or virtual PC from Microsoft can be a solution…

      In any case your looking at a reload and reconfigurations… ect… A lot of work ahead.. Why not run both machines and use a KVM to switch between the 2 or use Remote desktop when you need the other CPU… but if your looking to run XP because the SW will not run on Vista due to incompatibilities and to eliminate the other CPU the there may be no real choice but to reformat the Vista and reload XP or the VM option…
      Again in any case – good luck sounds like you got a little work ahead…

      • #2921555
        Avatar photo


        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Installing an XP Pro Hard drive with a Vista Hard Drive


        • #2921553

          Ahem. HAL.

          by boxfiddler ·

          In reply to :_|

          HAL should not be in Questions. It is forbidden. Return at once to Discussions.


      • #2921528

        And before Upgrading to XP from Vista

        by oh smeg ·

        In reply to Installing an XP Pro Hard drive with a Vista Hard Drive

        Check that there are XP drivers available for all of your hardware. It’s way too late to try to work out what hardware you have available after wiping Vista and installing XP.

        You need to look in Device Manager and make a full List of all the listed hardware make & Model as shown in the Device Manager then start looking for XP drivers. You can start at the HP Web Site but you may need to look further depending on your hardware.


    • #2921499

      Repair/Install and probable Reactivation

      by rob miners ·

      In reply to Installing an XP Pro Hard drive with a Vista Hard Drive

      Make sure that the Boot order within your Bios is set correctly to read off your Optical Drive.

      Disconnect the drive with Vista, set the new drive as Master if it is IDE and and insert it into the PC. Boot from your XP CD. You will have to do a Repair/Install of XP then set it up with appropriate drivers EG: Motherboard CD should have these drivers, Chipset, Video, Lan and USB. If not you will have to find them on the internet.

      When it is running properly remove the drive and set it as Slave or connect it to the second Sata port. Reconnect both drives and boot into Vista.

      Download this file VistaBootPRO v.3.3

      Below is how to locate the ntldr, NTDETECT, and boot.ini while in Vista

      1. Open My Computer

      2. Click on “Organize” and then click on “Folder and Search Options”

      3. Then click on the “View” tab

      4. In the list under “Advanced Settings” you need to find “Hide protected operating system files” and uncheck it and then click “Ok”

      5. Once back into My Computer open your XP drive and you will now see more “protected” files

      6. Select the three files in question and right click and then select “Copy”
      7. Go back and open your Vista drive and right click and then select paste into C:\

      I have added this section.

      Open VistsBootPro and select Manage OS Entries
      Add New OS Entry

      OS Name = XP
      OS Type = OS Legacy

      OS Drive = XP Drive letter
      Change Boot Drive = the drive with XP

      Click on Apply when you are ready.

      8. Go to the “System Bootloader” screen

      9. Select “Windows Vista Bootloader”

      10. Select “All Drives”

      Note: Before continuing quit any I/O sensitive applications.

      11. Select Force Install and then click on “Install Bootloader”

      End v.3.3

      10. Once done exit VistaBootPRO and reboot your system

      You will have to modify Boot.ini to reflect the drive. rdisk(1) instead of rdisk(0)

      This is modified for XP Pro

      [boot loader]



      [operating systems]

      multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS=”Microsoft Windows XP Professional” /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

      Later on if you want to use the New Drive on its own you can use the XP CD so that you can get to the Recovery Console to run these two commands.



      Tip! Don’t reactivate until you are happy with the outcome.

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