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Make sense to move old drive with XP Pro to new machine?

Vista driving me insane!



8:30 pm on Nov 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I don't mean to take this into a Vista bashing thread although, well, I'd never defend it. It came with my new machine otherwise, etc. etc. You know how it goes on both sides.

My issue is this. I have to reboot my new Vista machine daily otherwise I have the oddest stuff happen to it. And, I'm really tired of it.

"Group Policy whatsis" has stopped working. And odd software things happen.

There's another similar error that pops up regularly which I just can't remember now.

What drove me to this post of frustration today is suddenly when I click on a link a window opens and it says, "Looking for link browser"? If I leave it alone for a few minutes it opens up explorer to a directory on my hard drive? What? Then what's a "link browser" if it's not I.E 7.0? Who uses the expression "link browser"? Microsoft. And wants to explore my hard drive when I'm supposed to be going to a website.

Another reboot and it's okay. For a while.

So, I'm running with my old XP pro computer and the new Vista garbage on the same monitor/keyboard and toggling back and forth between computers.

I'm wondering what kind of complications I might encounter if I move the hard drive with the XP operating system into replacing the Vista hard drive on the new machine and figure out how to plug in the Vista drive as a supplemental (slave?) drive.

It seems as though I'd have the speed and power benefits of the new Pentium IIII and 2 meg of memory without the complications of Vista and I'd easily be able to access the new programs and files that now reside on the Vista hard drive after using it as my primary machine for the past, oh, 5 months?

Is this a reasonable response to my problem? Shoot, I'd go buy another new machine if I ***knew*** it wasn't Vista but maybe a crappy HP machine that I bought.

I'm convinced its the buggy Vista. Will I trash anything by moving the old hard drive into the new much more powerful machine? Does this seem like a practical response to my problem? Will I be opening up another big old box of ugly if I do this?


[edited by: HeyJim at 8:33 pm (utc) on Nov. 10, 2007]


2:31 am on Nov 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Looks like I found my answer here:

" In addition, according to Martin Reynolds of Gartner Research, the copy protections that Microsoft put in place to prevent software piracy can render a cloned machine useless if the hardware has changed to any great extent. "Windows 2000 was actually very interesting in that it had something that we haven't really seen before or since, which is that the operating system was almost self-healing. If you took a Windows 2000 disk drive and just put it into a new PC, by and large Windows 2000 will kind of figure out what's there and load up and run it. Windows XP doesn't do that.

If you move an XP drive from one system into another system, it may never work again."

Can't risk that. Now this really complicates everything.


7:16 am on Nov 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I haven't tried this yet, but I think I will at some point. VMware has a free utility that will convert physical machines to virtual machines called VMware Converter [vmware.com]. That might give you a way to run your current XP in a virtual environment within Vista.


4:35 pm on Nov 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jtara is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

You won't be able to run your current programs that are installed on Vista under XP.

First of all, some of them might be written for Vista, or in any case were installed under Vista, and so might have incompatible DLLs, etc.

Further, there's the little matter of the registry. Almost all Windows programs require the registry to function, and, unfortunately, they need the registry they were installed under. That is, most large software packages will have installed critical entries into the registry of your Vista system. These will be unavailable on your XP system, and so the programs won't function.


5:41 pm on Nov 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Jtara. Thanks for the input.

I only have a couple of programs installed on Vista and I can re-install them on the XP machine. I'm good with that.

The files on the Vista drive don't seem like they would be a problem. Either I copy them on to a usb drive then to the XP drive or (I may have mentioned?) just run the Vista drive as a slave and access the files directly off of that. No programs can run off the Vista drive is not a problem.

Until Vista's first Service Pack (or whatever they're going to call it) comes out I just want nothing to do with Vista.

So, your thoughts are that the XP could be transplanted to the Vista machine and run fine? What are you basing that opinion on and I hope you don't mind me asking.

I was under the impression that Microsoft won't let me do it (built in fail safes) and just being in a different motherboard environment would do me in as well.

Since I last posted Vista game me error messages listed above plus "user profile service" whatever. Another reboot and things should be okay for a while.

Now I'm thinking it may be best for me to buy a new harddrive, I don't think I can do two XP Pro installs on two different machines so I'll have to buy another copy of XP and install it on my new (comparatively) super machine. A few more hundred dollars but at least I should have a normal functioning machine instead of the Vista garbage.

(What makes this especially painful is that I thought I had learned years ago to never go with any v.1.0. But, the machine seemed to be such a good deal.) Dang.

[edited by: HeyJim at 5:42 pm (utc) on Nov. 11, 2007]


5:57 pm on Nov 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jtara is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I would do a reinstall in either case - either XP or Vista. You might be able to get away with transplanting the disk, or you might not. Better to start with a reinstall.

You have something like 30 days to register a new installation, so there's no need to buy another Windows XP, unless you are going to continue to use the old system.

If you don't have a CD with XP SP2 on it, get one before you do the install - it will save you a lot of trouble. Otherwise, you should download SP2 and have it handy on a CD.


6:35 pm on Nov 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jimbeetle is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Looking around it appears this is more an IE7 than a Vista problem. Fix seems to be to reset email and browser defaults. One also suggested pointing the [locate link browser] dialogue to iexplore.exe.

You might want to make sure you have the latest IE7 patches and give it a go.


7:11 pm on Nov 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Jimbeetle, interesting that you brought that up. I was mulling over that possibility and thought about trying to roll back to IE 6. I think I'll try the patch/updates first.

Good thought. Thanks.


12:23 am on Nov 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Assuming that you're running Vista in its default configuration from the manufacturer, you probably have a load of unnecessary garbage installed and messing things up. In this case, scrub clean and reinstall Vista again (without the garbage). I am certainly no fan of Vista, but the symptoms you're describing strongly suggests a bad installation.

This may not work but you don't need to worry about transplanting hard disks or reactivating Windows, etc. so it's worth trying before taking more drastic actions.

Also, I would install Firefox (or Opera).

Before reinstalling, open the Device Manager and make a note of the model numbers of critical devices such as the display, sound card, modem, network and wireless adapters and ensure that drivers are available on the manufacturer's website (just in case the Vista disk doesn't include the required drivers).



1:24 am on Nov 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yes, I think I uninstalled all the junk, at least most of the junk, that the manufacturer had installed on it. I really don't remember why I started to occasionally run IE7 on it having started from day one with Firefox.

Wish I knew more about cleaning out all of the processes that are running. There's a ton of them.


4:51 pm on Nov 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Unfortunately, OEMs (Dell, Gateway, HP, ect) tend to include "free" software such antivirus - multimedia players - etc in brand new PCs. This "free" software or junk only disrupts the performance of PCs.

We, the PROs, know that when getting a brand new PC, a clean reinstallation of the operating system and other Microsoft software is a must for optimum performance.

Myself, I'll never trust the installation of the operating system and Microsoft software to a third party. I'll definitely do it myself.

Still, the fabulous price paid for a brand new PC more than justifies the time it takes to make wise installation of Microsoft Windows Vista.


2:48 pm on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well, I guess not being a PRO I decided not to do that clean install this go round. Anyway, looks like I lucked out a couple of days ago.

I had yet another Vista problem pop up, told it to go ahead and seek the solution online and it came back with an update being offered for the Vista OS due to known incompatabilities causing this problem. Well, who'd a guessed? I was surprised.

Well, didn't have much to lose so I did that update and things have been running fine. So for now at least, since it ain't broke I ain't gonna fix it with a fresh install or anything else.

I like quick machines but I long ago decided to quit obsessing over it. I don't do anything requiring heavy processing and now spend more time doing more productive work. I just take a few minutes to uninstall the obvious garbage then move on. True, that worked against me this time but it's been the first time it's happened with a new machine. Time wise I figure I'm way ahead of that game.

Of course, the best machine I ever had was a custom build a few years ago with XP Pro on it which is still doing a good job for us.


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