Moving a hard drive with XP Pro to a used Dell w/o operating system?

By bradlf ·
I have a Dell Dimension 4300 right now and just aquired a Dell Optiplex GX260 - mainly because the GX260 allows Ram upgrades (to 2G) - I was stuck at 512mb with the old system. The GX260 has no operating system and a 40gb HD.
What I want to do is transfer my 190gb HD (along with XP Pro) to the GX260. My Dimension 4300 was purchased with the XP Pro installed but never had disc. Will this work, transferring the operating system with the HD?
I've switched the HD with and w/o the existing HD in the GX260 but will not get past the BIOS setup.
Or is this a config BIOS problem?

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I seriously doubt it . . .

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Moving a hard drive with ...

Unless the GX260 has an identical mobo (which it won't) when you attempt to boot the presently installed system, it won't recognise the hardware it is presented with, for which it will have all the wrong drivers.

What is on the GX260 HDD at the moment?

You could always install Linux on the GX260, then network two fully operational computers together.

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Violates the OEM EULA

by TheChas In reply to Moving a hard drive with ...

As Old Mycroft stated, there are a number of problems that can and do crop up when you attempt to move a hard drive with Windows installed on it to a new system. Most of the ways to fix this require an actual Windows install CD and not just a recovery disk.

Further, doing what you want to do amounts to software piracy!

If you actually read the End User License Agreement that applies to your Dell 4300, you will find statements to the effect that you are only licensed to use Windows on the original hardware it was purchased with. Moving the OS to another PC, even if your 4300 dies, is a violation of the agreement.

Now, does your GX260 have a license sticker on it? If so, you may be able to use the Dell XP CD that are selling on the used / surplus computer market for around $20. The person you acquired the GX260 from should have included the original OS with the system. So, you would have a reasonable claim to use the license per the sticker on the case.

Of course, if someone else is using the copy of XP that came with the GX260, you may end up with having to argue your case with a Microsoft activation support specialist.


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GX260 have a license sticker

by bradlf In reply to Violates the OEM EULA

Yes - this does have the license sticker on the case and I would have to get a XP Pro disc. I thought about that.
Another response asked if the 190 HD would be supported - although it would not boot because of the license agreement the BIOS recognized the hard drive and size.
I had a feeling it would not be that simple.

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Restore CD

by TheChas In reply to GX260 have a license stic ...

Here is a link to the Dell XP Pro restore CD I saw.


They say it should work with any Dell that has an XP COA on it.

I say no guarantees, but it might be worth the effort.

Just keep in mind that some restore CDs actually format the hard drive and install the default image rather than a normal Windows install.

If at all possible, back up your files before proceeding.

Note: Depending on the source for this computer and how you acquired it, there may "issues" with the legality of the license. Still, you have the COA and the hardware. I myself would give the restore CD a try.


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Worth a try

by bradlf In reply to Restore CD

I ordered the restore - if it doesn't work I will order an OEM XP Pro disc. Thanks for the heads up!

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I would order the cd

by Dumphrey In reply to Worth a try

and try a repair install of XP. A restore most likely will wipe out everything. In either case you will be required to enter a key code in, where you can change the value to match the sticker on your new case.

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A clean install would be best

by jdclyde In reply to I would order the cd

A great time to have a clean slate start with the new system.

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Well besides the Legal Problems involved

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Moving a hard drive with ...

The most likely thing is that a 190 GB HDD will not be supported by the GX260.

So it's unlikely to even consider working. As for physically moving the drive over it will come with the wrong drivers for the M'Board and will not load XP so that will not work. Also because Dell only come with Recovery Install Disc's they are unable to install the OS & Associated Software to a different system reliably.

Dell supply Slipstreamed Install Disc's with every system that they sell or at least should. But these install Disc's only support the system that they where sold with and not any others as they only have the drivers for the Hardware that they where produced for and not the Library of Drivers that come with the M$ OEM Install CD's.

Finally what you are asking is Software Privacy and M$ takes a dim view of this practice. The last case that I saw involved the Guilty Party donating quite a lot of money to M$ and having a Court Order preventing them from repeating this Offense. This of course also means a Criminal Record which means that you are restricted in working at certain places.


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??? HDD Support

by TheChas In reply to Well besides the Legal Pr ...


Just a question.

Looking at the Dell specifications for the 4300 and the GX260, the GX260 is a newer system with an Intel 845G chip-set.
Why should it not support the 190 GB HDD if it was working on the older system?

Of course, neither of us know the full intricacies of the legal issues. Specifically, under what terms he bought this system, and if there is a license sticker on the case.


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Chas the specs that I saw claimed

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to ??? HDD Support

That the HDD fitted was a IDE not SATA and the original size was something like 80 GIG I can't be bothered looking it up again though.

Moving a NB from 80 to a 190 GIG IDE Drive wasn't the most likely outcome to work from my humble opinion.


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